Choosing an Emerging Franchise Could Be the Best Business Decision You Will Ever Make

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You might think the main benefit of franchising is the chance to launch a business under a big-name brand - but emerging franchises can offer a wealth of other advantages. If you’re not committed to joining a household name like McDonald’s or Subway, why not consider becoming a franchisee with a new franchise? 

Previously, we’ve written articles comparing big-name brands with niche businesses, but here we’re looking at all the amazing benefits of investing in an emerging franchise. What makes new franchises unique and why should you choose one over a more established brand? Let’s find out.

What is an ‘emerging franchise’? 

There are a few different definitions of emerging franchises. You could limit the term to brand-new businesses able to use the franchise model early on to achieve rapid and sustainable growth. But, more often, the phrase is attributed to companies that have recently made the decision to franchise, no matter how long they’ve been in operation. 

Also in the category of ‘new franchises’ are companies with international franchise locations, but a newly established investment model in a given country. For instance, if a restaurant chain had already appointed franchisees in France, but later called for investors in the UK, Brits could refer to it as a new franchise.

Why choose a new franchise over an established brand? 

Here are some of the main benefits of investing in a new franchise: 

  • You can play a role in shaping the business - The franchisor will have established firm rules and guidelines for investors before rolling out their opportunity, but there’s still room for franchisees to drive innovation as the business evolves. Every franchise needs to implement fresh ideas and adapt to better satisfy customer demand, particularly if they’re new to the industry - and you could be the one to suggest changes. 

  • There are more opportunities for personal expansion - Many established brands have already dished out a large number of franchise contracts. So, if a franchisee wants to expand their business network by purchasing an agreement for a neighbouring territory, they may be disappointed to find it already occupied. However, this is rarely a problem for new franchises - as long as they move quickly! 

  • New franchises are often innovative, progressive and exciting - While not every emerging business is ground-breaking, many take things in a new direction, focussing on unexplored sub-sectors. As the concept behind new franchises are likely to have been developed recently, they can outpace competitors by introducing novel tech solutions and channeling current consumer habits and modern values.

  • Emerging franchises often have a family feel - Franchises often nurture a ‘family atmosphere’, but new companies in particular are likely to have a close-knit network of franchisees. As a result, there may be opportunities to arrange one-to-one meetings and professional development sessions with the franchisor, and make friends with your fellow franchisees. 

  • You can save money - Usually, smaller franchise opportunities come with a lower price tag than high-profile investment options. While large chains may be able to offer supplier discounts, thanks to their significant buying power, new franchises can offer impressively low initial investment costs. Launching a business with an established brand name can cost millions of pounds, but opting for a new franchise could mean parting with just a couple of thousand. 

  • You can minimise risk - The less money you invest, the less risk you take on. Saving capital from day one can help you reach your break-even point quickly and minimise the chances of going under in those first few weeks or months. In a nutshell, joining an emerging franchise can help you become your own boss while limiting your risk exposure. 

How to choose an emerging franchise 

1. Weigh up your own priorities - You can browse franchise opportunities for inspiration, but it’s always worth considering your preferences before you get attached to a particular model. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the type of business you’d like to join; is flexible, remote or part-time work important to you, for example?

2. Establish a budget - Banks are often willing to lend franchisees up to 70 percent of their investment total, so keep this figure in mind when you calculate your budget. It doesn’t matter if it’s low, as most emerging franchises don’t command high investment prices. 

3. Do your research - At this point, you’ll be ready to start exploring franchise opportunities. You can browse openings by geographical location, investment cost or sector from our main menu, or take a look at our selection of emerging franchises.

4. Talk to franchisors - Once you’ve found one or two franchises you’d like to explore further, you should plan to get in touch with their leadership teams. If possible, book a place on their discovery days, which will give you the chance to meet the franchisor and existing franchisees. Ideally, you should aim to build up a picture of the life you would have if you joined the franchise. 

5. Consult financial and legal professionals - The franchise model can be complicated, so going over your investment figures, revenue projections and legal obligations with an expert is a good idea. You’ll have the chance to review the franchise agreement and identify and resolve any potential problems before you put pen to paper.

Becoming a franchisee

Joining the franchise world can seem daunting, but it’s actually a fantastic way to become a business owner without the high level of risk associated with launching a start-up. If you need more guidance and advice, or just some reassurance, take a look at our catalogue of business articles. We offer insight into the process of becoming a franchisee, as well as tips to help you succeed in business.

You can also stay up to date with developments in the franchise world by visiting our news page.

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