CEO of the British Franchise Association (bfa), Pip Wilkins, explains why Service leavers should consider making franchising their future.
It can be daunting when deciding what to do after leaving the Armed Forces. Going from the Services to a regular 9-5 job might not seem as fulfilling, and even dull, along with being in a completely different environment and, in many cases, learning new skills from scratch. So it’s important to know what options are out there that will make you excited about your next career step. One such idea which can be a great route for Service-leavers, is franchising.
The franchising industry contributed over £17 billion to the UK economy in 2018, according to the 2018 bfa Natwest Franchise Survey – and offers a wide range of business opportunities. From home-based businesses to pet care to coffee shops, it will be difficult not finding a business that suits your passion and character.
What is franchising?
Business format franchising is the granting of a licence by one person (the franchisor) to another (the franchisee), which entitles the franchisee to trade under the trademark/ trade name of the franchisor. Essentially, becoming a franchisee will mean that you will become a part of a successful and established business that you will simply mirror. A franchisor will usually provide an extensive training package, consisting of all of the necessary information to enable an untrained person to establish the brand in a new territory using the proven format. So, for those who don’t think they have the necessary skills and background to become a franchisee, that’s complete nonsense! Service leavers have much to offer, acquiring useful knowledge and skills that are transferable to businesses such as leadership, discipline and having a level head. You get the training you require, can learn new skills, and implement existing ones.
A supportive industry
If owning your own business sounds like a route you want to take then that’s fantastic, and franchising offers you that opportunity. Not only does it give you a chance to work for yourself, but it also won’t abandon you. Franchisors not only offer some form of training through courses or workshops, but they will continually support you from the get-go. If you feel overwhelmed, have a question or simply need a little guidance, the franchisor head office is only a phone call away. It is the franchisor’s duty to help you make the business a success, as you and other franchisees are all working under one brand and a success for one is a success for all. It can be comforting working in an environment where everyone wants to help you succeed. Franchising means becoming a part of a business family and an important part of joining is lending support and advice and networking to ensure best practice is achieved amongst the business.
Who are the British Franchise Association?
Franchising is a successful concept used across the globe. From China to India, Britain to the United States, it is a huge industry that has gone on to make many brands globally recognised. With such levels of success, regulation is needed to ensure that franchising stays credible and ethical, with some trying to chip in with some less than ethical business deals. The British Franchise Association (bfa) was established in 1977 and is the only voluntary self-accrediting body for the UK franchise sector. The purpose of the bfa is to recognise good, ethical franchises from the bad through our rigorous accreditation process which will then allow them to become a bfa member, giving the franchise a level of trust and credibility. It is important when choosing a franchise to join that you check their background; if they are not a bfa member then you need to ask why that is. Not being a member doesn’t mean that they are unethical, but membership of the bfa is a hallmark for ethics, standards and credibility within the franchise sector and is recognised both nationally and internationally.
Come and meet us
If you like what you’re reading, then it’s important to get your research cap on do your due diligence about franchising. A great way to find out more is by attending an exhibition. With so much information out there, it can be hard to tell which sources to trust, so by coming to an exhibition, you will be able to talk to the professionals in person who will be able to provide trusted and unbiased information. You will also be able to see the many different franchise models on offer and see if you can find a business that suits you. The National Franchise Exhibition at the Birmingham NEC runs between 15 – 16 February 2019. The bfa will have a stand at the event, ready to help and guide people who are interested in franchising. Come along to see us and make franchising your future.