Franchise firm booms during downturn

Time For You is a domestic cleaning business, servicing some 1,200 households across the UK. Whereas the firm usually sees around 15 enquiries per month from people looking to buy a franchise, over the past three months this number has increased four-fold.

"The majority of the people enquiring are looking ahead into 2009 and don’t like what they are seeing,” says Freddie Rayner, founder of the £22m-turnover company. “They hear about job losses in the news and see friends being made redundant, and decide to take control of their own destiny by buying a franchise, before their own income is affected.”

Freddie Rayner founded the firm in 1997 and runs the firm jointly with wife, Ruth. Time For You now has 147 franchises trading under the brand. He believes that the significant job losses in Britain will lead to an explosion in the franchise market: “We are getting enquiries from people who have been made redundant, have a lump sum, and want to invest it to generate an income.

“The beauty of franchising is that it takes the risk out of starting a business,” he continues. “You are told exactly how to attract clients and turn them into a profit.”

This reduced risk has proven extremely attractive to wannabe entrepreneurs: 87 per cent of Time For You franchisees earn their franchise fee back within the first six months of trading.

"A downturn is a great time to start a business,” Rayner concludes. “If you can make money now, you will enjoy big profits when the good times return.”

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