Buying a business in a box

on Tuesday, 17 November 2009. Posted in N21 Business Blog

Many of the businesses that you buy products and services from in the area are not wholly owned by the company that owns the brand above the door, webite or van driving around N21, but are franchises. Bairstow Eves, Bang & Olufsen, Domino's Pizza, Hilton Hotels, Thorntons Chocolates to Weight Watchers, are some of the 830 franchised businesses operating in the UK. Franchising is big business, there are over 34,000 franchisees, employing over half a million people and these numbers are on the increase.

The British Franchise Association reports that interest in franchise is growing, both from people looking to invest in a local business, whilst still benefitting from the expertise and marketing benefits of an established brand. For business owners, franchise is a fast and relatively risk free way to grow your business - if you can create the right proposition which potential franchisees are prepared to invest in.

The range of business franchises available is mind blowing. For those looking to invest in a franchise, there are exhibitions, websites, seminars galore, as well as banks marketing franchise support, as buying into a franchise can cost from £2,500 to £50,000 plus. The typical franchise owner is in their 40s and 50s and may have invested redundancy money in a franchise or are looking for a change of career.

Talking to the BFA, areas of growth in franchise closely mirror current consumer trends. Fewer people are moving house or buying new cars, so they are putting money into doing up their current homes, installing new kitchens, bathrooms, lofts and windows - many from franchised companies. Similarly, people are looking to save money by keeping their existing car on the road, using auto repair and valeting services.

The BFA report growing interest in franchised businesses offering elderly care, both within people's own homes and franchised care homes. At the other end of the age spectrum, there has never been so much on offer for the under 5s; businesses often well suited to mothers with small children.

And of course, fast food franchises are still selling well, despite all the adverse publicity, they are the most recession proof sector of the eating out business. On the other side of the coin, franchises connected to healthy living and personal wellbeing are also on the increase.

Whilst we know many of the well known names in franchising, there are many, many smaller franchises, being operated from home who could do with a marketing boost. Currently, many franchises have only a low profile in their local area. Whilst some will put leaflets through doors and advertise in local papers, most of their potential business leads come though the website of the master franchisor, directing local enquiries to the relevant franchisee.

At N21online, we want to raise the profile of local franchise businesses and give them the opportunity to get in touch with people living in their local target area. If you know anyone who fits the bill?  Is there anyone in the area operating one of the franchises above? (apologies for the quality of the image)  If so, please pass on our details, so that we can feature their local business.

We will also be featuring new franchise innovations from around the world on N21online, which could present potential opportunites for people living in this area.

Franchising is big business, there are over 34,000 franchisees, employing over half a million people and these numbers are on the increase.

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