A franchise is a business agreement between a franchisor and a franchisee, where the franchisee obtains permission from the franchisor to sell or produce goods or services using its trademark. According to industry reports, the number of franchises in the UK has more than doubled in 25 years.
Today, there are over 48,600 franchise businesses in the United Kingdom and an incredible 97% of them are running in profitability. In the United Kingdom, the franchise marketplace is filled with countless franchise systems such as food and beverage outlets, retail stores, and service-based businesses like repair franchises.
Also, note some businesses offer consulting services for willing entrepreneurs looking to start their own franchise – these are often referred to as “business coaching” franchises. As a franchisee, you will be expected to sign a legal agreement before you can obtain the necessary permissions from a franchisor.
Note that a good contract protects both of you by guaranteeing that everyone understands what compliance standards are expected. It will also note the role and responsibilities of each party, and how issues will have to be addressed.
Once you have everything in place, your business can now start offering the services or products of your franchisor. Have it in mind that the best franchises to invest in will have well-detailed operations manuals and training programs that cover marketing, operations, accounting, technology, and other areas that are specific to your franchise.
Steps to Open a Franchise in the United Kingdom
Indeed buying a franchise is an easy way to start a business, and it has a better chance of attaining success. Although the investment process and timeline can vary a little from company to company, here are simple steps to open a franchise in the UK.
Self-evaluation is the ability to examine yourself to find out if the franchise route is the best option for you. Have it in mind that the franchise route is not for everyone and you have to be sure it appeals to you. Are you willing to work long hours, including weekends and holidays (especially at the very start)?
Do you mind following pre-determined business methods with very few alterations? Are you willing to pay a portion of your profits to another entity (the franchisor)? Are you happy with the reputation of your business being entirely dependent on the franchise’s network and not just in your own hands?
Additionally, how much of your cash are you willing to invest to start the business? Unless you have the necessary funds to venture down this line, do you have adequate assets (savings accounts, real estate, securities, etc.) to secure a loan?
Carryout an Extensive Research
Just as with any other business dealings, carrying out extensive research is very necessary if you are looking to acquire a franchise. What sort of businesses are in demand in your area – and are they the sort of businesses you’re interested in starting? You have to leverage your common sense and gut feeling to know the sort of businesses that can be viable in your locale.
After you must have narrowed down your search to a few reliable options, reach out to them and ask for a franchise application. Once you submit your details to the company, they should send you a copy of their information pack, and this should provide you with an insight into their business model.
Attend a Discovery Day
A Discovery Day is a comprehensive meeting between the franchisor and their potential franchisees. This meeting can take place at a local outlet, but a good number of them tend to be at the company’s corporate office. The potential franchisee(s) in attendance are allowed to ask questions, and also witness presentations about what the franchisor intends to offer.
If the discovery day is held at the corporate office, it offers franchisees the opportunity to tour various departments of the company and also get a comprehensive view of franchisee training and support personnel.
Consult Other Franchisees
It is also important that the franchisor provides you the details of current franchisees whom you can reach out to as part of the ‘franchise validation’ process. Take your time to locate a few who are close to you and visit them. Ask to know if they are satisfied with the franchisor’s support and if the reality of the business aligns well with the expectations (financially and otherwise) they had before joining the franchise.
Select a Franchise and Secure Funding
After you must have carried out your research, now is the time to make the big decision by choosing the ideal franchise system to work with. Once you have made your decision, gather all of the necessary information required to complete a business plan and present it to potential lenders.
There are various financing options to leverage when looking to acquire a franchise: bank loans, small business loans offered by the government, personal loans from friends and family, etc. You will need adequate cash to cater to every expense in your business until it starts to turn a profit, and this will most often be months after opening.
Select a Suitable Location
There are numerous reasons why location is a key success driver. Note that if your franchise is located out of sight of major roads and highways, then there is a probability that your customers will walk or drive right by and you’ll lose the traffic that is critical to the success of your business.
If your franchise is located in a place that is difficult to access, then your clients will find it hard to do business with you. Therefore, this is a decision you have to take seriously.
Most often, the franchisor will note certain parameters for your territory. In addition, most franchisors assist with site selection. If you select your business location by yourself, the franchisor may have to approve it before you can move forward.
Sign the Agreement
Some franchisors can be a lot more flexible when negotiating terms in the franchise agreement (like lease parameters). If that’s the case, then you should get a franchise lawyer to help you find the best solutions for your unique situation.
If the franchisor’s agreement isn’t that flexible, you can still work with it as long as it meets your goals and capacity. Howbeit, don’t forget that franchises are based upon a proven system and the consistency of the brand. If the franchise agreement is quite negotiable, then it could mean that the business is experiencing issues.
Acquire All Necessary Permits and Insurance
You have to understand that every industry has its own requirements for permits and insurance. Also note that these requirements and regulations will also vary by city, county, etc. However, most franchisors provide comprehensive information about the necessary permits and insurance you need to acquire to operate their business system.
Hire Staff and Attend Training
One interesting aspect of franchising is the training component. Know that the number of staff required to run your franchise will often depend on the type of franchise you choose. Franchisors are known to provide training (a mixture of classroom and practical experiences) to the franchisee and at least one other manager. Also, note that a copy of the operations manual will have to be presented at this time.
Launch Your Franchise Business
It is important to ensure that your customers know of their new marketplace option. Most often, your franchisor will have stipulated processes for signage, ads, and other initiatives to be carried out. Some franchisors will mandate a ‘soft opening’ before the ‘grand opening’.
Have it in mind that the sole purpose of a soft opening is to iron out problems in the operation of the business before the grand opening. Also, note that some franchisors will arrange for a corporate trainer to be on hand at the franchise location during the opening days.
Franchise Opportunities Based on Industry in UK
1. Aerospace / Aviation Franchises
The aerospace industry is one of the highest technology industries. The aviation industry deals with manufacturing aircraft which take flights within and beyond the earth’s atmospheric area. There are about 50 countries which own one or more than one aerospace company.
2. Agriculture Franchises
The agricultural industry is no doubt amongst the leading industry in most countries of the world; it is the industry that produces food for the populace and also helps in the generation of income.
Because of the significant role the agriculture sector plays, the government of most countries ensure that they go all the way to subsidize seedlings, fertilizers, and farming implements and machinery for farmers and also encourage entrepreneurs to go into farming.
i. Crop Cultivation | ii. Livestock Farming | iii. Agro-Allied
3. Arts & Crafts Industry
Well, truth is that the arts and crafts industry sure is a promising one and there is no hard and fast rule about knowing the type of arts and crafts business that can cause your profit to rise.
4. Automotive Franchises
Since the invention of automobile, a whole lot of business opportunities have since been created around the automobile industry. And the truth is that, the industry is still opening up with a whole lot of invention.
The automotive industry is indeed a very large industry; it covers the automobile, locomotive and the aviation industries. Those who have found a business in this trade know that this industry is a lucrative one by all standards.
5. B2B Service Franchises
B2B stands for business to business involves the activities of serving other businesses rather final consumers. Starting a B2B business has its own advantages such large transactions occur between businesses and it is much easier to understand the need of business buyers compared to consumer buyers.
6. Beauty Care Franchises
It is important to note that there are several niches to the beauty care trade. This means that there are sub categories to the business. There is the product creation line- which happens to be the manufacturing arm of the beauty care trade, and there is the retail and business services arm.
7. Chemical Franchises
Chemicals both organic and inorganic are major raw materials in many manufacturing companies; there are loads of products and manufacturing plants that depend on different type of chemicals ranging from gas supply, to oil and soda et al. No doubt the chemical industry is a key player in the growth of the economies of most countries of the world.
8. Construction & Engineering Franchises
The construction sector is indulged in designing, building, constructing and maintaining the infrastructure. The construction industry can be sub-divided into three categories such as heavy construction, general construction, and specialized construction. Heavy construction includes the construction of bridges and roads etc.
Education industry or education system is a group of school, colleges, universities, institutes to provide learning, knowledge, skills, and a degree in various fields. According to a recent survey, 18.2 million students are getting an education in the UK and out of 18.2 million 16.8 million are getting an education from “Non- Profitable” institutes.
10. Entertainment Franchises
The entertainment industry is a huge business industry. It includes innumerable sub-sectors of entertainment. This industry runs on both entertainer and viewers. Entertainment has been an integral part of human society since ages, but recently it has become commercialized. These types of business industries such as entertainment and hospitality industries make a great part of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any country.
i. Movie | ii. Music
11. Fashion Franchises
The fashion industry is indeed a thriving industry all over the globe and clothing line happens to be the most prominent in the industry. The fashion industry is indeed a very competitive industry, every clothing line and shoe designers must ensure that they are always on their toe and in touch with the trend if indeed they want to continue to be in business.
12. Financial Service Franchises
The financial services industry is one of the industries that is open majorly those who are trained to and schooled in the handling of finances. As a matter of fact, in most cases you do not only need a degree to work as finance professional, but you would also need a professional certification from the finance related courses; such as accounting and auditing et al.
We all have one body to maintain for a lifetime and most people understand this and that is why they would spare no costs to take care of their bodies and maintain a perfect health. It is for this reason that the fitness and wellness industry has become a £3.4 trillion industry and one of the largest markets in the world.
14. Food Franchises
In the United States of America, Canada, Australia, UK and in most developed countries of the world, anyone who intends starting a business in the food industry – especially running a canteen will be required to apply and obtain food handling certificate.
This is so because the food industry is considered to be amongst the delicate industry; they are involved in cooking food for consumption for large numbers consumers per time which is why the business is subjected to regular inspection by relevant health officials from your local health department.
i. Seafood | ii. Frozen Food | iii. Street Food
iv. Food Processing | v. Halal
15. Green & Eco-friendly Franchises
These types of business industries are important because of their wide applications in various sectors. Energy industry can be sub-divided into two categories renewable energy industry and non- renewable business industry.
16. Healthcare & Medical Franchises
Health care industry provides remedial, diagnostic, curative, preventive, rehabilitative, therapeutic services to patients and to people in their old age. The main goal of this industry is to revive and maintain the health of peoples.
The revenue of the United Health Group was $56.6 billion on 30th September 2018. Government initiatives like Obamacare in the United States, Medicare in India have given an enormous boost and assigned tremendous importance to the health care industry.
17. Hospitality Franchises
The hospitality industry is vast types of business industries. It provides uncountable services to customers, so this industry is highly customer- oriented industry. There are three main broad categories of this type of industry such as accommodations, food and beverage, and travel and tourism.
18. Import & Export Franchises
According to the UK Ministry of Commerce, importations account for an annual £1.2 trillion in goods. Exporting is equally as big in its own right as UK companies exported £772 billion worth of goods to over 150 overseas countries.
19. Internet Based Franchises
It is important to mention that in recent time, the internet has made it possible for people to successfully launch businesses with little or no stress and as an unemployed person without money, you can leverage on the potential of the internet to launch your business. There are several internet based businesses someone without capital can successfully launch and build to profitability in no distance time.
20. Manufacturing Franchises
Manufacturing is the process of converting raw material and components into the final product to sell in the marketplace for public consumption. In UK, approximately 12 million people are employed in the manufacturing industry.
21. Marketing & Advertising Franchises
No business in this world can do without advertising and marketing, because these are the medium through which businesses draw customers than can turn into sales and profit for the business. This is why the advertising and marketing industry is a very big and very indispensable market.
22. Media Franchises
News Media industry is an important industry. The target of this industry is to provide news to the people. It makes people aware of the happenings in the world. There are various media platform for example newspaper, Television, Radio, online blogs, websites, podcasts.
23. Mining & Precious Metals Franchises
The mining industry is dedicated to locating and extracting metals from the surface of the earth all around the world. These metals are used for commercial purposes and jewelry making. This industry also deals with production and trading of metals also.
i. Metal Related | ii. Gold |
24. Non Profit Franchises
A non-profit organization differs from a for-profit business in a number of ways. For example, an NGO usually has no owner, but an individual or a group can own a for-profit business. Also, an NGO is funded by contributions, not by investments as is the case with for-profit businesses.
25. Oil & Gas Franchises
The amount of money required in investing in the oil and gas industry is not the kind of money that can easily be raised. It requires loads of money to become a major player in the oil and gas industry that is why as an accredited investor, you should consider investing in this industry if you don’t have an investment portfolio in this industry.
26. Pet Franchises
The American Pet Product Association (APPA) says that, Brits lavish approximately £47.7 billion on pet products and services in 2010, an increase of 4.8% over 2009. Ever since 1988, pet ownership has lengthened from 56% of households to 62%. This amounts to about 71.4 million homes.
27. Real Estate Franchises
The real estate industry is one of the many industries that is a major contributor to the growth of the economy of many nations of the world. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 11.1 percent job growth for real estate sales agents between 2012 and 2022, which is about as fast as average. During that time, an additional 38,000 jobs will open up.
28. Retail Franchises
There are different value chains in the world of business – especially as it relates to products; it trickles down from those who deal in raw materials, to those who are into manufacturing of products, to those who are into wholesale distribution of goods, as well as to those who are into retailing of goods.
29. Security Franchises
The income of the private security services industry was set to reach an estimate of about £25 billion in the United Kingdom in 2014. Security alarm services alone in the UK generated whooping sum of £17 billion per year between 2008 and 2014.
30. Service (B2C) Franchises
In a nutshell, the overall goal of non – profits organizations is not to be successful in terms of wealth creation, but to be a success when it comes to giving value to the groups of people they direct their services at or to the cause they choose to pursue.
i. Home Improvement
31. Sports Franchises
If you are an entrepreneur or an aspiring entrepreneur and you have passion for sports, you can actually become a millionaire by starting a sport related business.
32. Technology Franchises
The technology industry is so wide and vibrant and there is still room large enough for those who are interested in the industry to come in and create their own impact.
i. Data Mining & Analytics | ii. Biotech | iii. Nano Tech
33. Telecommunication Franchises
Telecommunication industry consists of companies which makes communication possible worldwide through mobile phones, internet, cable or wirelessly. It allows people to communicate using words, audio or video from any part of the world to any part of the world.
Smartphones can send information thousands of miles away within seconds. This industry includes various sub-sectors such as communication equipment, wireless communication, ad-hoc network, mobile ad-hoc network, domestic telecommunication services, foreign telecommunication services, processing products, and systems.
34. Transportation Franchises
The transport industry is one of the largest types of business industries. This industry deals with the movement of humans, things and animals by various modes of transportation. The main modes of transportation are air, land (Road and Rail) and water. The transportation industry makes the largest part of any country’s economy. Transportation industry makes approximately 17% of USA’s GDP.
35. Travel & Tourism Franchises
36. Wholesale and Distribution Franchises
Wholesale distribution industry serves as a critical link in the global supply chain and is tasked with distributing the majority of products between business partners around the world. Wholesale distributors are known to have very concrete relationships with both upstream and downstream of the supply chain. Wholesale distributors tend to offer a catalog made up of diverse product lines along with customer service.
Business ideas Based on Amount of Startup Capital
It is a fact that you cannot start all businesses with the same amount of capital. There are businesses that are quite capital intensive, and others you can start with just about little or no capital. In fact, the type of business you will start will depend on the amount of money you have available or the amount of money you will be able to access in loans and grants.
i. With £1,000 Capital | ii. With £10,000
iii. £1 Million | iv. Tax-Free
Tips for Choosing the Best UK Franchise
Choosing the best franchise that aligns with your needs goes beyond asking a financial or market-related question. You must choose a franchise that suits your personality and approach to work, since choosing the wrong franchise can easily be a costly mistake. Therefore, you must take to take the time to analyze the factors that will make your business a success.
Know What You Want from A Franchise
Before you start investing in the rigorous processes of acquiring a franchise, it is pertinent to consider what you want to achieve with the franchise business. Do you want a part-time opportunity or something you can do as a hobby or will it need to replace your full-time job?
Do you have plans to acquire more than one franchise at a time? You must analyze your options and be extremely honest when answering these questions. Have it in mind that finding the right franchise will be easier once you know what you are looking to accomplish.
Know Your Biggest Strengths
It is also important to know your greatest strengths and how you can leverage them to run a successful business. Just because you are starting a restaurant franchise doesn’t mean that you need to have years of experience as a chef.
You can choose to handle the overseeing role and focus on growing the business while leaving the cooking and serving to the professionals. This is very much possible as long as you can delegate positions accordingly. You are not expected to be an expert at everything, therefore consider outsourcing and focus on where your biggest strengths are.
Understand How Much You Intend to Invest
You have to understand that the amount of money you have to invest will genuinely determine the franchise opportunities available to you. Just like most businesses, your franchise business will need time to be profitable, so you should have substantial capital to live on until then. If you plan to raise finance, reach out to a lender that specializes in franchising.
Know How Much Time You Can Invest
To achieve success with this business route, it is necessary to find a franchise that aligns well with the role you want to take on. Note that only few franchises offer the chance to be absentee owners. A good number of franchises in the United Kingdom require hands-on involvement.
Ensure to consider your family and other commitments, and note the number of days and hours you are willing to work. As with any other business, franchises require owners to invest long hours to ensure they attain success. Deciding you only intend to work weekdays from 8 to 4 will disqualify many retail and services franchise opportunities from your list.
Know the Amount of Risk You Can Take
It is also important you understand the level of risk you are willing to take. Note that if the franchisor fails, your business will surely suffer. Therefore, if you are afraid of risks, you should go for a long-established, well-branded company over a cutting-edge franchise despite the promise of more return on your investment.