When you hear the word “franchising” what does it conjure up? For an industry which in the UK alone is worth over £17 billion, let’s explore what franchising isn’t!

When people talk about franchising, what do you think of? It is highly likely you’ve heard the word used in a variety of ways: from a film franchise, to the coffee shop franchises…and, of course, McDonalds!

However, the UK’s franchise industry is thriving. According to the 2018 bfa NatWest Franchise Survey, the industry was worth an impressive £17 billion to the UK’s economy. With over 48,000 franchised businesses operating within almost every sector, ordinary women like you make up the army of business owners who are providing crucial employment to more than 700,000 people.

Whilst you might be forgiven for thinking this will have been negatively impacted after all the lockdowns, within the bfa and EWiF we’ve seen a steady response to the pandemic from our members, many of whom have actually grown.

We looked at this previously; so, now let’s bust some myths about what franchising isn’t!

1) Franchising is not Big Movies with sequels and merchandise
Well… technically it is, as American movies have created a ‘franchise’ around their brand. But, here in the UK’s franchise industry, when we talk about franchising, this isn’t what we mean.

When we talk about franchising, we mean the reduced-risk opportunity you have to run a success business of your own. When you join a franchise network, you invest in the brand name, the business model, the proven strategies for attracting and keeping customers and clients, full training on how to actually run a business, and much more. You receive all this, along with the full support of people who know what you’ve let yourself in for, and want to help you succeed.

2) Franchising is not just fast food and coffee shops
Many of your local favourite places to go, will be owned by ordinary men and women, like yourself, who decided one day they wanted to be a business owner, rather than an employee. They’re not large, corporate-run operations.

A franchise is not just a business providing somewhere to eat, or meet people, but where kids can develop their interests; specialist pet food; professional care for aging family members who don’t want to go into a residential home. In pretty much every sector, and in every area of life and work, there are successful franchises in operation. You only have to look at the EWiF or bfa websites to see for yourself what’s on offer. The benefit of this for you are the number of opportunities to explore, based on your business interests or career experiences.

3) Franchising is not buying a job for life
It is an investment in your future. As the business owner, you’re investing in an asset of which you’ll aim to increase the value, ready for the day you want to exit your business through resale. You can’t do that with a job.

It is owning a business. The flexibility you have, and the role you play is very much down to what you want to achieve through your business. But, at the end of the day – as you would imagine – when the chips are down, the buck stops with you!

There are franchisees who are hands on within their businesses. They want to be involved in the day-to-day, learning about every part of their business, so they can understand their employees’ and customers’ needs. Whilst others immediately employed someone, or partnered with someone, to plug their knowledge or skills gap – such as in sales, or customer service.

4) Franchising is not going to restrict you
Whilst you have the franchise model to follow, the only restriction on your success and what you can do, is yourself.

The franchise guidelines have been proven to work – see them as your formula for achieving the goal of business ownership, rather something which will hold you back. Many franchisees say they value the framework of the franchise, as it removes the guesswork of starting a new business.

As a franchisee, the success of your business impacts on the rest of the network. Think about a time you had a bad experience at a franchise coffee shop, for example, and the way it affected your choice of coffee in the future. Your franchisor, and the rest of the network, are there to guide and support you as you grow your business. Often, franchisors value and welcome input from their franchisees as – together – you grow the brand, and increase your potential reach.

5) Franchising is not an expensive way to start a business
Whilst you’ll need the initial investment, and finances to live off as you first start, there are a variety of options to help you keep the costs down.

Including finance packages which are specifically available for the franchise industry. This is because lenders see the stability of franchised businesses, compared to a start-up, so they are much happier to support you. As a woman, you also have access to more opportunities than you realise; many lenders purposefully want to help women experience the joy of running their own businesses through franchising.

And because there are franchises operating in every sector, you have the choice to find the right one for your budget. If you’re under 30, or about to leave university, some franchises have options designed to help you start, too. So, definitely do your research, and look out for the right franchise for you.

Want to know more?
Why not download our free guide here, too discover more about how franchising can work for you. Alternatively, if you’d rather speak to someone, email us to see if we can connect you with someone as you find your tribe and start your own franchise journey.