Businesses and individuals in Ards are being encouraged to explore the opportunities of franchising in the next wave of a dedicated programme, ‘Franchise It’.
The ‘Franchise It’ programme will provide information, advice and guidance on what’s available using the franchising business model, highlighting that franchises enjoy a 91% success rate, find it easier to access funding and despite popular belief, the costs of franchises start at as little as £2,000. The programme was launched locally by Ards Borough Council, Ards Business Centre and Franchising NI, Northern Ireland’s Franchising experts, in November 2012 and has proven so successful that a second wave has now began. Part of a wider SEED initiative, the scheme includes five other councils – Armagh City & District Council, Banbridge District Council, Craigavon Borough Council, Down District Council and Newry & Mourne District Council. Chairman of Ards Borough Council’s Development Committee, Alderman Robert Gibson, said: “People often shy away from self-employment because it can be seen as a high risk option, but taking on a franchise increases the chances of starting a successful business. The ‘Franchise It’ programme aims to equip local people who have an interest in becoming a franchisee with a unique chance to establish not only what opportunities there are, but which would be the best fit for their skills, experience and aspirations”. Franchising is defined as “the practice of using another firm’s established and successful business model” and is currently on the rise in Northern Ireland, with many successful local businesses now looking to team up with the right local person to grow their business. Barry Kelly, Franchising Services Manager at Franchising NI commented: “A number of franchisees on the first wave of this programme recently attended the International Franchise Show in London. This provided them with the perfect opportunity to explore and begin to source international franchise opportunities for the Northern Ireland Market.”
“Franchisors are actively recruiting in Northern Ireland, demonstrating the growth within the franchise market here in NI. We work hard to dispel the common misconception that franchising is a high cost involvement and participants learn that there are many affordable franchises available in Northern Ireland, operating within sectors of the market they may not have considered.”
John O’Hare, Economic Development Officer, for Ards Borough Council said: “The programme offers a fantastic opportunity to explore self-employment and in the current economic climate where many people are looking to diversify and try something new it couldn’t be timelier. The ‘Franchise It’ programme will provide background information, advice and guidance for those interested in exploring this potential business model.” The ‘Franchise It’ programme is being delivered by Ortus, Northern Ireland’s leading franchising experts. More information can be found at www.franchisingni.com/SEED and applications can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org