The franchising industry in the UK has grown exponentially over the last decade and continues to expand as more and more people take the opportunity to own their own businesses. But what does the future of franchising look like in the UK? In this article, we will look at some of the current trends in the franchising industry and explore what the future may hold for UK franchise owners.
Overview of Franchising in the UK
Franchising is a popular business model in the UK, with various industries offering franchise opportunities. Franchising involves a business owner (the franchisor) allowing someone else (the franchisee) to operate a branch of their business under their branding, systems, and processes. The franchisee pays the franchisor an initial fee and ongoing royalties in exchange for support and guidance in setting up and running the business. Franchising has proven to be a successful and low-risk way for entrepreneurs to start their own businesses with the backing of an established brand and business model.
The current state of franchising in the UK
Franchising is booming in the UK, with the sector continuing to see economic growth and contributing over £17bn to the economy. The UK is also home to over 900 franchise systems, with a total of 48,000 franchise outlets, employing over 700,000 people. The franchising sector is diverse, covering industries from fast food to health care and even education. Overall, the current state of franchising in the UK is strong, with growth predicted to continue in the coming years.
Current trends in franchising
One trend in franchising is the rise of multi-unit franchising, where a franchisee owns and operates multiple locations. This allows for economies of scale and greater efficiency in operations. Another trend is the increasing use of technology in franchising, such as mobile ordering apps and virtual reality training programs. Finally, there is a growing focus on sustainability and social responsibility, with many franchisors adopting eco-friendly practices and supporting charitable causes.
If you would like to learn more about the current franchising trends, you should read our previous article explaining the five biggest franchising trends.
The impact of Brexit on franchising
Brexit has created some uncertainty in the UK franchising industry. The potential loss of the single market and free movement of people could affect the ability of UK franchise brands to expand into the EU and recruit franchisees from across Europe. However, some experts believe that Brexit could actually lead to opportunities for UK franchises to expand globally, particularly in emerging markets. The extent of the impact of Brexit on franchising remains to be seen, but franchisors and franchisees will need to adapt to the changing environment to ensure their continued success.
Technological advancements and their effect on franchising
Technological advancements have changed how we conduct business, and franchising is no exception. With the emergence of e-commerce and social media, franchisors and franchisees can easily reach out to their target audience. Automation technology such as artificial intelligence, chatbots, and data analytics can also aid in streamlining business processes and improving customer service. However, it is essential to note that the use of technology should only partially replace human interaction and personal touch, which are still crucial elements in franchising. Overall, technology has contributed to the growth of franchising, but it should be used wisely and cautiously.
The future of franchising in the UK looks promising. The sector continuously evolves and adapts to technological advancements, market trends, and regulation changes. Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, many franchises have remained resilient, and some have even thrived by expanding into new markets globally. Franchising offers an attractive option for aspiring entrepreneurs who seek to start a business with the support and backing of an established brand. As such, the sector will likely continue growing and expanding in the coming years.