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Buying a franchise?

Buying a franchise?
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Starting your own business can be an extremely exciting and rewarding experience. However, many new business owners will tell you how difficult the first few months or years can be; particularly when you’re starting from scratch and you’re all on your own.


That’s why many people choose to take a half-way house between employment and self-employment – a franchise.


What is a franchise?


With a franchise, you buy into an existing business. You acquire the right to use their business idea, business model, brand, and company practices. This is franchising.


A first-time on-their-own business owner will often encounter many bumps in the road in the early days because they have to do everything for themselves and there’s just no (effective) training on how to do it. With a franchise, you use a tried and tested company formula to start and run your business, receiving ongoing guidance and support from the franchiser.


There are hundreds of different franchises in the UK in every industry from coffee shops to pest control. You can see a full list of franchises currently up for offer at Franchise Direct with some starting for as little as £900.


Why would someone want to buy a franchise?


One of the reasons franchises are so popular is that they are based on a proven business idea. As a solo entrepreneur, you may have the best business plan your accountant has ever seen but that does not necessarily mean the business will take off.


With a franchise, you can see for yourself how that business has succeeded over and over again in the past, meaning you have more of a guarantee that there is a market for the product or service you’re selling. Good franchisors, on discovering improvements on how the business can be run, shares this best practice with its franchisees for everybody’s benefit.


Another perk of buying a franchise is that you are using a recognised brand name. Rather than having a slow uptake period where you build your reputation, you immediately trade using a well-known moniker– meaning people are more likely to buy from you right from the start.


Your franchise also provides a comprehensive support package which could include:

  • Introductory training,
  • Training in particular areas of running a business,
  • Help in setting up, such as finding your business premises,
  • An operations manual to tell you how to run the business, as well as
  • Continued support and guidance.

Securing a loan for a franchise with a good track record is also generally much easier than finding finance for a brand-new and untested start-up. Some franchisers even provide financial support to those looking to buy into a franchise by helping them to secure a loan or start-up finance.


How would you choose a franchise?


Before you decide to invest your hard-earned money on a franchise, it is important that you evaluate it carefully first. This is a serious investment that should not be made lightly so make sure you do as much research as possible before signing anything or paying any money over.


The franchisor will provide you with an information pack when you ask for one. It will answer all the basic questions you may have. From here, you will need to do some digging for yourself.


Gather all the information you can about the industry the franchise is in as if you were starting the business from scratch. Be sure to speak to your bank about your plans and see what advice they can give you on franchising. You may also wish to speak to a franchise consultant beforehand.


Look into the franchisor in question to determine how suitable they may be. How long has their business been trading? How long have they been franchising for? Are they British Franchise Association members? Do you know how much training and support you will receive?


When it comes to deciding on which franchise to buy, you’ll want to look at both the costs involved and likely returns you can expect. Is the reward worth the risk?


Most franchisors charge an initial fee to cover training, development and administration set-up costs followed by a monthly royalty payment, usually based on turnover. Can you and your accountant see where the margin is coming from? Is this a proper business, not you spending a fortune to buy a job?


On top of this, we recommend that before you decide on purchasing a particular franchise, you should:

  • speak to the franchisor to ask any questions you may have,
  • get a sample contract drawn up and examined by your solicitor,
  • visit at least two franchisees to see their success,
  • carry out market research in your chosen area, and
  • prepare your own business plan and compare it against the sample one provided by the franchisor? Does the franchisor’s business plan look to good to be true?

We can help


We’re experienced in providing accounting and business support and services to franchisees so why not speak to us? Call the Panthera team on 01235 768 561 or email


What our clients say

For us, there is nothing better than a happy customer. Here are just a few that let us know how much we mean to them.

Pete Dungey

Simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

We found Panthera via our search for a Xero expert. We knew the software we wanted to use, and needed a forward-thinking accountancy partner who could get us up and running, and teach us the ropes moving forward. Tory and her team have always been on hand to answer our questions, and help us to grow as a business, particularly during periods of big change, such as becoming VAT registered. They are always on hand to alleviate any concerns and help to keep our records in order, which makes our year-end accounts an absolute breeze! Being based in Bristol, our relationship is entirely email based, alongside one consolidation meeting at year end - this keeps things simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

Pete Dungey Kaleido Grafik Limited
Anita van Eijndhoven

Talk Our Language

The support and service we receive from Panthera Accounting is very good. Everything from regular meetings, a prompt e mail response and the transition of our Xero software (which we find very pro active indeed) has and is all remarkably efficient. We find Panthera talk our language and make any process as painless and easy as possible.

Anita van Eijndhoven Quidne-IT
Ash & Tim Lane

Panthera brush aside the stereotype of the typical accountant

We got in touch with Panthera Accounting by way of a recommendation; we haven't looked anywhere else since. They are an extremely professional yet relaxed group of people. We were slightly daunted by the idea of accountants but Panthera brushed aside y the stereotypes. They are very understanding when answering any questions we may have. They are completely efficient, offer sound business advice, and are fantastically priced. We will continue to recommend them.

Ash & Tim Lane Starveacre Fencing
Jayne Johnson

An Asset to my Business!

The whole team at Panthera are great! Working with them has been a huge support to my growing business. They help me to understand the numbers I need to know. They give me technology solutions like Xero so that I can process things quickly and have access to my own figures. They are quick to reply, highly knowledgeable, nothing is too much trouble and as well as making sure that everything is compliant and on time, they are enthusiastic, professional and fun to work with.

Jayne Johnson Better People
John Baker

Absolute joy - they provide a first class service on every level

Working with Tory and the team at Panthera is an absolute joy - they provide a first class service on every level; from simple Xero issues through to more complicated tax enquiries, they’re always on-hand to help me get it right. I’m certainly not their biggest customer, but I’m always made to feel like their most important one.

John Baker BKR Solutions
John Castle

Professional and Friendly

I would like to say that Panthera Accounting have helped me with my business accounts for more than 4 years now. They have consistently offered an excellent competitively priced service that works both professionally and in such a friendly way that I would highly recommend them to everyone considering using their services.

John Castle Ilexanna Limited & Birch Castle Homes Limited
Jonathan Morrison

They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues

I had been with Mr Dunn for 20 years when upon his death Panthera took over the business. They now play a bigger part in the running of my business, they do all the stuff that has to be done but I don't like doing ie book keeping, VAT, wages, and returns. They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues and make sure all Tax deadlines are met. Their costs are fair, service is great and I have and would highly recommend them.

Jonathan Morrison Wallingford Builders
Pippa Scott

Professional, friendly and personal service.

Panthera Accounting have gone above and beyond the call of duty to guide and support our Company. They offer a professional, friendly and personal service that can take the stressful and sometimes frightening feelings out of running a business. They have guided us through the working of Xero and have offered “teaching sessions” on the day to day running of the accountancy package. Our only regret is that we didn’t join their team earlier.

Pippa Scott Scott's Commercial Services Limited
Sara Southey

Panthera puts the personal back in to accountancy!

Tory and her team have provided a friendly, approachable and helpful service from the start. They have delivered a quality service, above and beyond anything I could have expected. Panthera, with the help of the Xero package, have taken the stress, strain and confusion out of managing my company and personal accounts. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Sara Southey Bluestones Garden Design
Tracey Miller

Panthera are fantastic.

Panthera are fantastic. Always professional, going the extra mile for their clients and delivering superb service. I recommend them all the time to my clients.

Tracey Miller Bigger, Brighter, Bolder BBB

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