• The History of Franchising - Part 5

      Franchising Today

      Franchising has since flourished into an industry which now has several thousand brands in a multitude of different sectors. Long gone are the days when it revolved around cars and catering, and nowadays its eclectic mix of businesses includes everything from hairdressing to photography, pet care to children’s sport coaching. There’s something to suit your passion whatever it may be. 

      Franchising has never been in better health than it is now. The authoritative annual research into the state of the industry, the NatWest/bfa Franchise Survey, has shown both short- and long-term growth trends to be very strong in the sector, including prior to and since the economic downturn in 2008.

      After a slight downturn in that year, every year following has shown growth in terms of numbers of brands franchising, numbers of franchisees, numbers employed in franchise businesses and the overall turnover of the franchise sector.

       These figures combine with impressive trends going back to before the turn of the century, uninterrupted by the recession, which consistently show around 90% of franchisees reporting profitability and less than 4% of franchise businesses failing for commercial reasons each year.

       Those statistics compare favourably to figures estimating that between half and two-thirds of all independent start-ups close within their first 3 years. It’s clear that the advantages inherent within a franchise business, including economies of scale and support of a large brand combined with local marketing and business owners, make them particularly robust and statistically much more likely to succeed. 

      From its feudal roots to becoming one of the fastest-growing sectors of the European markets, franchising has come a long way. With many more people now looking to take charge of their careers and family life by running their own business, it looks set to go a whole lot further in the years to come too.

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