A fifth of Brits plan to start own business in next five years

According to recent research by Geek Retreat, a retailer and community hub specialising in geek culture, gaming cafés, and events, one in five Britons are contemplating launching their own businesses within the next five years.

Over half (56%) of these prospective entrepreneurs are motivated by the prospect of higher earnings, while 54% are driven by the aspiration to be their own boss. Additionally, 42% seek greater flexibility, and 35% wish to pursue their passions.

The retail sector appeals to 16% of these individuals, making it the most favoured choice for startups, followed by professional services (13%), hospitality (9%), and leisure (8%).

Only 32% of respondents have undergone training in business or management skills that would aid in establishing and operating a business, leaving a significant majority (68%) without any such training.

Financial management and maintaining profitability (57%), navigating rules and regulations like employment law and health and safety (47%), identifying the appropriate business model (43%), and mastering marketing and communications (43%) were identified as the key areas where additional support is needed.

Peter Dobson, CEO of Geek Retreat, commented: “Setting up and running a successful business is not always the easy option and requires a broad skill base to build a profitable enterprise.  That’s why, for many, it is worth considering a franchise model. There are many interesting franchise options with very successful track records which can help entrepreneurs build a business quickly and at lower risk because they have established brands, purchasing power and a large support network.”

Since its inaugural store launch in Glasgow in 2013, the Geek Retreat franchise has expanded to 36 outlets, up from ten at the close of 2019. This growth signifies its widespread appeal on the high street, offering local communities and individuals a welcoming and inclusive environment to pursue their hobbies and interests.

Advantages of Joining a Franchise

  • Lower Risk: While no venture is devoid of risk, becoming part of a franchise presents a more secure and dependable route to entrepreneurship than starting from the ground up. In the UK, one-fifth of new ventures fail within their first year, and 60% do not survive past three years. Conversely, only 33% of small enterprises celebrate a decade of operation. However, the failure rate for franchises has remained between 8-12% for over two decades, according to the British Franchise Association.
  • Cost Efficiency: The upfront investment for joining a franchise typically falls below the costs of establishing a new business independently. Franchisees benefit from access to an established brand, along with tried-and-tested systems and processes, which can lead to significant savings in time and financial resources.
  • Brand Recognition and Customer Base: Franchising affords the advantage of a known brand and an existing customer base, though localised marketing efforts remain essential. Franchisees also have the chance to leverage national marketing campaigns and gain exposure through large-scale advertising, such as TV commercials, which would otherwise be unaffordable.
  • Innovation and Research & Development (R&D): With the resources for continuous research and development, established franchises are better positioned to introduce new products and services, adapting to evolving consumer preferences and staying ahead of competitors.
  • Purchasing Power: Franchisees enjoy the collective buying power of the franchise network, which becomes especially valuable as the cost of living rises and suppliers increase prices. This collective bargaining power can lead to significant savings.
  • Support Network: Aspiring business owners find franchising a viable pathway to realise their entrepreneurial dreams, combining the autonomy of running their own business with the support of a broader network of peers and industry experts. This community facilitates the sharing of problem-solving strategies, ideas, and best practices, thereby accelerating the revenue generation potential of new franchises.