Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How to Be Your Own Boss

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How to Be Your Own Boss

Article excerpt

Byline: WENDY LEDGER

TODAY marks the start of National Franchise Week and this is the best way to find out about becoming a franchisee.

Throughout the week, some famous faces will be promoting the sector, including easyJet millionaire Stelios Haji-Ioannou and Rosemary Conley.

The week will end with the National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham on Friday and Saturday, where visitors will have the opportunity to meet with more than 190 franchisors, as well as experts and specialists, all under one roof.

The main problem faced by franchisors is a lack of quality franchisees to take up the numerous and varied opportunities available.

According to the latest NatWest and British Franchise Association Survey, the UK sector is worth more than pound sterling9.2 billion and provides more than 324,000 jobs. Ninety-three per cent of franchises are profitable and one third have an overseas presence.

Yet 38 per cent of franchisors say that finding the right people is preventing the sector from growing.

While running your own business is never risk-free, franchising does offer a lesser risk than going it alone. Most franchises are tried and tested business ideas and often come with plenty of support and backup. While success can never be guaranteed, there are distinct advantages to a franchise.

Costs vary greatly, from hundreds of thousands of pounds to as little as pound sterling5,000 initial investment. For example, ViewPlus will be at the exhibition for the first time and its growing success has arisen from the booming DVD market. It will be offering a 10 per cent discount to new franchisees at the show, with an initial investment of only pound sterling4,995.

Another newcomer is Capelli salon products, the first UK franchisor to distribute salon products to hairdressers. …

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