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For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Benefits of becoming a franchisee

Why do people choose to invest their hard-earned cash in a franchise opportunity? There are many reasons why franchises are so attractive. Franchising is growing year-on-year – it's an important area of UK business, it creates employment and it can be a lucrative source of investment. And investing in the right franchise can enable you to live the dream

Investing in franchises offers the chance for a much-wanted career change, as most franchise opportunities supply training and on-going support to help you maximise your investment. This is in the interests of the franchisor as well - if you are making money, so are they.

Changes in circumstances can spark a move to franchising; common scenarios for would-be franchisees include redundancy, leaving the military services or taking early retirement.

The key is finding the right franchise opportunity, one that fits your lifestyle. Many franchise opportunities only require a low initial investment and can be run from home on a part-time basis; other options that call for higher levels of investment include high street stores and food retail franchises.

There is a franchise for everyone but you'll need to research the options thoroughly to find the one that's right for you; here are the main pros and cons of buying a franchise:

The pros of becoming a franchisee

  • It's a proven business with a track record;
  • Franchises are more likely to succeed than start-ups;
  • Training is provided and it offers a supported way to change career;
  • You can build a business with a regular income stream;
  • It's an investment in your future.

The cons of becoming a franchisee

  • Some franchises may require a substantial investment;
  • Franchisees with entrepreneurial flair may not enjoy having to stick to a prescribed way of running the business;
  • Success is dependent on the performance of the franchisor.

As with any business investment, you need to fully understand the franchise agreement so there aren't any surprises further down the line. That means it's vital to perform due diligence, take time to make your checks and employ the professional services of a specialist franchise solicitor to review the franchise agreement.

Written by Joel Bissitt, expert contributor to Start Up Donut and director of Franchise UK.

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