Research reveals the strength of UK franchising industry

Franchising is becoming a stronger and more lucrative force than ever before. A recent survey conducted by the British Franchise Association (bfa), in partnership with NatWest, shows the great health of the UK franchise industry in 2015.

This latest research shows that franchising contributed £15.1 billion to the UK economy in 2015. This represents an increase of 46% in ten years, and a rise of 10% from 2013, when the research was last conducted.

The contribution to the UK economy can also be seen through the increase in the number of franchise businesses and the level of employment within the sector. The survey reveals that 621,000 people were employed in the franchising industry in 2015, an increase of 11% from 2013; and the number of franchise businesses also increased by 13% over the same period.

The franchising industry in the UK shows no sign of slowing either, with over half of the franchise businesses turning over more than £250,000 in the last twelve months. This was coupled with the staggering figure of 97% of franchisees reporting profit, with the failure rate down from 4.6% to 2.2% since 2013.

The majority of those starting a new franchise business in 2015 had no prior experience in the industry. This accounted for 7 out of 10 of all new starters over the previous year. Of this group, 78% had previously been employed, with the rest having been self-employed. This shows a growing recognition of the financial freedom that owning a franchise business can offer, with the majority of those new to the industry moving from employment to franchising.

The level of satisfaction shown by franchisees has also never been higher, with an impressive 91% saying they are 'mainly' or 'definitely' satisfied with their respective franchisor.

Such a high level of satisfaction has been cultivated through a symbiotic relationship between franchisees and franchisors, which stems from the mutual benefits of seeing their model succeed and flourish.

In the survey, the most common benefit cited by franchisees is appearing to be a larger business, and being part of a supportive network of often like-minded people which provides a safety-net that other business ventures can't offer.

It seems that more people are realising the benefits of franchising, as this survey only highlights, with a steady increase in the number of new franchised units over the last ten years. This rate of growth looks only set to increase as people embrace the culture of franchising in the UK.