Become your own boss

13th January 2009

Business men and women across the Black Country are being given  a simple solution to beat the credit crunch - Become your own boss.

The claim has been issued by leading Midlands solicitors Higgs & Sons, who believe it is actually becoming a necessity for many, as the option of franchising becomes more and more attractive.

Kate Legg, of Higgs' franchising team, said the time had never been better for people to operate their businesses as a franchise, particularly as 90 per cent of new franchises survive the first year, compared to 80 per cent of business start-ups failing in the same period.

Kate said: "Being your own boss is a dream for many people, but with redundancies on the increase, taking the plunge into running your own business is becoming a necessity, not a pipe dream for many.

"Starting up on your own is a risky business, particularly when all your savings and perhaps redundancy pay is at stake. Statistics show that around 80 per cent of business start ups fail in the first year, but it is possible to load the odds in your favour.

"Operating a business as a franchise can be an attractive option, blending the benefits of a tried and tested business model alongside the satisfaction of owning your own business

And Andy Pitt, national franchise manager for McDonald's Restaurants agrees, stating that franchising is as popular now than ever.

Andy added: "In the current economic climate interest in franchising has never been stronger at McDonald's. We franchised our first restaurant back in 1986 for our usual 20 year term and we are now seeing those same franchisees signing  up for a second term. 

"Franchising is a great way to own a successful and enduring business with less risk. Franchising allows an individuals to benefit from the power of an established brand, a proven business model and normally, a robust support network, all provided by franchisor.

"At McDonald's we demonstrate our commitment to franchising by continually increasing the number of franchisees and increasing the number of franchisee owned restaurants. In fact over the next three years our plan is to increase the number of franchised restaurants to over 70% of the estate."

The NatWest/BFA survey 2008 showed that the number of franchise networks had grown year on year for the last 15 years and in 2007 the franchise networks saw their economic contribution grow nearly five times of the national GDP growth.]

However, Kate cautioned that it is essential to choose a franchise carefully.  Kate advises speaking to other franchisees in the network to ascertain the extent to which the business has met their expectations.  Professional advice should be sought on franchise documents before parting with hard-earned cash. 

For more information about Higgs' franchise team and the advice they can provide, please call Kate Legg on 01384 342100.


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