There is no denying that 2011 has been a difficult year for UK businesses. The economic recession forced sweeping changes in strategy for many businesses – add to this the change in Government at last year’s general election, increased unemployment and reported lack of available credit and it’s not surprising many firms have struggled.
However, with significantly better success rates than other businesses, the franchise industry is key to promoting job creation, stimulating economic growth and encouraging new start-ups. This is mainly due to the wide spectrum of industries covered by franchised businesses, the strength of the business model and the support provided by franchisors and other franchisees within the same networks.
Nowhere is this success more evident than this year’s bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards. Financial stability, innovation, creativity and the relentless pursuit of success were just a few traits demonstrated by this year’s finalists.
The overall winners, Mike and Catharine Chalton from Home Instead Senior Care in Wirral, showed that their key success was providing excellent customer service which has resulted in their business going from strength to strength. They are a true credit to the franchising industry, and an inspiration to small businesses across the UK.
So what about finance? Put simply, there is still plenty of funding available for sound business propositions. Your franchisees are in a stronger position than a standalone start-up business because of the help and support available to them. Requests for funding are more likely to be agreed if franchisees present a professional and credible business plan.
This could be the time to think about switching your business. There is often a nervousness that surrounds ‘switching your bank’, for fear of disrupting vital transactions. The UK’s leading banks, including HSBC, have signed up to a banking industry code that means they must make account switching speedier and easier for customers who have made their mind up their mind to change.
We have consistently welcomed new franchise business, and we are confident that by the time 2011’s Christmas trees have been packed away HSBC Franchise Unit will have improved on our 2010 lending figures by 200%.
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