A franchise is an arrangement between an established company (the franchiser) and a local operator (the franchise owner, often known as a 'franchisee'). As a franchisee, you would be self-employed and own the business, but you would benefit from your products or services already being familiar to the public.
Many types of business are run as franchises, in particular:
- Convenience stores
- Food Take-Aways
- Professional Cleaning Services
- Parcel Delivery
- Estate Agents
- Recruitment Consultancies
You would pay an initial fee to use the franchise brand and products, and then pay the franchiser a regular management service fee based on a percentage of your turnover. In return, the franchising company would provide you with training, guidelines for running and advertising the business, and any stock, equipment and shop fittings that you might need.
Your hours would depend on the type of franchise you ran, but you are likely to need to put in long hours to make your business succeed.
Your working environment would also vary according to the type of franchise – you could be running a high street shop, travelling to customers in a mobile business van, or working from home.
Your profits (and therefore your income) will depend on the type and size of franchise, and how much effort you put into making the business work.
Over 700 franchise systems are operating in the UK, including many well-known businesses.
You don't need formal qualifications to run most franchises, but you would be at an advantage with some business skills in areas like people management and basic accounting.
You often do not need any direct experience of the business that you are running (as training is provided), but previous work experience in sales, management and customer service would be useful.
You will need enough money to buy the franchise and pay the franchiser's fees. Few franchises are available for less than £5,000, and the average start-up cost is between £20,000 and £50,000.
If you are thinking of running a franchise and would like some advice, you could contact the British Franchise Association, which runs seminars, provides information and approves franchising companies.
Before you buy a franchise, you may find it useful to take a short business start-up course run by a local college, adult education centre or enterprise organisation. You can also get business start-up advice and training from the Business Link network (in England), Invest Northern Ireland, Business Support Wales or Scottish Enterprise.
All franchising companies will offer you some initial training.
Some franchisers will also train your employees and provide ongoing training as part of the franchise agreement.
Training is likely to include:
You could choose to work towards qualifications aimed at people running their own business, such as:
You can also get ongoing business development support and advice from organisations like the Business Link network.
Laboratory technicians carry out routine laboratory tests and perform a variety of technical support functions to help scientists, technologists and others with their work. They can work in research and development, scientific analysis and testing, education and manufacturing.
They are employed in a wide range of scientific fields which affect almost every aspect of our lives.
A franchise owner needs:
Working as a franchiser your prospects depend on making a success of your business.
As you business grows you may be able to expand by running a chain of franchises or even develop your own ideas for a franchise opportunity that can offered to a new group of franchisees.
British Franchise Association,
A2 Danebrook Court, Oxford Office Village,
Langford Lane, Oxford OX5 1LQ
Tel: 01865 379892
Franchise Development Services Ltd,
Franchise House, 56 Surrey Street,
Norwich NR1 3FD
Tel: 01603 620301
Tel: 0845 600 9006
Invest Northern Ireland
Tel: 028 9023 9090
Business Support Wales
Tel: 08457 969798
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.