It’s hard to think back to a time when this country has faced as much political turmoil, and as I write this article, we still await the news of who will be our new Prime Minister. Unfortunately, all this uncertainty, both globally and nationally, combined with rising inflation due mostly to huge increases in energy and food bills etc, is playing havoc with people’s lives. Many independent businesses have been forced to look at cutting costs, and independent forecasts warn of rising unemployment figures as we go into 2023, so it is little wonder that people are taking a long hard look at their careers and re-evaluating those factors where they can start to take some control and create more stability.
Historically the franchise business model has always performed well during times of high unemployment. This is largely due to people considering the possibility of taking on a franchise as a way of investing redundancy money in a business so that they can become self-employed and gain more control and security over their lives.
Franchising can be a fantastic way to invest in your future, by building assets that can either be sold on when the time is right or handed onto a family member. In the past month the owners of our Belvoir Basingstoke office decided to retire and sold their award-winning business to the owners of Belvoir Southampton. Belvoir Basingstoke has consistently been number one in the rankings out of all the Belvoir offices and sold for a record sum – the second largest sale in Belvoir’s history. The owners of Belvoir Southampton started their franchise eight years ago as a cold start, and it is incredible to think that they are now operating a business with just over £1.5m of turnover.
So why do franchised businesses do so well, compared to independent businesses? There are several reasons, but most importantly you must ensure that you invest in a reputable, ethical franchise. British Franchise Association (bfa) members are able to provide evidence of their business models, demonstrating that their businesses can be successfully replicated in different locations. Whilst there are no guarantees of success for franchisees, statistics show that over 40% of standalone businesses fail, compared to less than 5% of franchised businesses. This is because the franchise business model has been tried and tested and has already proved itself to be successful, so the risks are greatly reduced. In addition, franchisees receive the support of a Central Office team, which means they are in business for themselves, but not by themselves. Being able to access a dedicated franchise support team, advising on all areas of the business to help maximise its potential is fundamental to success. In addition, franchisees can benefit from the support of other franchisees within the network, which provides an enormous competitive advantage over independent business operators.
Franchisees within the Belvoir Group, which incorporates several successful property management brands, are in a great position as they are working with reputable, recognisable brands in what has proved to be a recession-proof and pandemic-proof industry. No matter what is happening in the country (and at the moment none of us can predict what might happen next!) people really value having a roof over their heads, and even in the most difficult of times, people prioritise their homes above all else. Furthermore, if the residential sales market collapses, the lettings market provides an alternative for those seeking accommodation, and if the residential sales market booms, it provides more opportunities for investors, so it is very much a win-win situation.
Franchising is a diverse industry, with many opportunities to suit entrepreneurs of all ages, backgrounds, and circumstances, who may be looking for fulltime or part-time business ventures. However, it goes without saying that enormous dedication and determination is needed to be successful. Within the Belvoir Group we work hard to try and match ambitious entrepreneurs to the right brand. We take great care throughout each stage of our recruitment process as we know that it is in the interests of all franchisees for new businesses to succeed and for all the brands to be protected and developed.