We took some time out on Friday to visit the BFA’s franchise show at Birmingham’s NEC, and to catch up with Ben at Franchise Direct, who has just started promoting Kids Bee Happy on their franchise website.

One of the themes that stood out for me most this year’s franchise show was the increase in popularity of the Low Cost Franchise.  The show showed clear signals that potential franchisees do not have the tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds to spend on the big name franchises.  Some franchises that were selling last year for £80,000 were selling instead for £40,000, that’s a pretty big drop, and one that’s bound to upset franchisees that had joined them this year.  Other big names such as McDonalds were showing off smaller stands, maintaining their presence, but at the same time admitting that the show was unlikely any new franchisees.

However the show did seem to show an increase in a trend for Low Cost Franchises, a new seminar introduced this year discussing the demand for franchises costing less than £6000 was one of the highest attended seminars of the day.

All of this bodes well for us here at Kids Bee Happy.  Talking to industry experts and hearing confirmation that our franchise package is extremely right for the current economic climate, and that with a price of £2495+vat its is one of the most value for money franchises out there.  Looking around at other franchises available across the different industries we see many that are charging up to ten times the initial price and promising no higher revenues, and instead even requiring franchisees to have a good stash of working capital in the bank to fund marketing.

It also reinforces the importance to us of clear up front pricing, and no “hidden” fees in the form on monthly marketing, monthly management or royalty fees.  I am continually surprised by how a franchise cost can double once all the small print costs have been added on.  The best I saw was a photographic franchise which advertised itself at £1500, but then required you to have photographic equipment (supplied by them) that cost an additional £27k, and £10k working capital, and in addition charged a £350pm management fee, and a 10% royalty.  That’s hardly low cost.

For a genuinely low cost franchise – talk to us at Kids Bee Happy.