It doesn’t take all that much to notice all the franchises popping up everywhere, which is the whole point of a franchise in any case. A considerable number of business hopefuls utilise franchising as their route to market, whether it’s a fast-food establishment, an automotive company, or even a chain of pubs. In fact, over 120 industries can currently be identified to have franchised companies, with this model normally seeing the franchisee receiving assistance with operations including the selection of their site and development, as well as support, operating manuals, quality control, branding standards, training and business advisory support from the franchisor.
In this post we zone-in on some top franchises in the UK, how they got to where they are and some lessons we can learn from them.
Originally named Martin’s Free House, the first Wetherspoon’s to open its doors operated out of a former bookmakers store in North London, in 1979. The chain thrives by positioning itself in key locations, embracing the festival spirit with its involvement in a biannual beer festival (with 60 beers on tap), as well as offering great meal deals that prove to be extremely popular.
Flexibility and adaptability have helped Wetherspoon’s succeed the most.
John Gregg’s delivery service began in the 1930s, delivering eggs and yeast to families on his pushbike in Newcastle upon Tyne. John subsequently opened a small bakery on Gosforth High Street in 1951 after having his delivery service help families bake their own bread for over a decade, with Ian Gregg taking over the business following the death of his father.
The company expanded and invested in a large Technical Centre, today operating out of nearly 1,700 shops nationwide while still keeping their roots in their local communities. So while there’s a popular range nationally, regional favourites are sold depending on where you are.
Founded in Manchester by John Looker in 1908, Lookers enjoys a long history which includes involvement in the Second World War and a stock exchange listing, now operating as one of the UK’s top three motor vehicle retailers. Lookers offers a variety of car service parts, representing 32 manufacturers and selling car types through 150 franchised dealerships. Key business features include valuing of the people you serve as a company, a philosophy which has seen the Group receiving top employer accreditations in 2017 and 2018 (UK). It’s important to look after your own to succeed, as the Group recognises.
While we only explored three examples from what is a much, much bigger selection of successful franchises, what’s clear to see is that there is continuous growth in the franchise world and it doesn’t seem to matter which industry you’d select. The ready-made business model you get allows you to keep your skills sharpened while you join a business that’s already thriving, making you feel that you may just have a better chance of succeeding. So if you’re a budding business owner, be sure to research the availability of any possible franchises which could be of interest to you before you go ahead with your idea.