The UK is a nation of entrepreneurs, with 5.5 million active businesses in the UK. Yet despite 64% of Brits wanting to start a business,41% of people say that business finance concerns are the biggest obstacle to starting a business. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Franchises give people all the flexibility of working for themselves, without the huge financial outlay that comes with starting a business – at the last count, the average UK startup spends £22,756 in their first year, while franchises can be set up for a fraction of that cost. And it seems people are seeing the huge potential in franchises; Google searches for ‘franchise opportunities’ have increased 110% in the last 90 days alone.
But what exactly makes a successful franchise, and what should people look for when investing in one?
The experts at Oven Rescue Group, the independent, specialist oven cleaning business which has franchises all over the UK, have revealed what makes a successful franchise, based on their 14 years of experience:
Lots of potential customers. Having a niche business is great in certain circumstances, allowing you to capture market share amongst a small customer base. But franchises that are more widely appealing to a variety of customers who want or need the product offered are often the most successful. Being widely appealing opens up potentially tens of thousands of customers to you, and makes getting up and running, profitably, much easier and quicker.
An established brand. You can, of course, start a successful business without an established brand, but a successful franchise will have a known brand up and running to help sell the company – and you – in your area. A strong brand will attract customers and build trust from day one. You’ll have things such as professional marketing collateral and customer feedback and testimonials you can use, a professional website to direct people to, and a track record for delivering the product or service.
A team to rely on. Running a business can be lonely, and many decisions are down to just the owner. But the most successful franchises are the ones where every franchisee works together towards the same goal, and supports one another to succeed. Whether that’s celebrating the wins, or offering advice when things aren’t going to plan, good franchisees have a support network in place to drive results for everyone. This can look like regular company updates, group messages or even meet ups.
Established processes. Most, if not all, of the processes that make the business work will have been refined in a successful franchise. This could be on just the one site if a franchise is just getting up and running, or on multiple sites across the country for well-established franchises. This means that anyone taking over a new franchise will be able to get started immediately and experience very little downtime.
Training and support. Another thing many first time business owners struggle with is a lack of support and training on the day-to-day running of a business. But the established franchises offer comprehensive training packages for everyone just starting out, on top of ongoing training as they grow and become more profitable.
Mike Harris, founder of Oven Rescue Group, says, “Investing in a franchise is a great way to give yourself the flexibility of owning a business, but without the same initial financial outlay and risks that come along with setting up by yourself.
“Setting up a franchise can cost less than half the average figure invested in businesses in their first year alone, while as most franchises are already tried and tested, 97% of franchisee-run units in the UK are profitable, so the risk of failure is much lower. This means you have the peace of mind that the franchise you are buying into is in demand.
“However, it’s always important to do your research on the company and make sure it’s for you before signing on the dotted line.”