It has been my long held and passionate belief that the franchising model offers a highly credible opportunity to assist in the regeneration of local, regional and – some would assert – national economies.
The UK government is finally waking up to the idea that self-employment is the engine house of growth for the British economy. A report published in August 2014 by the Office for National Statistics, entitled Self-Employed Workers in the UK – 2014, confirmed self-employment to be higher than at any point over the past 40 years and that the rise in total employment since 2008 was predominantly among the self-employed. This trend has helped to sustain the economic recovery.
And this is as true at the local level as it is at the national. The physical regeneration of towns and villages isn’t just dependant on the willingness of government, local enterprise partnerships and local authorities to create an environment that attracts developers. We also need entrepreneurs to exploit available opportunities. Given the desire to run one’s own business infects far more people than is generally supposed, there’s certainly not a shortage of viable candidates.
However, the problem for entrepreneurs is not achieving lift off; it is actually staying up in the air. Independently owned businesses are subject to a high failure rate. People who go into business don’t usually fail through lack of hard work or ambition, nor is it due to poor ideas, products or services. Generally new companies fail because the people running them don’t have access to the necessary advice, intellect and information that they need to succeed.
Fortunately, this is where franchising comes in. Franchising has an almost endless scope and enables entrepreneurs to start their own business under the umbrella of an established recognisable brand. This provides them not only the benefits of systems and expertise provided by the franchisor but also the freedom that comes with being your own boss. It offers an excellent opportunity for those who have a little capital to invest but want a lower risk solution for starting their own high-growth business.
Franchising offers a tried and tested means of going into business with good prospects, leading to a more stable business community. This, in turn, strengthens the towns and villages in which they trade. The result is robust and vibrant local economy – one that is inhabited and driven by the local population, for the benefit of the local population.