How to Start a Franchise in the UK – Ultimate Guide

Simply put, almost anyone can buy a franchise. All you need is a little bit of research into the type of industry you want to venture into. Pick a franchise that suits your personality and likings and you are set to go. Most brands have easy online procedures, where you can simply fill out a form and they get back to you will all details pertaining to finances, training, marketing support as well as site surveys.

As an entrepreneur, taking up a franchise of a known and established brand is definitely a smart move. You get a readymade training package, assistance with staff training, preset ideals of the company etc.

How to Start a Franchise
How to Start a Franchise

All it takes for you to run this franchise successfully is, YOU. And some basic tips as discussed below can help you in your decision to become a successful entrepreneur running a successful franchise.

  1. What kind of a person are you?

Most companies look for franchisees that can easily adapt to their business model, which means following a preset mold as laid down by the company. Which is why it is very important to carry out proper research before you choose your franchise business. Most people only take decisions based on financial models and investment plans. However, your personality too makes a huge impact on your business. If you are someone who likes to have complete control over all the decisions, then franchising is not the best option for you. If you are willing to adapt and adhere to the franchisor’s policies and guidelines then you should look at franchising as a viable business.

  1. Location

Consider the basic dynamics of demand and supply in your local area. Study the existing competition in your area. Is there a similar business to yours in your area already? Or are you the one to bring in the novelty factor? The cultural tastes and behaviors of the people in your area will also predict the future of your business. Therefore, look at the market in your area and ascertain what kind of business can flourish there.

  1. Research

Firstly start with what kind of a business interests you. Secondly does this business have the potential to sustain in your area as discussed in the previous point? You need to narrow down your search to brands that meet these criteria. Make a list of such companies. Now contact each of the companies that you have narrowed down in your search. Most companies reply back with detailed information that gives you access to precise statistics of that particular business in your area of choice. This will help you in understanding your profitability with the business in the future. It also gives you a clearer picture of the company’s business model which may or may not be available on their website. Never limit yourself to just one company. The more companies you reach out to, the more options you have to compare and make the right decision.

  1. Discovery Day  

A discovery day is a meeting that is held between the franchisor and the franchisee. This is when you meet your franchisor after you have shown interest in their franchise. Prepare yourself well before this meeting. This is your chance to ask as many questions as you need to understand if this is a good company for you. Do a thorough research before you go for this meeting so you do not leave out any important detail.

  1. Secure funding

Companies may or may not provide financial support and funding, which is why it is important for you to explore options like loans or third party funding. You can opt for bank loans or personal loans from near and dear ones etc. When you meet your franchisor after you’ve contacted your choice of company, you will need to discuss these options in your first meeting. Therefore, you should be ready. Most companies require heavy initial investments and you can go through their websites beforehand to get an idea of the same.

  1. Hiring a Franchise Consultant

Although not mandatory, you can reach out to a professional franchise consultant and make use of their in depth knowledge of specific industries and sectors. This will give you an expert opinion. This is also helpful in case you are conflicted about choosing between multiple companies and are not able to make up your mind.

  1. Special permits and documents

Some businesses may require you to get specific permits or clearances from your regional authorities or government offices etc. Make sure you have taken care of all legal formalities before you invest your money.

  1. Full time or part-time

Decipher how many hours you are willing to put into your work. If you only wish to put in a few hours of work then look for businesses that can offer this model. There are many options in the market at the moment to choose for. Many franchise options cater to people who can only work part time. Choose options that give you the flexibility of hours.


While these are the most obvious factors to look for, there are several other things to be mindful of if you are starting a franchise.  

  1. Security

Setting up your own business from scratch is not an easy process. It can be very challenging.  A franchise comes with an existing customer base and familiarity factor. Moreover, franchisors provide trainings and marketing support from time to time to help run your business smoothly. It is a tried and tested model with fewer challenges and more security.

  1. Affordability

Buying a franchise can be an expensive affair, especially if it’s a renowned brand. You need to consider your budget carefully and be sure if you can make such a huge investment. You will have to cover the initial cost before profits start pouring in. Weigh in all the pros and cons before you decide to invest your money.

  1. Training

Franchisors do not necessarily look for people who have had previous experience in that industry. They provide you with proper training and support right from day 1 to help you run a successful business.

  1. First Impressions

Keep in mind that the franchisor wants to know as much about you as you want to know about them. First impressions are very important. Before your meeting with the franchisor, prepare well. Project clearly. What can you bring to the table? Make a clear pitch of your proposal so you are an easy candidate for them to choose.

  1. Flexibility

Most franchisors come with their own training, marketing and sales plans. You may have no creative control over these decisions. You need to be accepting of the decisions put your way.

  1. Future Growth

The franchise industry in the UK has seen immense growth in the past. As per statistics, it contributes £15 billion to the economy. Interestingly, there has been a 46 percent increase in this figure in the last ten years and it is only likely to keep increasing in the coming years.

Regardless of the initial investments, 97 percent of all franchises have shown profits. Consider all these points when you are looking for the ideal brand. If you do not feel entirely satisfied then do not settle. There are several franchises out there to choose from. All you need is hard work, determination and the right fit for you and there’s nothing stopping you.