Franchising As An Alternative to Employment
By Laura Payne
An increasingly popular alternative to employment is self-employment through franchising. In the UK, less than 25% of franchisees are female, and research by Female Franchise identified concerns in women about ‘fear of failure’, ‘lack of support’, ‘lack of certain business skills’, ‘fear of loneliness’ and ‘lack of financial resources’ as the leading reasons why women are put off starting their own business. Franchising though, addresses all of these barriers to starting a business. Many people though, only think of franchising as fast food or coffee shops, when the reality is that it covers every industry imaginable, from Toddler Classes to Management Consultancy businesses!
Franchising is about taking an existing proven and successful business model, packaging every aspect of that successful business into a ‘box’ and enabling a partner to invest in that ‘box, open it somewhere else, and, if they follow that business model exactly, they should replicate similar results. Sounds simple, and in many ways, it is. But franchising is not a guarantee of success. You still have to work just as hard as if you were starting your own business, but the route to success is laid out in front of you.
As well as the training and support from the franchisor, you will also have fellow franchisees around you, sharing experiences and supporting one another. With the benefits of a proven business model, a network of ‘colleagues’ and the training and support of the franchisor (who is as reliant on your success for their business to be successful as you are reliant on them for their expertise and experience), the success rates of franchises are much higher than for stand-alone businesses, with four times more franchise businesses trading successfully after two years than stand-alone businesses. Banks are also more supportive of successful franchise businesses than of new business start-ups, with the major banks commonly lending around 70% of total start-up costs for franchise businesses.
So, franchising can really be an effective way to start and run your own business, and offers a solution to the barriers to start-up that women in business have voiced in the past.