Franchising · 19 December 2018

“Something for everyone”: Why franchising is the future in 2019

franchising
Franchising is a route for many who find that other routes are closed to them
Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association, explains why women and young entrepreneurs are more ahead than ever before in the franchising sector.

I have worked for the British Franchise Association for 20 years, and year on year I have seen the franchising industry grow, not only economically, but also in its diversification and its general culture.

After 20 years in this business, I have witnessed surges in diversity amongst franchisees and franchisors, with more minorities ever before taking charge of their personal and professional direction. I have relished the opportunity to mix with people of all characters and backgrounds this year, giving me a window to see to where franchising will go in 2019.

The 2018 bfa NatWest Franchise Survey stats have also reinforced this, with many underrepresented groups in business driving economic growth from a franchise standpoint. This includes women and under 30s who are increasing within the sector, with 37% of all new franchisees in the past two years being women and 18% of all franchisees now being under 30. Also encouragingly, of new franchisees under the age of 30 in the last two years, 52% were female.

“The franchisor gave me a business foundation, but they also enable me to add my personal touch to my business.”

Franchising has always typically helped people who might not have the business acumen and know-how that most business startups need. James Griffin, a franchisee with courier service InXpress, explains how his lack of experience did not hold him back.

When he was 27, James left the Royal Navy, looking for his next career opening. The following year, he was running his own business, having joined the InXpress franchise network. InXpress have a campaign, specifically targeting under-30s, called Young Guns, which offers particular training and a discount for young prospective franchisees taking on a unit once the training has been completed.

when I first started with InXpress, I had no experience in logistics or sales, ” James says. I had served in the military, so by rights, there’s no way I should be successfully running my own business. InXpress made it possible for me to start achieving some of my personal goals.

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Handed an old tipper truck in lieu of a final salary, many would have despaired. Not Harsha Rathnayake, he saw an opportunity and set up Junk Hunters.

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Most franchises offer workshops, training and bootcamps to prepare franchisees for their business, something that James benefitted from. The InXpress Boot Camp introduced me to the 7 steps to activation? plan. I felt thrown in at the deep end at first, but InXpress kept me focused.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Pip Wilkins's journey into franchising and working at the British Franchise Association started at the age of 19, just before the turn of the century. Fast forward 20 years, and she is now CEO of the association. Pip believes the thriving franchise community is one with diversity and a collective passion that is rarely witnessed in the wider business world.

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