Franchising - a way of doing business in a changing environment?

We've all been living through a changing environment so you may wonder is this a good time to start a business? Olivia Mangan writes

History has shown that many leading businesses have established themselves in uncertain business climates. Franchising could offer you supports to help you succeed in a new business.

If you have:
• A Good Business Concept
• A Product or Service that people will buy
• At a price that makes sense
• Realistic financial projections
• Some Cash Equity to invest in a business
• Appropriate Promoter Skills
• A skilled Management Team with relevant expertise

...all detailed in a well put together Business Plan, you could have taken the first step to success.

Like many people you may not tick all the boxes on your own - maybe you lack some management skills, or a clearly defined product or service? If so, a well proven franchise could fill the gaps. At Ulster Bank we believe Franchisee Funding makes sense. The Franchising Business Model is one where new business owners can access essential management skills, to support their own skills and drive - if they choose a proven, reputable franchise. Historically Franchisees have had a higher chance of still being in business after five years than stand alone Start-ups.

Funding your franchise business

The first question people ask the current environment is: Are Banks introducing different borrowing criteria? At Ulster Bank, our view is: it's all about the basics...and the basic questions are:
• Has the promoter got what it takes to run a business?
• Can a business make sales?
• Can it generate profits?
• Can it pay its bills as they fall due?
• Is there a fallback position if things don't go as well as expected?
• Is the promoter prepared to put personal savings and assets in support of the business?

If you can answer yes, based on a realistic plan, we will be delighted to discuss your proposal with you.

To ensure your business proposal has the best chance of raising funds follow the Right First Time principal. Your business plan should include robust financial projections prepared by you, the Franchisee, with the assistance of the Master Franchisor. Your Bank submission should also include information about:

• Your personal finances
• Your professional background and experience
• Demand for the business concept in the proposed territory
• Your personal financial input

Please remember security may be required.

So at Ulster Bank we are delighted to say we ARE open for franchisee finance.

As an Ulster Bank franchising customer you'll have the support of our expert franchising team, a dedicated local Ulster Bank Adviser, access to a range of franchise and business guides developed with you in mind. Our market leading Start-up package supports our commitment to the franchise sector with:

• Start-up business loan rate of 5.95%* variable
• A range of Free or Discounted Day to Day Banking offers for up to three years

The importance of independent assessment and the right professional advice has never been more evident. To ensure you, your family and your home are safe guarded take appropriate legal and financial advice.

The Ulster Bank Team are here to assist you at each stage of the process. We look forward to discussing your plans - whether you're becoming a Franchisee, a Master Franchisee or considering expanding your business through franchising.