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Franchising Research

Barnsley Business & Innovation Centre (BBIC) completed in 2015 possibly the most comprehensive research into the development of franchising in Yorkshire ever undertaken.

We identified the number of franchisees and franchise territories in the county representing the 900+ UK franchisors. Vacant territories were analysed so that a picture could be built up of the opportunity to boost both new business starts and jobs growth if these vacancies were filled.

This should be of prime interest to local council economic development teams who have targets to achieve in both growing their business base and increasing employment.

In launching the project, BBIC Chief Executive Adrian Waite said

“Franchising has an excellent track record in the UK, with impressive growth over the last 30 years.  In any analysis of business success over the crucial first five years of trading, franchise businesses have a better survival rate than independent business starts.”

“The BBIC itself has an equally impressive record of supporting independent businesses, and our existing tenants have been with us for an average of five years”.

“We are looking at creating a hub of franchising activity at the BBIC, with regular presentations on franchising as a concept and hoping to attract both franchisees and franchisors who would like to trade from the BBIC and collaborate for mutual development.”

We identified “active” franchisors from the 2015 editions of various franchise directories, and created a database of near enough 900 companies. We researched each one via the web, and concluded that there were between 350 and 400 franchisors who are very actively recruiting in the marketplace today. We made multiple contacts with all franchisors via email and phone, including an inclusion in the Coconut Creatives’ newsletter (http://www.coconutcreatives.co.uk/), to seek information on the number of franchise territories/outlets in Yorkshire, and how many are currently vacant. 150 franchisors replied to our requests, with varying degrees of detail.

The results of the project are summarised below.

Significant opportunities were identified within different parts of Yorkshire.

• In North Yorkshire 100 opportunities were identified
• In South Yorkshire 110 opportunities were identified
• In East Yorkshire 98 opportunities were identified
• In West Yorkshire 120 opportunities were identified

There is clearly a significant opportunity to promote franchising here in Yorkshire, with up to 400 vacant territories amongst 150 franchisors.

As a result of our research, we managed to secure funding to run a pilot programme to promote franchising as a concept here at the BBIC between January & March 2016.  A programme of workshops and seminars were put together focussing on both prospective franchisees and prospective franchisors.

If you are interested in discussing our franchising project in more detail then please contact Adrian Waite at awaite@bbic.co.uk


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