Franchising: finding a career that suits you

Pip Wilkins from the bfa describes why franchising might help you if you are stuck in a career rut.



Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association, explains how franchising can help you achieve a successful change without years of retraining and climbing the career ladder.

Unfortunately, it’s a long-time narrative for people to stay in a job or a career that they don’t enjoy or benefit from, remaining in a role or with a company for years, usually because of job security, having to retrain/or take a significant pay cut or, in some cases, a fear of the unknown.

Switching your career is never a simple decision, with many worried that it might be too late to change direction and pursue their true interests.

According to Career Change statistics, the average person will change careers five to seven times during their working life, with recurring reasons for leaving being money, disillusionment with the role, personal values not aligned with those of the organisation and workplace culture.

By the age of 42, the average person will have had around 10 jobs. If you want to make a career change, then it’s important to understand your motive for this decision.

Leaving one job for another can be daunting, but it’s even more crippling when leaving a role to pursue a passion that you may not have been trained for or have experience within.

A franchise solution

This is where franchising could be for you. In an industry that boasts of over 900 diverse business format franchise systems, you could potentially have the opportunity to invest in a business to own and operate in a sector that you want.

Whether you love dogs, hair, numbers or food, there is a business out there for you. While you may think you need a host of qualifications and experience to even be considered as a franchisee, in many cases you’d be mistaken.

Some franchisors may look for this, but it is more important to most franchisors that the person who they recruit displays ideal characteristics such as passion, ambition, enthusiasm and being a team player, as well as sharing brand values.

Becoming a franchisee means you are committing to a brand and therefore have a responsibility to the franchisor and wider network to ensure you maintain the brand’s reputation.

It’s as much of a commitment to the franchisor as they are putting their established name in your hands, so they will look for ideal qualities, as running a business will take dedicated time and hard work to lift the business off the ground if it’s a new territory, or to expand the business as a resale.

It can also typically take more than a year to make a return on investment, which makes picking the right person who is willing to put in the hard work extremely important.

A franchise story

After two decades in accounting, Carmen Irving decided, at the age of 46, it was time to pursue her passion for travel organising.

She joined The Family Holiday Franchise in 2017 as a franchisee and set up her MadCat Travel Business in Aberdeen.

We speak to Carmen and find out how franchising has made her dream possible.

What finally pushed you to follow your passion?

Being in my mid 40s I didn’t want to spend the rest of working days doing something my heart wasn’t into.

The company I had worked for for over 10 years had also gone through some major changes and I no longer enjoyed the job or the company.

How has franchising helped prepare you for a new industry?

Breaking into the travel industry would have been extremely difficult and expensive, but going down the franchise route allows you to have your own business while working with a reputable company which has the experience, systems and

Do you have a balance now that finally works for you and your family?

To be honest, building your own business is time-consuming, but what having your own business does allow you is the flexibility to work around your family and do the hours which work well for you.

What has been the biggest benefit to joining a franchise?

It has allowed me to open a business in an industry I love and do something I really enjoy, something I didn’t think I would be able to do.

Scottish Franchise Week

Franchising within Scotland has remained steady, with £800 million per annum consistently contributed to the UK economy year on year.

The British Franchise Association’s aim is to help push franchising to become a billion pound industry by 2021.

The bfa has held the annual ‘Scottish Franchise Week’ for 15 years to promote the fantastic opportunities to be had in franchising.

Commencing on the week beginning September 9, there are a host of educational opportunities for people considering joining the franchise industry. You can find out more here.

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