According to the NatWest bfa Franchise Survey, at the end of 2011 there were 929 different franchise businesses within the UK, contributing some £13.4 billion to the economy. The survey concluded that despite the tricky economic conditions franchising was “holding up well” with lower failure rates than those seen in the wider marketplace.
With this in mind, it is perhaps not surprising that the UK is seeing strong demand for franchising opportunities. But how do you decided which franchise is right for you? Whilst some decisions may make themselves, for example vegetarians are perhaps unlikely to choose to take on a fried chicken outlet, that still leaves a wide marketplace encompassing retail and food outlets, personal and business services, hotels and transport. Wading through all the opportunities on offer can be overwhelming but there are a few questions which you can ask which will help you to decide which franchise is right for you.
What interests me?
We’ve quoted this before but Richard Branson’s idea that “a business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts” gives a strong indication of likely business success. Even though you are buying into an existing franchise operation, you have to make your franchise outlet work and if your heart and soul are not in it then you are doomed to failure. So ask yourself:
What research do I need?
When setting up any new venture the golden rule is that you can never have too much research. Don’t take anything at face value, check and check again and keep copies of all documents which you receive along the way. In particular find out:
What is the franchisor offering me?
Part of choosing which franchise is right for you involves deciding if the package on offer will suit your own requirements. The level of back up and support will vary between franchisors so find out:
Finally, once you have decided what franchise is right for you, don’t sign anything until it has been checked by a franchise lawyer who will help you to understand exactly what your obligations are.
Let us help you with our free Telephone Consultation to help you decide which Franchise is right for you.
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We regularly blog on subjects related to franchising in the UK, commercial law and employment law.
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