If a business can be set up and operated successfully, there’s a good chance it can be franchised. Any commercial business which offers a service to consumers or other businesses can likely be franchised. If you’re not sure what franchising is, franchising is a way of scaling a business model to reach a wider audience. Franchisors can make their business branding and system of operation available to franchisees who operate the business in their own area. Whilst some types of franchises are considerably obvious like coffee shops (eg Costa), fast food chains (eg McDonald’s), here are 15 types of businesses that you probably didn’t know could be bought as a franchise.
1) Locksmith Franchises
Coming under the security type franchises umbrella, it’s easy to overlook just how important locksmiths are in the UK. At first glance, being a locksmith might sound like an old fashioned term, but the reality is, they’re more important than ever. UK locksmith franchises will need to keep up with the evolution of security systems. Today, houses and cars are becoming more and more dependent on technology. From keyless entry to advanced locking systems, locksmiths continue to have their work cut out.
Despite a rapidly changing and evolving world, locksmiths are a constant, always in demand service. Although it might sound like a very niche, low demand market, many franchises diversify to offer a number of different services. Locksmith may just be one of several services offered by franchisees.
If you’re looking to invest in a locksmith franchise, the general investment area is around £20,000. Most are van-based businesses run by a single operator.
Top Examples of Locksmith Franchises
LockFit, LockRite, Fantastic Services and Lock Force are all established franchises offering locksmith services, correct as of 2022.
2) Soft Play Franchises
You might already be aware of various children franchises out there, such as baby sensory, children’s nursery franchises and movement classes. But did you know, there are a number of soft play franchises in the UK? If you have kids, you’ve probably considered taking your children to a soft play. Maybe on a rainy day, or on a bank holiday – there are several types of children’s play franchises out there.
You won’t necessarily need any experience working with children, because some soft play activity franchises may be run by employees. If the franchise requires you to be proactively involved in running the centre, some experience with children may be necessary.
You will need a premises in most cases, and your investment will often cover equipment and marketing. Up to £35,000 for fitting and marketing should generally be expected as an initial investment. As a soft play franchisee you’ll benefit from multiple revenue streams. Top soft play franchises include Krazy Kids and My Gym.
Top Examples of Softplay Franchises
Krazy Kids, My Gym
3) Pub Franchises
It’s true that most pubs are owned and operated by the business owner, but there are a number of pub franchises out there. Bar and pub businesses may not be well heard of, but as you’d expect, they’ll still benefit from constant, strong local demand. Although many pubs like Weatherspoons are not franchises, there are still numerous pub franchises out there. If you’re looking for a pub business with a twist, Boom Battle Bars is one of the best known pub franchises. Offering a range of activities such as axe throwing and darts, combined with your usual pub experience, these kinds of franchises draw in considerable interest. You’ve also got wine bar franchises such as Veeno.
Similarly to soft play businesses, you should expect to own a premises, but franchisors can help with site selection and finding a suitable premises if not.
Top Pub Franchise Examples
Boom Battle Bars, Veeno, Marstons, Bavarian Beerhouse
4) Pet Grooming Franchises
There are many pet businesses out there that aren’t franchised. A lot of people tend to establish a dog walking or grooming business, but don’t make the leap to franchise it. But having said that, a small percentage have franchised their pet grooming or walking businesses. Unfortunately, due to the abundance of self-established businesses, some franchises can fail to stand out from the crowd. But there are a small number that have definitely made the big time and any other grooming business could join them. One such example is Dial a Dog Wash. A well-established brand, dog grooming franchises such as the like are growing in demand. PDSA reports there are over 10 million dogs in the UK, and just as you would for your children, many owners are eager to offer the luxury of grooming for their pets.
Pet grooming franchises are usually van or home based, and you shouldn’t expect to pay more than £20,000 start-up investment. Around £10,000 should be reserved in working capital, for marketing and consumables. Mobile dog grooming franchises will often require a van, but franchisors will usually have agreements in place with vehicle lenders.
Top Pet Grooming Franchise Examples
Dial a Dog Wash
5) Chai Tea Franchises
The tea sector has really taken off over the past few years. Head to your local shopping centre and you’re likely to find some sort of shop, kiosk or stall offering a beverage called “bubble tea”. From bubble tea to chai teas and karak chai franchises, the tea sector has exploded. Once, coffee dominated the market with coffee franchises on every highstreet. Today, there is a rush to invest in businesses like chai franchises.
Immediate thought dictates your typical PG tips or Yorkshire tea you brew at home. But this isn’t that sort of franchise. True, cafe franchises will offer tea, but these are specialist chai franchises. Top chai franchises include CUPP Bubble Tea and Ding Tea franchise, many of which offer flexible packages. From kiosks to mobile tea franchises, investment really varies and a tea franchise could very much be yours for less than £50k investment. Thanks to the kiosk style operation, you won’t necessarily need a bricks and mortar premises, because franchisors will often have agreements in place with installers of these temporary type setups.
Top Tea Franchise Examples
Ding Tea, CUPP Bubble Tea
6) Auto Remapping Franchises
Remapping and engine tuning is where a professional will adjust various settings on computer software which controls a car engine, to change how the car runs. Most cars will have various settings pre-installed on their operating system, locked to different cars setting specific horsepower eg 100bhp, 125bhp etc. Usually these are all loaded onto the ECU, but only one is active per car model. Mechanics can change a 100bhp to 125bhp and vice versa, and obviously the bigger the engine, the higher the horsepower. Other functions can be adjusted too to the convenience of the owner.
Despite the rise of electric and hybrid vehicles, demand for remapping and engine tuning continues. Remapping franchises will often be run out of a garage premises, but there are some mobile remapping franchises out there as well. With the increase in petrol and diesel prices worldwide, vehicle owners continue to look to get the most out of their tank. Remapping is a great way to improve engine performance, but cars can also be remapped to provide a better MPG (Miles Per Gallon).
Because remapping can be quite a niche market, it is the ideal business to run as a part time operation in addition to another part time business. There are many different types of automotive franchises out there, from puncture repair to established repair franchises. Taking on a remapping franchise is a great way to compliment your existing automotive business.
Top Remapping Franchise Examples
7) Driving Instructor Franchises
While many driving instructor businesses out there are operated on an individual business owner basis, there are numerous driving school franchises out there. As the population grows, so does too, demand for driving instructors. Driving school businesses in the UK continue to see demand year-round, from both young drivers and adults alike looking to get on the roads.
Driving school franchises have very few overheads as well. The main costs involved will be fuel and keeping the car running fit. Many driving instructor franchises will utilise a website booking system so that driving instructors can keep back office admin to a minimum. Franchises have been developed to maximise turnover and minimise time off the road.
Top Driving School Franchises
Bill Plant Driving School
8) Dessert Franchises
The global coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst in the growth of the food delivery sector. Restaurants, cafes and dessert businesses have all seen growth in demand thanks to bolstered awareness of platforms such as Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
Did you know – there are a number of food delivery and food ordering franchises out there too!
There are many types of dessert businesses, and if you check your local food delivery website, there will probably be some sort of dessert restaurant in your area. Whether it is an ice cream or Donuterie, there is growing demand for dessert businesses and many of which are taking steps into franchising.
Top Types of Dessert Franchises
Dunkin Donuts, Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt
9) Tuition Franchises
Did you know there are a number of tuition franchises in the UK? While some are your typical home visit tutor franchises, others enable you to run your own education centers. Both of these types of tutor businesses are available as franchises. The main education franchises are maths and english, but there are several other curriculums offered as businesses for sale.
Usually you won’t need any business ownership or teaching experience, because tutor franchises will often involve you employing and managing a team of tutors, not actually teaching yourself.
Don’t forget that there are also many sports club franchises out there, especially for kids. From rugby to football, fencing to swimming.
Top Types of Tuition Franchises
10) Petrol Station Franchises
With the ban of sale on diesel and petrol cars quickly closing in, you might think investing in a petrol station franchise is a waste of time, but really it isn’t. Petrol stations are in fact diversifying to support the changing automotive sector. Many petrol station franchises now provide electric charging points, and some businesses even solely serve electric cars!
The future of petrol stations will likely end up being electric car charging forecourts. Pumps likely being replaced with fast charging points. One of the biggest reasons people are against electric cars is the lack of charging points, but as the move to battery and electric vehicles steadily grows, there hasn’t been a better market to explore.
If a petrol station franchise isn’t your thing, there are a number of van based charging point franchises as well. From Smart Home Charge to Mr Electric, charging point franchises are growing in demand, could you be the next franchisee?
And if you’re looking for a traditional petrol station, well – brands like Shell do still continue to take on partners. You will of course, need some land for setting up.
11) Bakery Franchises
You might associate bakeries with a small village shop but there are a number of bakery franchises in the UK. The top bakery franchises sell donuts, but one of the biggest ones is Cake Box. Businesses like Cake Box franchise sell a range of baked goods from cakes to donuts, primarily operating out of high street stores. From cake decoration franchises to donuts, cake related terms get a whopping 1.5 million Google searches per month in the UK, and the top of those searches is Cake Box at over 100,000 monthly searches.
There has never been a better time to invest in a bakery franchise, and franchises like Cake Box are at the top of the list of top bakery franchises to invest in.
12) Hair and Beauty Salon Franchises
Once, high street salons dominated the hair and beauty market. Today, and accelerated by the COVID pandemic, mobile beauty salon franchises are soaring in popularity. Many hair salons needed to keep their business flowing and one of the ways they achieved that was home visits. Many salons diversified to offer home visits for clients, to keep their businesses above the water. Now, it’s not uncommon to see hair and salon, even tanning salon franchises, offering home visits. By running a franchise as a mobile salon business rather than a store, costs are considerably reduced. This enables more people to get into business ownership in the lucrative beauty sector.
Whether you want to run a salon franchise in the highstreet, or run a mobile salon, there are many opportunities out there. To keep up with the times, mobile beauty franchises are tending to be a better choice, thanks to their flexibility.
Whilst most salons are solo startup operations, there are still a number of beauty franchises out there, and growing.
13) SEO and Marketing Franchises
Today, most businesses must have a website in order to keep up with trends. Spending habits are moving digital and most people will look online to purchase goods or services. But with everyone and their competitors having a website, how do you stand out from the crowd? SEO is a pain point for many. Part of that involves writing fresh, unique content. Link building is also necessary, and increasing domain authority. SEO franchises are businesses which help businesses improve their website ranking and outrank competitors. Ultimately, this leads to more business over their competitors. Higher rankings generally lead to higher clickthroughs, so having a good ranking website is a card that should be on every business’s table.
A lot of SEO franchises will involve marketing as well. Digital marketing, PPC and ads are all key parts of getting brand awareness. If you’re not tech savvy, you’ll be pleased to hear that you may not need any marketing or SEO experience. Most of the work will be outsourced, your main role will be finding clients and marketing your own business.
SEO franchises will usually cost less than £25,000 initial investment, and can often be run from home.
14) Lawn Mowing Franchises
Lawn Mowing actually forms part of a range of different services offered by garden and landscaping franchisees. If you’re looking for a franchise with many different potential revenue opportunities, a gardening franchise is definitely a good choice. Most franchisees will enjoy repeat business as well as one-off clients, either on a commercial or domestic basis. Lawn mowing franchises may either be done manually, or by using an automated mower such as those robots you often see on TV.
From artificial grass installation to real lawn maintenance, there are a lot of opportunities in the gardening sector. Landscaping is a very lucrative sector too.
15) Hotel Franchises
In most cases, those that invest in a hotel franchise will own an existing building. You probably don’t often hear of hotel franchises, because many such as Premier Inn are company-owned. However if an entrepreneur already owns a hotel – one they’ve set up and developed themselves, there are hotel franchises out there. Typically with hotel franchises, you’ll continue running your hotel business, but take on the franchised branding. Obviously building a hotel from scratch can cost a considerable amount of money, but you can still buy a hotel franchise UK if you’ve got a hotel.
Top Types of Hotel Franchises
We hope you found this article interesting. After all, that’s what franchise directories are for – discovering new and existing franchises, and learning more about the different types of franchise opportunities that are out there just waiting to be discovered!