Just over a year ago, as the Covid 19 pandemic was taking hold, many businesses were in a state of flux wondering what the future held for them. In reality most of them had 3 options:

  • Pause and see how things panned out
  • Panic and make knee jerk short and long term changes; or
  • Prepare for the post Covid 19 future

However, in all of the doom and gloom, franchising proved to be incredibly resilient. We saw the sector boom, and it continues to do so in 2021.

Kevin Thomas, Regional Director at Lime Licensing, said:

“We have seen a big increase in businesses looking to grow through the franchise route, and running in parallel with that we have seen similar growth in the number of people looking to buy a franchise.

The reasons for this are simple. Franchising is a relatively quick and easy way to grow a business at very little cost, and there are now more people than ever looking to work for themselves. The pandemic has fuelled uncertainty in the jobs market and the pool of potential franchisees is bigger than ever, with many wanting to take control of their future, and not have it in the hands of an employer.

Funding has always been something of an issue for potential franchisees, but initiatives like the government Start-Up Loan Scheme are now making it easier for individuals to own their own business.

Not all franchise businesses were resistant to Covid and some will take time to recover. However, that has led to increased interest in those businesses that were able to continue to trade during lockdown. So, if your business was one of those, then post Covid franchising is the way forward.”

When asked about his experiences during the pandemic, Steve Thompson, Managing Partner of Darwin Gray Solicitors, said:

“Whilst last year (2020) was quieter on the franchising front, this year has seen a clear uptick in the level of franchising activity in the UK market.

We have seen an increase from the perspective of business owners looking to franchise their business and also potential franchisees looking to invest in a franchise.

I believe that the number of people looking to invest in a franchise is one of the key barometers in the industry sector. As Kevin has said, there are a number of reasons for this. I personally think that many people, forced to work from home for long periods during lock down, have got used to a different way of life. They have experienced a significant period of not having the daily grind of a long commute and endless hours in the office. Some of those people will have come to the conclusion that they would prefer to be the masters of their own destiny. Also, whilst they are not necessary sufficiently entrepreneurial to start their own business, they have obviously seen that buying a franchise is a route to business ownership for them.

Using the “survival of the fittest” analogy, those businesses that have survived (and even thrived) during lockdown, may well be seen as a safer bet by newcomers to the franchise market.

Franchising has historically been fairly recession proof and, to some extent at least, it has shown itself to be resilient even during the most difficult times during a pandemic.

For advice on all legal aspects of franchising please contact the franchising team at Darwin Gray on 029 2082 9136 or sthompson@darwingray.com.

To discuss if franchising is right for your business, or for any franchise related matters please contact Kevin Thomas at Lime Licensing Group on 07527 508203 or kevin@limelicensinggroup.co.uk

This post was written by Darwin Gray. They are an exhibitor on the FranchiseShow247 Business & Professional services floor. You can visit their FranchiseShow247 exhibition stand here.