We wanna hold your hand
Take a big piece of business sense; add some entrepreneurial spirit and viola! You have a franchise. Starting up a franchise could be a very clever move for those who want to run their own show but don’t have the experience or the desire to set up in the dangerous and often short-lived world of the sole trader. But it’s vital to know that you’re getting into. Franchising is ‘the granting of a license by one person (the franchisor) to another (the franchisee) which entitles the franchisee to trade under the trademark or trade name of the franchisor and to make use of an entire package. So is the main concept behind a franchise that of a compromise between setting up on your own and working for a company? ‘Absolutely not,’ says Dan Archer, head of marketing at the British Franchise Association. ‘That’s a ludicrous over-simplification. It is running your own business, but it’s taking away some of the risk and bringing in the support of other people’. He points out that only 0.9% of the franchises fail, compared with the majority of individually owned businesses. But being a franchisee is unlikely to satisfy the most entrepreneurial. It doesn’t suit people who don’t want to follow the system. William Ewbank, the head of franchise sales at Domino’s Pizza, says, ‘If you’re massively entrepreneurial this isn’t for you. It’s a discipline, a club with rules. There is some independence –our franchisees can charge their own prices although we’re strict on menu content. It’s running a business with help’. Astrid Patil, a new Domino’s franchisee, abandoned a career as a solicitor to set up a franchise with her husband. The way she reasons it is this: ‘Rather than putting all your time and effort into working for someone else, put it into your own business.’ Leaving a well-paid, well-respected profession to run a pizza shop at the age of 31 has worked for Patil. There’s good profit margin and the business has seen growth. Of course if you do decide to...
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