A wide-ranging category, business service franchises simply include any franchises that deliver services to businesses as opposed to consumers (a small number, like mail & courier or electrical services, cater to both).
- Providing services to other businesses, most franchises are office-based – eg accountancy, recruitment, marketing
- 7m UK businesses in 2018 – 2.2m or 63% higher than in 2000
- Benefits usually include repeat business, family-friendly working hours and not needing to carry stock
Deloitte defines business services as encompassing “facilities management, construction services, business process outsourcing, IT and digital services and outsourced public services.”
Our definition is broader, including any franchise providing services to another business. This category includes, among others:
- Accountancy and tax
- Business brokerage
- Commercial cleaning
- Commercial finance and insurance
- Consultancy, coaching and training
- Electrical services
- Mail & courier
- Signage and printing
- Tech services
- Website development
Even within Deloitte’s narrower definition, the UK sector employs around 3.3m people and accounts for 12 of the 50 fastest growing occupations.
However large, no business does everything in house. From marketing to recruitment, organisations outsource a range of tasks to focus on their core competencies.
Recurring revenues are often significant – for example with accountancy or contract cleaning. Not carrying stock meanwhile is a boon for overheads, margins and a simpler business model.
White-collar sectors like finance or consultancy live or die by the talents and relationships nurtured by their employees. With, say, cleaning or courier services, customers prize reliability, high standards and competitive prices.
Is a business services franchise for me?
Comprising so many sectors it’s difficult to sketch out the ideal candidate for this category. Nevertheless, franchisees do seem to broadly share certain characteristics.
First, they usually suit those who prefer office-style trading hours. Second – to state the obvious – they appeal to people who prefer or are used to, dealing with businesses rather than the general public. Third, many generate significant repeat custom, easing the pressure to win new business.
You probably won’t need sector-specific experience. Franchisors usually welcome franchisees from a wide range of commercial backgrounds.
The structure of business services franchises
If you like the idea of providing business services, then our sector-specific guides can help you narrow your search further:
- Commercial cleaning sector is prospering, with most businesses outsourcing this essential job
- Consultancy franchises thrive through proven business models and client acquisition tools, among other USPs
- Mail & courier franchises boast multiple revenue streams and the pedigree and infrastructure necessary to reliably meet tight timescales
- Respected brand and operational efficiencies give tax franchises an edge in a market where high professional standards are vital
- Virtually every public, commercial and multi-dwelling building needs security products like intruder alarms, CCTV and door entry systems
- Tech services sector is growing more than 2.5 times faster than the overall economy
Franchisees faithfully follow a proven formula while head office leverage’s the network’s scale and success in order to invest in R&D and continuously refine the business model. This means franchises are set up to excel in the areas cited by Deloitte and PriceWaterhouseCoopers as critical to success in the fields they define as business services:
- Identifying promising growth/diversification areas
- Reducing organisational complexity, boosting productivity and becoming more agile
- Effective talent management through technology and long-term strategy
- Dealing with technological threats and leveraging technological opportunities
- Innovation in service delivery to accommodate evolving client demands
Business service franchises offer myriad benefits that are unavailable to anyone setting up as an independent – typically including, among other things:
- A recognised, trusted brand with proven business model
- Your own exclusive territory with leads generated and nurtured by head office
- Extensive training course in everything you need to run the business – like accounts, invoicing, sales and marketing, IT systems, lead management and so forth
- Ongoing training and support in a range of areas, for both you and your staff
- National marketing campaigns plus tools and support to help you run your own, localised campaigns
- Search-engine optimised website with online booking app for customers
- Suite of technologies/systems like accounting, project management and customer relationship management (CRM) software
- Operations manual
- Regular meet-ups with fellow franchisees