New Entrepreneur? Top First Franchises For Getting Into Business

Get into business for yourself but not by yourself. Five top franchise opportunities for you to explore on your first trip to business ownership.

New Entrepreneur Tips for Franchise Owners

New Entrepreneur? Top First Franchises For Getting Into Business

Looking to get into business but not sure where to start? If you’re looking to get into entrepreneurship, becoming a business owner and taking control of your career, the steps forward may not seem immediately clear. There are a handful of ways you can get in to business ownership. Obviously the first route is to start your own business, and another is to buy a business for sale. But for those that haven’t delved too deeply into the prospect of business ownership, franchising is an option that’s not out of reach for most people.

What is Franchising?

Coming immediately to mind are big chains like KFC and McDonalds, both of which usually demand high worth companies and individuals eager to develop areas with multiple units. And while these are both top franchise opportunities for sale in the UK, they’re likely not the sort of business you’d want to be jumping into on your first venture, unless of course you’ll already an experienced business owner. But there are many other attractive franchise opportunities out there. A franchise is a business model, who’s brand and systems that has been developed to be operated across multiple locations seamlessly by third parties. You, or an already-established business/company looking to rebrand, it doesn’t matter who the third party is, so long as they are ambitious and eager to bring the franchisor’s brand to their area.

Franchising has existed for many decades, growing from humble sales of sewing machines to fast food and pet sitting. With ever growing support for franchising, not just from the British Franchise Association, but from the banks, legal teams and other businesses, now is a great time to get in to business ownership through franchising.

Why is Franchising Ideal for New Business Owners?

For someone looking to start a business of their own, franchising is a very good choice. It is widely recognised that 93% of franchisees claim profitability, with only 1% of franchisees UK failing due to commercial failure. With many promising stats, including a greater success rate compared to independent start-ups, there’s just no end for the support for franchising.

You’ll Be Supported

Franchising isn’t regulated by the government here in the UK, which means businesses can franchise themselves and entrepreneurs can buy a franchise with no involvement from a regulatory body. However the British Franchise Association, set up over 50 years ago, works to support franchisors, franchisees and businesses involved within franchising. Through training, provision of trusted partners, banks etc, and so much more. You’ll even find that its members go through rigorous checks to become a partner. That means checks of the operations manual and franchise agreement, plus network stability and background checks of franchisees.

As part of the franchise package, your franchisor will also provide full training and support. If you’ve never owned a business before, this will sound very welcoming. The business will be yours, but you’ll have full support behind you if you need it. Plus ongoing research and development to ensure your business continues to thrive.

A Business in a Box

From the branding and business model to ongoing support, R&D and national marketing, franchising provides you with the tools to supercharge your entry into business ownership. Whether you’re looking to run a mobile coffee business or pet sitting, the answers to all of your questions will likely have been asked by other franchisees – and answered, franchisees which haven’t looked back. Franchising generally has a 93% success rate, according to a bfa survey. With a franchise, you get access to suppliers, partners and an established brand. Everything you need to launch a business under a proven brand name.

Full Training and Support

Unsure where to start? The franchisor will provide you with full initial training and continued access to support if you need it. Many franchises will place you with an existing nearby franchisee for on the job, hands on training as well. Outside of a particular franchise network, support from the British Franchise Association is available with resources for new franchisees, plus your franchisor will usually have contacts with various franchise consultants and legal advisors too. Not to mention finance, vehicle leasing and many more.

What to Look For When Buying Your First Franchise?

So what should you look for when buying your first franchise? Let’s take a look at the parts.

A Business You’ll Enjoy

A fairly obvious one to start. If you’re getting a new job, you’ll want to do something you’ll enjoy. This means something you can see yourself doing for many years on. Franchise agreements usually last five years. This duration gives a form of commitment that you’ll be able to fully establish the territory and you won’t get cold feet. Because franchise fees aren’t always refundable! So it’s important that you’ll see yourself doing 5 to 10 maybe more, years down the line.

The best franchisees, the franchisees that do well, want to be successful. They are eager to take on new business and grow. You should find a franchise that you’ll enjoy.

Make a List of Franchises

Make a list of franchises that interest you, a minimum of five. Research them. Find out if your territory is available. Or if not, your closest available territory. Do you know the area well? Are there any online groups (eg Facebook) community groups for the local area that you’ll be able to market in? Look into the franchises you choose, and weigh out the pros and cons of each.

When exploring franchises, carry out due diligence. Explore each opportunity in detail, are they a British Franchise Association member? How many franchisees do they have and how long have they been franchising?

Is the Price Right?

Franchising is a proven system which includes everything you need to start a business. For example Oven Cleaning, franchises which are usually around £15K. This sum might sound like a lot, compared to what your initial expectations might be for starting up alone, but remember that a typical oven cleaning franchise will include:

  • Vehicle livery application
  • A tank, supplied and fitted to your van, for cleaning racks etc.
  • Training and support, a hand if you ever need it.
  • A brand name that is established and has recognition across neighbouring territories near you.
  • Equipment and supplies to keep you going
  • Marketing materials to launch and maintain growth of the business

If you were to garner this by yourself, as a new unestablished business, the costs may be higher. You won’t be getting leads through a national, centralised website, you won’t be benefitting from group marketing such as TV and media campaigns. You’ll be at square one, with no purchasing power.

But you need to ask yourself, can you afford it? As a rule of thumb, you should have a similar figure of that of the investment, aside in working capital. Not all franchises need working capital, some are cash positive from an early stage. But as a new entrepreneur, it’s only natural you’ll be sceptical of your investment and want to minimise your initial costs. Therefore, we recommend a low cost franchise as your first venture. Low cost franchises usually lie under £15K.

5 Best Types of Franchises for a New Business Owner

So, what are the top franchises for someone who is new to franchising? We list some of the top types of franchises you can run if you’re looking to start a business first time.

1. Internet and Home Based Franchises

The king of all affordable franchises – home based. With some of the lowest cost opportunities across the board, there are even a number of zero cost franchises in the UK! Usually with a home based franchise, all you need is a laptop and a phone. From PA assistant services like Pink Spaghetti, to SEO and web development franchises. Although many home based franchises incorporate driving, there are many which are purely home based, available from less than £10K.

Some top types of home based franchises include:

  • Travel and tourism franchises
  • Virtual PA and telephone answering franchises
  • Food ordering app franchises
  • Management type businesses like cleaning (explained in section 5) where you take on staff to carry out labour, but you mainly operate the business from home.
  • Vending, and other “silent salesman” businesses which work “for you” after you’ve installed the machine.

Some top home based franchises for new entrepreneurs:

Pink Spaghetti, Mobile App City, it’seeze

2. Van Based Franchises

A fair share of franchise opportunities UK are van based. Aside from fuel and insurance, which will be factored into the profits and losses chart available from the franchisor before you invest, overheads are fantastically low. With high earning potential, your day to day role will be visiting clients. Be it a domestic or commercial business, from windscreen repair, to oven cleaning, beer line cleaning to mobile salon, most van based franchises are available from less than £15K. Your vehicle livery and equipment installation (if required) is included in the franchise investment.

Ideal for a new entrepreneur, whether or not you already own a van, because of the owner operated nature of van franchises you’ll usually be able to focus on building your business, driving forward, and not having to worry about big overheads like staff and premises running costs.

A list of top van franchises in the UK:

  • Pizza and Italian mobile food franchises
  • Coffee van franchises, conversion is usually part of the franchise investment
  • Burger and other food van franchises
  • Van based oven cleaning franchises
  • Window cleaning franchises
  • Mobile tyre fitting, auto repair, chip repair and windscreen repair
  • Gardening, artificial lawn installation and landscaping opportunities for those that enjoy the outdoors.

The best van based franchises for new entrepreneurs:

Screen Rescue Commercial Windscreen Repair, ChipsAway, Revive!, HomeTyre, Trophy Pet Foods

3. Vending Franchises

Your two main types of vending franchise are vending towers and coffee machines. There are others, such as snack / charity boxes, but these are ideal for running on the side of an existing job or business due to their slow and low turnover. When it comes to vending tower businesses, the earning potential is usually unlimited. You’ll likely start off small with distributing a few towers, and then scale your business outwards to make more money. Vending is usually ideal for a new business owner because the franchise startup costs are incredibly low. Usually less than £5k complete investment. You find a suitable site for a tower and purchase stock. You make money from the stock sold. You buy more stock, a small commission goes to the franchisor, otherwise you make most of the profits from the tower sales. The more towers you own, the greater your turnover. It’s a simple business model that although won’t make you a great deal initially, it lets you into the world of franchising really smoothly, still offering the potential to turnover more than £2K a month.

Coffee vending machines are a little more hands on, you’ll usually service and maintain the machines well. Both of these types of opportunities are perfect for a new entrepreneur with limited cash.

Best vending franchises for new business owners:

Tubz Vending, Cafe Lavista, Drink Link

4. Pet Franchises

Most pet businesses available as franchises can usually be invested from less than £15K. They’re usually home or van based as well, making overheads reasonably low. Beneficially for new business owners, more than 50% of households own a pet, which means you will probably have at least half of your territory as potential customers from day one. From dog walking and grooming to more interesting niches such as cat sitting, dog training and pet food supplier, there is a lot of choice in the market. If you love pets then this will definitely be a good business choice, with speedy break even and high profit margins.

Take time to explore the pet franchises sector as there are a lot of opportunities out there.

Best pet franchises for new entrepreneurs:

Dial a Dog Wash, Husse UK, OSCAR Pet Foods, The Cat Butler

5. Cleaning Franchises

Even if the prospect of cleaning other people’s property doesn’t appeal to you, with a cleaning franchise, it likely won’t be you doing the cleaning at all! Not unless you wish to, or unless you opt for a van based cleaning franchise like oven cleaning. Which although can be grown to multi operator, multi van, is usually mainly owner-operated for the start.

Cleaning is usually a type of management franchise. You’ll employ staff, never doing any cleaning yourself. A home based business, you’ll be able to grow the business at your own pace. Ideal franchises for new entrepreneurs, you can steadily recruit clients and cleaners, taking on more as the business grows.

The more cleaners you take on, and the more of your territory you cover, the greater your profits. Obviously the more cleaners and work you have, the higher your overheads such as wages, managing staff etc, but the rewards will be there to see very soon.

Top cleaning franchises for new entrepreneurs:

Oven Clean, Oven Wizards, Maid2Clean, Fantastic Services, Ovenu, Betterclean Services


This concludes our look into five great franchises to start if you’re new to business. With generally recognised success rate of over 90% and only 1% of franchisees closing due to commercial failure, it’s no wonder more people are choosing franchising as their preferred entry point into the world of business ownership. Now with over 1,000 opportunities in the UK, and many of these becoming British Franchise Association members every week, franchising is a great way to get into business ownership.

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