Choosing your niche – factors to consider when picking a franchise

Within the highly competitive UK franchise industry (currently estimated worth £10.6 billion), how do you go about choosing the right franchise to meet your budget and maintain your work / life balance?

The starting point is relatively easy – simply cover the basics of choosing a franchise to refine your choices – mainly, is the franchise ethical and is it a viable endeavour to take on board? However, this still leaves a wide choice of franchises to choose from, ranging greatly in terms of investment, industry, commitment and profitability.

The key to choosing a franchise is to know yourself – what you are good at and what you want to achieve with your business venture. Defining this information will allow you to refine your search for a franchise to have a much more manageable group of prospects to research further.

Let’s look at some practical examples

To start off with, let’s create two fictional potential franchisees so we can look at the difference approaches they can take when choosing a franchise.

Our franchisees:

  • Age 37, married and lives in Solihull .
  • Sarah’s husband works full time while Sarah takes care of their young daughter.
  • Has several years’ office experience, including management of a small office.
  • Enjoys meeting people, working with the Internet and taking part in local community events.
  • Sarah is looking for a franchise opportunity that doesn’t take a full time commitment (ie something she can do while looking after her daughter).


  • Age 35, single and lives in Dublin
  • Tom has worked in various industries throughout his career, but not to a high level – most recently hotel and restaurant work have occupied Tom’s time.
  • Has always been interested in working for himself, but doesn’t have the business experience to setup on his own so is considering a franchise as a compromise.
  • Tom enjoys working with people in a fast paced environment.
  • He is prepared to work full time at any venture and is no stranger to long and unsociable hours.

As this article is an example of the process of choosing a niche franchise, we have selected appropriate franchises for both fictional franchisees, followed by a summary of the logic behind the choices.

Sarah –

For Sarah, we’ve selected The Best Of ( This is a business directory website that franchises each local area of the UK , allowing the franchisee to approach local businesses to sell advertising space on “their” part of the site (for example, Solihull can be found here:

The company behind The Best Of (N5 Limited) operate other franchises and offer excellent start up and maintenance support for their franchisees, which is perfect for Sarah as it removes a lot of the initial start up work from her.

The nature of this franchise means Sarah can approach businesses at her leisure and update the website at any time – this is another great bonus for Sarah as it allows her the flexibility that parents all too often need.

Tom – O’Brien’s Irish Sandwich Bars

For Tom, we’ve selected O’Brien’s Irish Sandwich Bars ( This is a chain of sandwich shops that grants the franchisee licence to operate the store within certain regions, both locally and internationally.

This franchise also has a number of resale options available in Tom’s local area, so this could potentially be a good investment or partnership for Tom to enter into.

The reason we selected this for Tom is that it effectively embraces his love of working in a fast paced environment and it isn’t too far a leap from his recent work in hotels and restaurants. As customer service is very important in food retail, Tom should be able to fit into this role no problem.


Choosing a franchise is like choosing a new bed – you’re never really comfortable with it until you’ve slept in it a few times! The best you can do these days is carefully consider what you want from the franchise and what you want from your life – and take it from there.

You can’t predict the future and although franchises have a great success rate, it is directly proportional to your input into the project. In many cases, enthusiasm and good intentions aren’t enough – life can and will get in the way. It is for this reason that you need to choose a franchise that is viable and appropriate for your lifestyle.

Copyright © Quote Bank. Designed by TemplateYes