Is a franchise the recipe for a happy business marriage or the backdrop to an inevitable battle of independent minds? Jez Davison asks 3 Teesside business partners who said â€˜I doâ€™.
Former chef Derek Lancaster is one of the growing breed of Teesside workers whoâ€™ve ditched their day job to run a franchise. '5 years on, I can say I made the right choice,' he says.
Others obviously share Derekâ€™s enthusiasm for the civil partnership of the business world because franchised businesses in the UK are growing 5 times faster than the overall economy. Although still a small sector, last year their turnover increased by a
spectacular 15%, compared to UK Ltdâ€™s compared with a relatively modest 3.1% rise in GDP. But then the 34,200 franchise operators include some of the biggest names in business whoâ€™ve stamped their brand across the UK on the back of a network of faceless, but often highly profitable, entrepreneurs.
For many of them, taking on a franchise offers a comfy alternative to the scary prospect of starting a business alone and from scratch. The opportunity to buy into an established brand with a proven business model and a ready-made order book seems much more attractive than getting your own idea off the ground.