If you are wondering how to become a franchisee, below are tips and advice on training for and beginning careers within sales and retail, as well as franchise owner job prospects in the UK.

    The Job Description
    A franchise is an arrangement between an established company (the franchiser) and a local operator (the franchisee, or franchise owner). The franchisee is self-employed and owns and runs the business, but gets the benefit of running a business whose products or services are already familiar to the public.

    Many types of business are run as franchises, for example:

    convenience stores
    food take-aways
    professional cleaning services
    parcel delivery
    estate agents
    recruitment consultancies.
    The franchise owner usually pays an initial fee to use the franchise brand and products, and they also pay the franchiser a regular management service fee based on a percentage of turnover. In return, the franchiser company offers training and guidelines for running the business, advertising, and the design and fitting of the business premises.

    Person Specification
    The key personal attributes of good franchise owners include:

    motivation and determination
    good business sense
    excellent organisational skills
    willingness to follow the franchise company’s rules and guidelines
    an understanding of budgets and accounts
    the confidence to market and promote your own business
    good communication skills
    the stamina to cope with working long hours
    the ability to manage and motivate employees.

    How to become a franchise owner
    You do not usually need qualifications to run most franchises, but you will need some basic business skills in areas like people management, basic accounts and marketing.

    You often do not need any direct experience of the business that you are running, but you will find it useful to have previous work experience in sales, management and customer service.

    You will need enough money to buy the franchise and pay the franchiser’s fees. Few franchises are available for less than £5,000, and the average start-up cost is between £20,000 and £50,000.

    If you are thinking of running a franchise, you could contact the British Franchise Association, which runs seminars, provides information and assesses and accredits franchising companies. See Further Information for contact details.

    You may find it useful to take a short business start-up course before you buy a franchise. Many local colleges run courses like this. You can also get business start-up advice and training from the Business Link network (in England), Invest Northern Ireland, Business Eye Wales or Scottish Enterprise.

    Training and Development
    All franchising companies will offer you some initial training. Some franchisers will also train your employees and provide ongoing training as part of the franchise agreement.

    Training is likely to include:
    operating the business to the required standard
    sales skills
    product knowledge, pricing and marketing
    finance, administration and customer relations.
    You could choose to work towards NVQs/SVQs aimed at people running their own business, such as:

    Level 3 in Business Start-up
    Level 4 in Business Development.
    You could also get ongoing business development support and advice from the Business Link network in England, or the equivalent organisations in Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland.

    The Pay (a rough guide)
    Income depends on the nature and size of franchise, the product or service, and how much effort the franchisee puts into making the business work.

    Job Prospects
    There are over 700 franchise systems running in the UK, including many well-known businesses. You can find information about available franchises from the British Franchise Association, Franchise Development Services, and from franchise exhibitions and magazines.

    Useful retail and sales resources:
    British Franchise Association
    Thames View
    Newtown Road
    RG9 1HG
    Tel: 01491 578050

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