The rise of the Internet age has brought about a great opportunity for businesses which are focused on the Internet and Web as their source of customers and income.
Reports carried out in mid 2009, report that over 48 million people in the UK were using the Internet. This is a staggering 79.8% of the UK population. With such a huge audience, its no surprise that Internet business opportunities of all kinds, including franchises, are springing up everywhere.
The advantage of choosing an internet franchise is that you are buying into a proven concept. The main benefit of a franchise system is that the franchisor should have successfully piloted their idea and proven its potential as a viable business proposition. The method and formula which makes the business work can then documented and replicated by another who buys into the franchise opportunity.
It’s easy to see why the franchise model has quickly become popular in the UK. For the franchisor, it provides a great way to expand their network, their income potential and increase their brand awareness. For a potential franchisee, it’s a ready-packaged, proven business formula to follow along with training and backup support.
You will find a range of different Internet Franchises for example:
- Local community/services website promoting local businesses
- Web design businesses
- Web Consultancy
Some other advantages of choosing an Internet franchise business would be:-
- Most can be run from the comfort of your own home
- No physical products or stock to deal with
- Low start up costs with many Internet franchises requiring under £10,000 investment
You may not need any previous experience to take on an Internet franchise since training and support are generally provided by the franchisor, although being able to use a computer and having an interest in the Internet would obviously be an advantage.
You can see a selection of Internet franchises in the UK by looking a some of the online Internet franchise directories.
With online shopping growing and an increasing number of people looking to the internet as their first stop for buying products and services, online franchises are part of a growth market. Even for those that don’t actually buy online, the internet is becoming a frequent place for people to carry out research before making a buying decision.
When you consider the non-geographical nature of online business along with the wide variety of products and services that lend themselves to being traded online, its clear that online franchises have a promising future.
Online franchises are potentially very attractive start up options as many can be run from home with no need for commercial office or premises, keeping overhead costs down. The flexibility that they can provide, forms another part of the attraction in that a website can be open 24 hours a day. This means your door is always open for visitors and potential customers to your site even if you leave it unattended, unlike a conventional business which requires constant staffing whilst it is open for business.
Some of the online franchises currently available are:-
- Local Directory Service Franchises
These local business directories are a great source of local information for potential consumers. The idea of this type of franchise is to market the directory to local businesses offering them online advertising exposure to the local community.
- Web Design and Marketing Franchises
These are provision of web site design and marketing services usually business to business. The idea of this franchise is to provide a portfolio of website marketing options to potential buyers. Generally, very little technical expertise is required by the franchise operator as they effective sell services that are sourced and/or provided by the franchisor themselves.
Investing in an Online Franchise
As with any other business investment, its prudent to carry out your research prior to investing in an online franchise. Take time to look at your strengths and weaknesses and look at options which match your personality and the things you enjoy doing.
Finance will also be a big consideration so take time to explore funding options with your bank. The bank may also be able to provide you with some history of the franchise. Make sure you visit the franchisor to see their setup and also speak to a selection of franchisees to get on-the-ground feedback about how the franchise performs for them day-to-day.
Make sure you take legal advice as there will be legal contracts involved in the franchise startup and it pays to be properly informed and covered against any repercussions. Once you have made your choice, dedicate yourself to following the proven system and making the franchise work for you.