5 reasons to consider buying a franchise 
There are many reasons why you may want to become a business owner, whether you like the idea of being your own boss, or you’re looking for an opportunity to work more flexibly. 
Whatever is your motivation, the most important thing to decide when starting out on your own is whether you want to set up your own business from scratch, or if you want to find a franchise opportunity that suits you. 
Starting your own business offers lots of advantages, but it isn’t for everyone and comes with risk and uncertainty. Opening a franchise, on the other hand, can provide many of the benefits of being a business owner, but with the added support and backing of an established company. 
If this sounds appealing, read on to learn about 5 reasons to purchase a franchise. 
1. A proven system 
For a franchise to be successful, it must have a proven business model and, by partnering with a reputable, well-established brand, you can know you’re investing in a model that has been tried and tested and has worked effectively for the existing franchise network. 
Purchasing a franchise removes the trial and error and reinventing of the wheel that often comes with starting from nothing – you simply need to follow the guidelines set out by what has worked effectively for the existing franchise network, and you will reap the rewards of a winning formula. 
2. Fewer risks 
There is always an element of uncertainty with starting a business, but franchisees can minimise much of the risk associated with being a business owner by becoming part of a brand that already has an established presence and customer base. 
When you set up your own business, you forego the security and stability that comes from using an established operating system. However, if you do your research and find a suitable franchise, you can rest assured that your investment is relatively safe, making it a much more solid decision than using up your savings to start your own business. 
In addition, you won’t be forced to make crucial business decisions alone, which takes away another layer of risk associated with business ownership and provides a much-appreciated safety net. 
3. Pre-existing product/service demand 
Another major advantage of investing in a reputable franchise is that you will be marketing and selling a product or service from brand that you know there is already a demand for. There will be no need to spend time and money on developing, trialling, and improving your products and services and your new business will be ready for you to hit the ground running straight away. 
In contrast, starting a business from scratch can be a lengthy process. Not only will you need to build your brand credibility and market share from the ground up, but some customers may also be unsure about working with a newly established business, which is one reason why 60% of start ups fail within five years. 
4. A higher success rate 
As with any business, there are several factors that can affect your level of success, but the failure rates for franchisee-owned businesses remain incredibly small compared to those of independent businesses. In fact, a record 97% of franchisees in the UK reported profitable growth in 2016, whilst the risk is much higher for start-ups, with just 4 in 10 small businesses in the UK expected to still be trading after five years. 
Rolling out a tested and proven business model ensures your future success, and mistakes that lead to failure can be avoided because the franchisor will have made these before you and will have learnt from them. 
5. Access to support 
When you buy a franchise, you get the many years of experience that the franchise company has in marketing the company, and you will receive all the training you need from your franchisor to set yourself up for success and avoid mistakes. 
As your business grows, your franchisor will offer you ongoing guidance on every aspect of your business, and you will have a strong support network behind you every step of the way. After all, it’s in the interest of a franchisor to invest in their franchisees, so they will help and support you to make the chances of success higher. This support is appreciated by franchisees too, with 91 per cent surveyed by the British Franchise Association [BFA] stating they are satisfied with their franchisor. 
Clearly franchising has many benefits for those who want a taste of the business world and the freedom to become their own boss. 
Whilst it may not be for everyone, if you research thoroughly and carefully consider your own goals, it can be a solid and safe investment. Getting started may be a daunting prospect but remember, franchising means you are never doing it alone. 
Kevin Brent is director of business support provider and franchise, BizSmart 
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