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Where to find examples of franchise opportunities?

When deciding to buy a franchise potential franchisees fall into three broad categories, those who know exactly which business they want to buy, those who know the sector that they want to operate in (such as fast food, pet care etc.) and those who simply know that they want to own a franchise but have no definitive idea of which type of franchise they wish to own. The starting point for all three categories is research, which brings us to the question “Where is the best place to find examples of franchise opportunities?” There are three main avenues open to you in order to research your options.

Publications: Various ‘specialist’ franchise magazines are published throughout the year including Business Franchise (The Official magazine of the British Franchise association) The Franchise Magazine, What Franchise and Making Money. All of these publications contain adverts for variety of franchises, editorial from franchisors and franchisees as well as background information and advice about franchising in general.

Exhibitions: Exhibitions remain a tried and tested way to find out what franchise opportunities are available. There are major exhibitions held every year in London, Manchester and at Birmingham NEC which historically is the largest in the UK. Additionally there are various smaller regional exhibitions often held in function suites at sports grounds. The advantage that an exhibition has over a magazine is that you get the opportunity to talk to your potential future franchisor and ask questions. You also get a ‘feel’ for the people behind the franchise which is important as you will be working closely with them to build a successful business.

Websites: In the same way that ‘online directories’ have replaced hard copy versions, the internet has become the most commonly used method of finding examples of and researching potential franchise opportunities. Google ‘pet franchises’ and you get the option of six named brands on the first page, which is all well and good if you know that you want a pet franchise. If however you are simply looking to see which franchises are available then a good starting point is the British Franchise Association’s official website www.thebfa.org. All the franchised businesses listed here are members of the bfa so you can be assured that they comply with the necessary criteria needed to be a member of the industry’s governing body. Commercial websites such as the one you are looking at currently www.whichfranchise.com (who also only accept entries from bfa members) are also a means of research and to a great extent have replaced the ‘specialist franchise magazines’ method of finding a suitable franchise opportunity. Websites contain a wealth of information not only on individual franchises but also by providing advice on diverse topics ranging from the legal implications of the franchise agreement through to advice from High Street Banks regarding raising finance. Commercial websites normally also provide links to individual franchise websites.

Irrespective of which method you choose (and most people do a combination of all three) take time to weigh up your options. Franchising requires you to be committed to what you do, so it is worth the effort and time at the outset to make sure that you make the right choice of franchisor for you.

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