The image of franchising is currently undergoing something of a transformation in the U.K.
No longer the province of people who have stepped off the corporate ladder after many years working the 9 to 5, or those who have been made redundant, franchising is fast becoming the first choice to business success for people of all ages.
The recent BFA Franchise Survey 2015 found that 1 in 5 new franchisees is under 30.
One reason might be that the franchise industry is proving to be extremely robust in challenging economic times.
The contribution of franchising to the UK economy is now reckoned to be £15.1 billion, an increase of 46% over the past 10 years and up 10% since the last survey in 2013.
A record 97% of franchisee-owned units reported profitability, with 56% saying they are ‘quite’ or ‘very’ profitable.
It's no wonder then that we are seeing people of all ages and all walks of life taking the franchise route and making it work for them.
In this blog, we profile three different individuals from very different backgrounds who have chosen Belvoir as their franchise business.
The young starter
Emma Falco is a rising star within the Belvoir network. At the tender age of 27, she has become a share-holder in two franchised offices.
Emma is keen that other young people, especially women, explore the opportunities afforded by franchising. She was featured in our "Celebration of Women in Franchising" Week in March this year.
"Franchising is a good option because you have got the support of the network, the support of a group", she says. "So although you're setting up your own business, and you're doing something on your own, you have the support of a brand behind you. You've got Central Office support and guidance, so it's not a cold start, you're going in with history of what has worked for other offices, and you also have the support of other franchise owners".
From Accountant to Lettings Agent
Davinder Gharial joined the Belvoir network just 3 years ago, and has already opened two offices.
He's become a big advocate of franchising.
"If I was to start again, I would still choose the franchise way" he enthuses. "Franchising provides monitoring and the continuous development of the franchise owner. I feel that every penny that goes in franchising fees is worth it".
The busy Mum
Patsy Day is a mother of two and is enjoying a very successful franchise career after being made redudant from a high-flying corporate position.
7 years on she is still enjoying the flexibility that franchising offers, allowing her to have quality time with her two girls, and even envisages getting them involved in the business!
"Franchising is an amazing opportunity. It's not something you have to wait to get into. Starting your own business this way is a fast track to a very successful outcome", she told us during "Women in Franchising Week" 2016:
Clearly, these are satisfied franchisees and this reflects the national outlook. According to the BFA Franchise Survey 2016, franchisees' satisfaction with their franchisor has never been higher, with 91% saying they are "mainly" or "definitely" satisfied.
Dorian Gonsalves, Managing Director of Belvoir comments:
"It’s not surprising that franchising in the UK is worth over £15billion to our economy when the principles of franchising appeal to such a wide range of individuals from any age group or background. Whether it’s a young person with a driving ambition to own their own business, or someone feeling unfulfilled after a long career, franchising offers a real alternative to traditional employment with varied and exciting prospects.
We’re often asked whether there is an ideal age for a franchisee. The short answer is definitely not. A younger franchisee brings energy, drive, enthusiasm and the willingness to learn a new system very quickly which, in turn, brings quick results.
Man-management skills can be more of challenge for a younger business person, however most high quality franchise models cater for this by offering training and support.
Middle aged franchise owners sometimes find it slightly more challenging to adopt new working practices but they bring a wealth of life skills and previous experience that is soon put to good work in their new business.
Our youngest ever franchisee was 23 years old when he joined and the oldest is in his 70s and is supported by family members who also work within the business.
Whether someone is young and enthusiastic, or experienced and enthusiastic, the most important attribute of a franchisee is motivation and enthusiasm for a new life as a business person. Age is almost irrelevant!".
If you're interested to discover more, get in touch or come and meet us in 2016 to discuss your way forward.
You can also find out out more by downloading the Times report, "The Future of Franchising" which was published in March and which features Belvoir.
Belvoir is an award-winning estate and lettings agency with over 200 successful offices around the U.K. If you would like to talk about being our next success story, please call us on 01476 570000 or email us on email@example.com