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2009 is predicted to be a boom year for the franchise industry according to specialist consultancy Franchise Development Services (FDS). The company, which also publishes The Franchise Magazine and The UK Franchise Directory, reports that since the end of November 2008 over 2,000 people registered an interest in owning and operating a franchise through its publications and websites.

“With thousands of people throughout the UK being made redundant and more facing the prospect of losing their livelihoods, many of those fortunate enough to receive redundancy payments or have capital available for investment are expected to give very serious consideration to entering self employment by purchasing a franchise,” says FDS Founder and Chairman Professor Roy Seaman CFE (Certified Franchise Executive). “They are examining the facts and discovering that it is easier to start a low overhead business than find a job with a salary comparable to the one that they have lost.”

FDS maintains a database of over 50,000 prospective franchise owners in order to match them with specifically requested franchise brands or recommended franchisors from areas of stated interest. While much of 2008 saw a downturn in recorded interest in the franchise sector, which FDS attributes to concerns about falls in the values of people’s assets (much of which are tied to the falling housing market), FDS saw a remarkable turnaround during December. FDS recorded an increase of over 100 percent in potential franchise owners requesting information in relation to opportunities available.

“Recession is actually an ideal time to start your own business, especially if you choose the franchise option,” comments Professor Seaman. “The competition is likely to be weakened in a recession, while simultaneously customers are hungry for products and services that they can trust – this is where nationally recognised franchise brands score heavily against those independently owned and operated. There is also the reassuring fact that very few franchisors actually go out of business.

“In 2009 there is a lower opportunity cost to investing in a franchise: there are few jobs that can be considered secure and there is very little benefit in hanging on and hoping for the best. Major companies are slashing their marketing which creates opportunities for smaller businesses and franchise owners can take the lead through the greater purchasing power, established customer base and market know-how of their parent franchisors. With over 1,250 franchise brands representing over 200 business categories in the UK, there is a great deal to choose from and you can buy into a genuine Business Format Franchise from as little as £10,000.”

There is a wealth of information on the FDS web site for anyone looking to get started or they can contact FDS on +44 (0)1603 620 301.

More Information

Professor Roy Seaman CFE, E-mail:, Tel. +44 (0)1603 620301
Marisa Aeschbach, E-mail:, Tel. +44 (0)1603 620301
Franchise Development Services Ltd, Franchise House, 56 Surrey Street, Norwich, NR1 3FD, UK

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