One of the most emotive responses that I receive from my Entrepreneurial Profiling Test is from people highly indignant at my suggestion that they should perhaps consider franchising as their first venture into business, as an alternative to starting a completely new business from scratch.
It seems that for some franchising is still a dirty word in business - and that it is somehow a 'fake' alternative to going into business proper.
The other side of the coin is of course the emails I receive from people, typically 12 to 18 months in to their business journey, who have tried to start a business completely from scratch and who are beginning to realise just how difficult (and expensive) that is.
Creating a brand identity alone, along with all the brand collateral needed for certain businesses (signage, brochures, websites etc) for just one business location/outlet can cost tens of thousands of pounds. More often than not it's an area where many businesses skimp - and end up looking unprofessional and amateurish.
That's before you even begin to consider all the costs of setting up operational systems, bespoke software, supply chains and processes/know how - as well as the cost of the kind of 'trial and error' mistakes you inevitably make when you decide to go it alone.
Franchising gives you a ready made solution usually for an all in one fee - which allows you to focus on revenue generation practically from Day One - as well as fantastic training and ongoing support.
The results of my Profile Test show that over 80% of people thinking of going into business really should consider looking at the franchise sector as their first venture into business. The failure rate is less than 5% (compared to something like 67% in the start up sector); it's much easier to finance your start up costs, and with most franchises you can actually sell them on for more than they cost you once you have momentum going. Alternatively put a manager in to run them and use the money generated for your completely new business a couple of years down the line - once you have experience in business.
This week is the National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC - and I would normally be there speaking if I weren't currently 9 months' pregnant! If you are thinking of going into business I would suggest it's well worth a visit - and particularly if you Profile under my free Test as a Safepreneur/Execpreneur/Dadpreneur or Mumpreneur.
Alternatively visit the UK Franchise Directory Site which gives you a complete listing on every franchise currently available in the UK.
As with any business opportunity, you still need to be very careful which franchise you go for - and indeed some of the more established ones have very strict criteria on who they will allow to run one of their franchises - but it's an avenue well worth exploring.