A New Start – with franchising

There’s something about the end of a year that invites us to reflect, take stock and think more carefully about the future than we normally would. Thoughts might well turn to what you want from 2019.

Perhaps you’ve been considering attempting to set up your own business for some time as the resettlement clock ticks on. There’s a lot to running a business and it’s a very real challenge – but even so, you’ll be working for yourself.

Irrespective of the exhilaration of attempting to scale the heights of your career ambitions, you’ll probably be clear-headed enough to realise that plenty of start-ups collapse in the early days. The good news is that there is another way: franchising.


If you’re unfamiliar with franchising, it’s easiest to describe it as running a small portion of a well-known brand. For example, popular coffee brands are able to run hundreds of outlets (cafes) by utilising the skills and commitment of franchisees to run each and every one as ‘their own business’. The arrangement is based on the franchisee paying an initial fee to set up premises or buy stock or kit such as the correct tools or a van, thereafter handing over a portion of their profit in return. The huge upside is that instead of having to start from scratch, the business already has a market reputation and customer base – which in the early days of a start-up business is crucial to avoid early cash flow difficulties.


Anybody would admire the guts and determination of a Service-leaver taking on the market with a fresh venture but with franchising the painful lessons of that approach have already been learned by the franchisor. This means that they’re able to pass on their winning ways to you, enabling people inexperienced in running a business to hit the ground running.


Depending on the franchise operation you get involved with, you’ll still need some form of start-up capital. This can range in scale from a few thousand pounds up to serious propositions at tens of thousands. Nevertheless, you’ll find lenders responsive to proposals regarding franchising since the evidence of the brand’s scale and success will often speak for itself, providing them with the confidence they require to back your venture. Indeed, the NatWest Franchise Survey is one of the sector’s keynote annual reports.

The job you’ve always wanted

The franchising sector overlaps almost any sector and career type you could think of. This gives the new franchise candidate an incredible choice and opportunity to use existing transferable skills or to pursue a passion they’ve always wanted to.


It isn’t only lenders that will look favourably at your application. Franchisors know full well that despite a lack of actual business experience, that Service-leavers have all the important attributes in place to succeed – important for the ongoing reputation of the brand. The formulaic basis of franchising suits people used to mission details and who have the discipline to stick with it.

In your own hands

The next move is to select a decent franchise opportunity. Shop around, ask questions and try to speak with existing franchisees. After that, it’s down to you.

British Franchise Association

Franchise Direct

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