In Scotland, the franchising industry is nearing an annual turnover of £1 billion, with a current contribution of £800 million per annum to the economy, according to Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association. The industry has shown consistent growth in employment, diversity, and modernisation, boosting the UK economy by generating a collective turnover of £17.2 billion. The 2018 bfa NatWest Franchise Survey revealed that 37% of new franchisees were women and 18% were under 30. The franchise industry provides solutions for those who want to become business owners but need flexibility due to family commitments or operate from remote areas like rural Scotland.
With 4 in 10 franchise systems being able to operate from home, franchising in Scotland can be a path to self-employment for anyone, regardless of location. Successful franchisees, such as John and Elaine Warburton, who own a Barking Mad franchise in Fife, prove that franchising can significantly improve quality of life by providing flexibility and autonomy. The couple won the Lifestyle award at the 2019 bfa HSBC Franchise Awards.
Franchising is a suitable option for anyone looking to start a business, as it can adapt quickly to societal and economic changes. From the 2018 survey, 93% of franchisees were profitable, and six in 10 franchise units turned over more than £250,000. However, building local relationships and connections is essential for the success of any business, even as a franchisee.
To promote franchising and educate on the opportunities available, the British Franchise Association has been organising the flagship event, Scottish Franchise Week, for 15 years, typically during the autumn.