Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Ready-made business opportunities
The recent economic cutbacks that have hit areas such as the public sector have prompted many to review their careers and look at alternative options including running their own business. A recent survey carried out for The British & International Franchise Exhibition shows an increase in the amount of people thinking about becoming self employed – 97 per cent of respondents stated they had considered becoming their own boss in the past five years, up from 93 per cent at this time last year.
A popular way to achieve this is to invest in a franchise, which offers all the advantages of a successful proven business. This helps to address the uncertainties and difficulties commonly faced at the start-up stage. The survey reflects this, showing that 83 per cent of respondents have considered investing in a franchise as a route to working for themselves.
Tom Endean from the British Franchise Association (bfa), the voluntary self regulating governing body for franchising, explains the appeal of becoming a franchisee: “Owning a franchise business under an established brand offers the experience, credibility, support network and structure of a proven business.
“A franchise business has a tried and tested business model, which is transferable and can be taught. This is then supported by the franchisor and training provided. As a franchisee you also own the business and so can eventually realise your capital investment by selling the business.”
Finding the right option
Franchises cover many sectors from food and drink, travel, home improvement, care work, auditing and technology, covering a range of skills, interests and budgets. It is likely there is a franchise to suit most requirements. For budding franchisees it is just a matter of identifying a prospect, then check and reflect to see if they are right for the particular business and the business is right for them.
A visit to a bfa accredited franchise exhibition, such as The British Franchise Exhibition at Manchester Central 10-11 June, is a good way to research options. It allows visitors to meet owners and franchisees from a choice of more than 50 businesses gathered together under one roof. There are also experts to answer questions and seminars covering all aspects of franchising.
The franchised brands on show cover a wide range of sectors, including Action Coach, Alphagraphics, Auditel, Cash Generator, Dublcheck, Fastsigns, Roomzzz Aparthotel UK and WPA. What’s more, the exhibition is the only franchise event in the North endorsed by the bfa, meaning that all companies exhibiting have met the Association’s code of ethical franchising.
Alongside the exciting list of exhibitors is an extensive free seminar programme, a wide-ranging conference, and key features such as the Business Plan Clinic, sponsored by Lloyds TSB Commercial, and the popular Franchisee Panel which all help to create this first-class, informative and worthwhile event.
“The 2011 British Franchise Exhibition in Manchester will offer everything a potential business owner needs to research and develop a new career in franchising, from business opportunities to advice on growth, expansion and strategy,” said Adrian Goodsell, franchise exhibition manager at Venture Marketing Group, organisers of The British Franchise Exhibition in Manchester.
A comprehensive conference programme of more than 20 seminars will run throughout the two-day Manchester event with presentations from keynote speakers, franchisees and franchisors. Topics will cover a range of subjects including ’Executives in franchising’, ‘High-level investment franchising’, ‘Franchising your business’ and ‘Growing your own business’.
Visitors who are new to the industry can have all their questions answered in one location before exploring the show and its opportunities. The Franchise Starting Point enables people to meet industry experts, consultants, lawyers, bankers and franchisors, for free one-to-one advice.
McDonald’s will be holding franchisee recruitment Open Days exclusively on-site at the exhibition. Visitors can meet with McDonald’s staff and gain a unique insight into being part of one of the world’s biggest brands. With two sessions a day and one-on-one meetings to discuss future career prospects, the McDonald’s Open Days are expected to attract many potential franchisees looking to invest and learn more about the secrets behind the success of the famous family restaurant. Sessions can be booked at www.franchiseinfo.co.uk
The many business opportunities along with the free conference and packed programme of seminars, form the perfect introduction to the world of franchising.
“By visiting The British Franchise Exhibition, aspiring business owners can find opportunities and gather all the information they need under one roof. We’ve worked hard to ensure visitors can access essential information and advice to help them to decide whether franchising is right for them and, if it is, what franchise best suits their career goals. They can’t miss this opportunity,” concludes Adrian Goodsell.
In 2009 Geoff Hughes, from Kent, was made redundant from his career spanning nearly three decades in the public sector and later the private sector in the rail industry.
Determined to set up his own business, but not wanting to take too big a risk on his own, Geoff was convinced that franchising was the ideal option. He attended many franchise exhibitions, but kept returning to Cash Generator, a company to which he had been introduced by his brother Michael, who was already a Cash Generator franchisee.
Geoff says: “I had witnessed my brother’s success and I liked the idea of working for myself. Attending several exhibitions enabled me to research all my franchise options however Cash Generator stood out as the perfect solution for my new career path.”
Geoff admits it has been a great learning curve since he opened the store, but one that is proving rewarding. Geoff continues: “Time management and keeping on top of the finances have been the most important skills to master. The training Cash Generator provided has proved invaluable and they continue to provide ongoing support, which is a great help.
“I am thoroughly enjoying being my own boss. It is satisfying to know that when I put in the long hours it is for my own benefit and that of my family, something I am proud to do.”
Geoff has quickly gone from redundancy to establish himself as a successful retail entrepreneur, and now has plans to open an additional three outlets in just five years.
To register for The British Franchise Exhibition, call 0844 2578668 or visit www.franchiseinfo.co.uk Callers can purchase tickets by credit card for £8 each or £7 each for two or more. Admission on the door is £10. Visitors can, however, gain free admission by using the promotional code GBJ when they register on the website.
The British Franchise Exhibition is open from 10am each day, closing at 5pm on Friday 10 June and 4pm on Saturday 11 June.
For the latest news and updates about the British Franchise Exhibition, follow the exhibition on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ukfranchising, join The Franchise Exhibitions Group on Linked In or become a fan of the FranchiseInfo group on Facebook.
For information on the different franchising options available, please click here