As an aspiring retail entrepreneur, do you go for the relatively secure but limited franchise route, or the risky thrill of going solo?
The Independent:

Franchising has traditionally had a bit of an image problem in the UK. But the right formats offer those wishing to start their own businesses the opportunity to do so within an already tried and tested system.

However, there are still risks involved and those thinking of taking this approach should 1st spend time studying the market, competition and growth prospects. And if they have their eye on particular product or service franchises, they should check how some of the franchise holders are performing.

Last year was a record-breaking year for franchising, according to the latest NatWest/British Franchise Association survey. Turnover rose l3% to £10.3bn and the number of franchise systems grew at the fastest rate since l999. There are many variations, but 6 categories predominate – catering and retailing, personal, property, automotive and business services. Are they all making money?