Released in January 2016, the 2015 British Franchise Association (BFA) / NatWest Franchise Survey found that the UK’s franchise sector was operating at record levels over the course of the past year. Specifically the industry hit all-time highs in turnover, employment, and the number of franchisee-owned businesses in 2015.
The survey calculated that franchising contributed a whopping £15.1 billion to the economy last year with over 44,000 franchisee-owned businesses now in operation across the UK. These businesses are estimated to employ up to 621,000 people.
And these businesses aren’t just running, they’re thriving. The survey found that 97% of the franchises surveyed were in fact profitable with over half of all UK franchises achieving turnover in excess of £250,000.
An interesting trend also emerged with todays youth: the number of young people (those under 30 years of age) entering the franchise sector is increasing. In fact, a fifth of franchisees who started their business in the last two years were under 30 when they did so.
The icing on the cake was the impressively low commercial failure rate, with less than 1% of franchises closing their doors for this reason last year.
Successful franchises within the UK also seem to be looking to grow abroad. Right now, four out of every five franchise brands is domestically owned in the UK. 38% of those were found to be expanding their business model overseas, and an additional 11% reported considering doing so in the future.
As the Director General of the BFA Brian Smart summarized, “Good franchising continues to deliver serious dividends for Britain’s economy, creating businesses, jobs and wealth for local communities across the country.. The outstanding performance of the sector, in good economic times and bad, shows the power of the franchise model and its impact on the UK’s business landscape increases each year.”
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