Domestic Energy Assessors Help Homeowners Show the Energy Efficiency of Their Homes When Selling

There is a new breed of professionals who you will get to know about now when you start out to sell your home. They are called Domestic Energy Assessors and are out now in England and Wales performing a brand new service.

The role of the Domestic Energy Assessor is to produce Energy Performance Certificates for inclusion in Home Information Packs. If this is complete news to you then just think of these as being certificates, like those you see on new fridges, which will provide A-G ratings on the energy efficiency of a home, plus advice on how to make further energy savings.

Energy Assessors will use their in-depth knowledge and practical understanding of the thermal performance of your home to judge on the thermal energy efficiency of properties.

This requirement has been introduced by the UK government working on the theory that these assessments of the the capability of all buildings about to be sold will encourage us all to be energy efficient. This will be good for the nation as it will be thoroughly green. It will the idea is, help avoid the need for the energy whether renewable or not.

This type of certificate is required whenever the building is constructed, sold or rented.

In the short term home owners directly, and home buyers indirectly, will need to pay for these Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and in order to possibly carry out work to improve poorly insulated properties, they will need to pay for general advice to clients on energy efficiency measures.

This is all very good in principle, but the UK government has chosen exactly the wrong time to do this. The credit crunch is hitting the house sales market hard, it is already very difficult to sell properties, and the value of most of them is falling.

The staff that produce Energy Performance Certificates are very experienced in construction technology, building condition surveying and domestic energy assessment and are Degree qualified professionals. They do not come cheap!

Now we do accept that most assessors will not simply stop at inspecting your property, they should also take the time to explain exactly what they are inspecting, how they are going to go about it and gladly answer any questions that you may have. But, most sellers are going to deeply object to being forced by the state to take on this additional burden of cost.

The energy assessor takes measurements to analyse the cost of heating, water and lighting for a house and makes recommendations to improve the energy performance of the house. To me it looks like you the government may think that an assessment is a quick hour in the property and thats it. I doubt they have fully considered the travel time to and from the houses to be assessed, time taken to assess, time to prepare and check the report, input the data, produce the certificate and then charge a fee which includes the professionals insurance, accountant fees, advertising and many other costs – the list goes on and on, after all they will have to make a living like everyone else.

Car Rental Companies In UK

Currently UK has many car hire companies ranging from huge International business firms to local offices with undersized employee force. The advantage of car hire is that it permits for travel at a personalized speed, free from the chains of general transport facilities. Optimistically the following information will help tourists and travelers to make the best choice of rental companies within the UK.

Making a booking in advance for a UK car hire is always beneficial. Many car rental companies offer great discounted rates and special car hire rates for early bookings. Some companies offer ten to fifteen percent discount on the car hire if the vehicle is booked weeks or months in advance. Many companies offer online facility to hire cars well in advance and this can also be beneficial and again great discounts on online car bookings usually comes. While making a booking for UK car hire it is always essential to study the car rental company’s cancellation policy carefully. Because most of the UK car hire companies need to inform before a minimum time period for notice of cancellation else they may take penalty charges. At this point it can be worth taking the optional cancellation waiver in order to avoid any penalty charges.

The selection of car Hire Company should always be thought about very cautiously. When comparing car rental companies, check the prices, services and the category of vehicle presented; tariff will regularly fluctuate if a superior class car is booked. The higher class vehicle you book, the higher amount of rate will be charged for the specific car category. Furthermore, if a high-quality vehicle would be desired, or if you wish to hire a particular companys car model and specific color of the car then also the charge will vary. The best way to find out a car rental company in UK is through the internet. Internet is a great resource for finding ratings of rental companies and according to that one can easily make out the companies reputation and quality services.

It is always safe recommendation to add car drivers to the rental contract if they are likely to drive the car. This is for insurance causes as in nearly all cases if the unregistered driver does happen to have an accident, the agreement will be canceled and the penalty charges occurred will be huge. Making an extremely thorough check of the rental contract is very important if a good deal is to be had.

The last and very important instruction to make sure that your car hire experiences are as pleasurable as possible is to return the car on time. Most UK hire car companies calculate charges on a daily basis instead of hourly basis, so while returning the car if you are just one hour late, then they may charge you another days rental according to the companys rules and regulation.

These days many use car rental facility instead of buying car. And it is a fine option to use a car rental service in UK cities instead of owning a car. Lots of people living in UK cities find car rental option very beneficial because it offers them great hassle free services at very affordable price.

An Introduction To Construction Equipment

Construction equipment refers to all vehicles and machinery designed for the purpose of the construction of buildings or any other man-made structure, and it performs tasks that were in the past impossible or difficult for humans alone to undertake by multiplying the input force so that the force exerted is much greater.

Hydraulics is the most common method for the transfer of power in construction equipment, which in layman’s terms is the transmission, control and distribution of energy and signals via pressurised liquid.

Types of construction equipment

Most people will have seen, and are able to identify, common types of construction machinery on building projects around the country. Construction is big business around the world and the UK is no exception. The UK has a huge amount of new-build estates and, while the recession has slowed the housing market somewhat, building sites are still a common sight as you travel around the country.

Here is an explanation of common forms of construction equipment you may have seen.

The crane

The crane is a huge lifting machine that’s used to move objects and materials vertically up or down, or horizontally across. It creates mechanical advantage allowing the movement of materials that wouldn’t be possible by human strength alone.

Cranes are commonly used in the transport industry as well as the construction industry for the loading and offloading of freight.

The first ever known cranes were invented by the Ancient Greeks and powered by humans or animals capable of bearing weight such as donkeys. During the middle ages, harbour cranes became popular to facilitate the construction of ships, and also to help load and offload their cargo.

With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, cranes were fashioned from cast iron and steel, which was much stronger than the wood they had previously been constructed of.


These examples of construction equipment is commonly referred to as the digger, and is used to dig trenches, holes and building foundations, as well as for demolition, forestry work and heavy lifting. Colloquialism for the digger is JCB which is the name of the main manufacturer of such machinery.

There are many types of excavator including the compact excavator, the long reach excavator, the dragline excavator, the suction excavator and the power shovel.

Although well regulated nowadays, the construction industry has in the past been a dangerous one with many injuries and deaths occurring each year through dangerous practice. It’s essential that before a person used any construction equipment, he or she must undergo the correct training so as not to put anyone at risk of injury.

Oil Field Employment 2 Big Reasons Why You Should Look For An Oilfield Job

Oil field employment – high salaries, double what other industries pay; many perks and bonuses. Only the sin industries of gambling, tobacco and alcohol pay their workers as much money. Is it any wonder that many job seekers eagerly look for an oilfield job? But what are the actual benefits of jobs in oil field, and are they worth going through so much effort?

High Pay, Bonuses And Benefits

Government salary statistics gathered in 2004 report that rig welding jobs pay $62,000 compared to $30,000 for a welding job in the manufacturing industry. Entry level roustabouts make $45,000 while regular construction laborers makes $24,000. As you can see, the oil industry pays double the salary for blue collar jobs.

But white collar positions like petroleum geologists also earn high salaries. New graduates with Masters or PhD degrees earn $80,000 to $110,000, not including sign-up bonuses and other perks. Other degrees, like petroleum engineering and chemical engineering, are also paid very highly.

You can verify these salary data yourself – government agencies like the Department of Labor and trade associations like the American Association of Petroleum Geologists publish these salary information. So do job boards and recruitment agencies.

2. Oil Field Jobs Still Have Good Prospects

Shareholders and CEOs do not like it, but oil drilling companies still have to hire new people. Companies in the oil and gas industry still face personnel shortages, whatever their management says about laying off workers. In 2006, a UK government report highlighted that oil drillers did not have enough managers, professional and technical staff. The staff shortage got even worse in 2008, and just because there is a recession in 2009 doesn’t magically make oil companies have enough workers.

Many oil fields are past their prime and production is declining. Multinational oil companies like Shell desperately need to discover new oil fields. Their situation is made worse by an aging workforce, especially a lack of younger geologists qualified to prospect for oil. Like many other large oil companies, Shell froze hiring during the slump in oil prices ($10/barrel) during the 1980s, and they now need to find new workers to replace their retiring workers and man new projects and oil rigs. Noble Corporation, one of the world’s largest offshore drilling companies, is another case in point. They have 5 new oil rigs, and need to fill up to 1500 vacancies.

While oil service companies listed on the stock exchange like Schlumberger and Halliburton say that they will cut their workforce during the recession, the fact that they did not present concrete plans strongly suggests that the news is just a public relations stunt to boost their stock prices. They may slow down the hiring new workers, but the slack will be taken up by private oil drilling companies. This is just like the 80s, when the major oil companies stopped hiring new workers and stopped building oil rigs. Instead, private investors did the reverse. They invested in new oil rigs, then when oil prices recovered in the 2000s, they sold or hired out their oil rigs for enormous sums of money. Basically, oil field employment will always be around. The actual employer changes, that’s all.

Once you get your first oilfield job, you can expect good salaries and prospects for the next few decades. Whether you work for a public-listed oil company or a privately-held firm, oil field employment will be around for a long time to come.

What is power plant rental

A power plant, or power station, is an important facility in the generation of electricity. Virtually all power stations consist of a generator, in which a rotating turbine converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. Most power plants are fuelled by fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, while others depend on nuclear power.

In recent years, power plant rental has become popular around the world, in both developed economies like the UK and the US and more unstable regions like Pakistan. But what exactly is power plant rental and what benefits does it bring?

Why do energy companies hire power plants?

Essentially, rental power plants are set up to temporarily increase power capacity for instance, after an emergency or during short-term peaks in demand. For instance, a particular area of a country may have a high concentration of power plants. If that region experiences an earthquake, a flood or another natural disaster, these plants may be unable to generate power. In order to pick up the shortfall, the government or energy companies can hire power plants to meet national energy demands until the region re-builds and its permanent power plants function once again.

Rental power plants are also used to implement season peak shaving. Peak shaving happens when some power plants are used only during hours of busy activity for instance, after work hours on weekdays or during a World Cup final – so the national grid doesnt buckle under the strain of peak demand. Additionally, power plant hire offers a handy, flexible option when the national grid is undergoing routine maintenance, and can help prevent outages in countries that are dependent on hydro-power but are suffering from drought.

Benefits of hiring a power plant

One of the main benefits of hiring a power plant rather than building a new, permanent station is that they can be quickly available when necessary. For instance, natural disasters often have unforeseeable consequences. If a countrys power capacity is suddenly lowered because of a natural disaster, rental power plants can quickly step in to make up the shortfall. Their short-term nature means that hired power plants can be quickly disengaged when they are no longer needed too, which may be more cost-effective for governments and energy firms in the long run as they involve less capital expenditure.

Another advantage of power plant hire is its flexibility. If a rented power plant is found to have insufficient capacity, for instance, it can be quickly expanded. Similarly, if its found to be too big, energy companies can ask to decrease capacity, and thereby save money while still meeting the demand for electricity.

Why Portable Air Conditioning Hire for Agriculture is Essential

Portable air conditioning for hire is not only an essential option for hotels, pubs and clubs, leisure centres and gyms, but also in the agriculture industry. Read on to find out why portable air conditioning is essential for the agriculture industry.

Article body: Portable air conditioning for hire is not only an essential option for hotels, pubs and clubs, leisure centres and gyms, but also in the agriculture industry. Why? Because without the option of hiring portable air conditioning units and chilling units (-chillers’), many arable farmers and dairy producers would simply go out of business.

What consumers expect Customers can be demanding at the best of times, but never more so than when it comes to food. They want fresh, good quality produce that not only tastes good, but is also reasonably priced and always available when they desire it (seasonal factors notwithstanding, of course).

So what does all this mean for people working in farming and agriculture? And how does hired portable air conditioning play a crucial role in keeping arable farmers and dairy producers in business, and their customers satisfied?

The potato storage process The British are renowned for loving their potatoes (mashed, boiled, roasted, baked, fried-), but there is much more to successfully growing, picking and taking to market a healthy potato crop than one would think (be that a small crop, or one that is grown in fields consisting of hundreds or even thousands of acres, and is managed by a major arable farming company).

The potato storage process must be managed expertly, or the potato crop will be ruined, meaning the arable farmer may well also be. Unless potatoes are stored in a temperature-controlled, well-ventilated environment, then the lot could fall victim to fungal disease, as well as viral and bacterial agents. Storing potatoes at temperatures near 4C / 39F is usually best.

Hiring portable air conditioners is the -perfect insurance’ By hiring the right cooling equipment (portable air conditioners and chillers) and placing the units in the right locations in a potato storage facility (or indeed, a facility used for the storage of other -cornerstone’ vegetables grown on arable farms) the terrifying prospect of losing an entire crop to the aforementioned threats can be removed.

Protecting dairy produce Portable air conditioning and chiller units for hire are no less effective when it comes to protecting dairy produce. Fully cured Cheddar, for example, is a hard, natural cheese that is hugely popular not only across the UK, but also worldwide. The export market is a multimillion pound one, in fact; so imagine how catastrophic it would be for a dairy farmer to lose most or even all of his stock, simply because the existing cooling system failed overnight, or, by some oversight, the system was set at the wrong temperature – a mistake that was only discovered when it was too late.

High quality Stilton is also -not just a cheese’. It is a very valuable commodity, as are most speciality cheeses. A large dairy company can produce tonnes of it (and other dairy foods/products) annually; however some of the biggest producers fail to place enough importance upon having a contingency plan in place, should their built-in cooling system let them down, and all their dairy produce is rendered inedible before it even makes it to the maturing room.

Being prepared is the key Of course, the vast majority of arable farmers and dairy producers take steps to protect their produce from harm, but the smartest ones also have a contingency plan in place, should the unthinkable happen: a cool storage system failure suddenly occurs, and before the crop(s) can be saved, the -rot’ has already set in, and thousands of pounds’ worth of produce is inedible and worthless (sometimes in just as a few hours). The hiring of portable air conditioning units and chillers provides the best solution, a genuine safeguard against every arable farmer and dairy producer’s worst nightmare becoming a reality.

As well as being the ideal emergency back-up option, portable air conditioning units for hire for agriculture applications can be:

– Used immediately; – Easily stored; – Hired on a short contract basis, and then returned. (This is ideal when it comes to getting extra air conditioning and cooling systems in place in, say, the run up to Christmas, when food production is significantly increased to meet massive consumer demand) – The perfect -stop gap’ between the removal of an existing (fixed) air conditioning system, and the installation of a new one at an arable farm or a dairy farm; – Added to an existing air conditioning solution when extra air conditioning is required.

Food for thought indeed. Article submitted by Steve Reeve, Sales Director at Andrews Sykes. Andrews Sykes is the UK’s largest specialist air conditioning hire company, with over 25 years’ experience. The company serves virtually all industry sectors including agriculture and farming using machinery sourced from the world’s top manufacturers.

Choosing the Best Energy Suppliers

The energy suppliers have become a basic requirement to complete our daily tasks, whether for cooking or cleaning. And the dependence on these utilities has increased the demand for electricity and gas supplies. Comparatively, the boost in demand has influenced the number of energy providers. There are many gas and energy suppliers in the UK. There is cut throat competition between suppliers and each of them tries to reach the next level.

Several plans and profit rates are offered by these energy suppliers to attract more and more users. Despite the fierce competition suppliers have benefited greatly and people at the same time. In a physical market it’s really difficult to analyze the services of these energy suppliers. And it is even more difficult to compare plans, rates and prices. It requires a great deal of effort, time and money and even after this it’s hard to decide whether the selection is correct or not.

The solution to this problem is provided by the virtual world. The presence of gas and electricity providers online has provided a convenient platform for people. There are so many websites dedicated providing full details on energy suppliers. Here users can view all the details of any provider.

The acquisition of these services and changing to a new one is not an easy task in the physical marketplace. A person is supposed to fulfil various appointments to discuss the details of the different energy suppliers. And the comparison of two suppliers in price and service is almost impossible. But on the Internet, many online comparison portals facilitate the user to select the best provider and most affordable one.

Here a person has to complete a single offer to acquire the services of a particular vendor. In addition when switching to a new energy suppliers it is also easier, because there is no paper work. There is another way to choose the cheapest energy provider. Along with these online portals comparisons you can analyze effectively. People can rely on these companies due to its practical analysis.

Price to hire these energy suppliers is a major problem for everyone and people try to avoid the changes in the market. A solution to this problem is presented in the form of price caps. Capped tariff means a specified price during a specified period of time and this will not be influenced by the change in market price. But as a major drawback it requires a contract with terms and conditions.

All information and details of the energy suppliers is provided on the Internet and online comparison portals have simplified the method of selection of suppliers of cheap energy. These websites will definitely help in finding energy suppliers by saving a lot of effort, time and money.

The authorized websites of the suppliers are very active in this view. You can visit these sites to obtain information about the current prices of gas and electricity.

On the other hand, there are several websites that allow members to see the prices of different energy suppliers in one place. You also get the facility to compare prices and services of these providers and can choose the most appropriate to meet their needs.

For information about energy suppliers must enter their postal code area as well as details about your current provider. After this you will get a complete list of energy suppliers with their prices, available in your area.

Are Social Energy Tariffs As Fair As People Think

When social tariffs were first proposed, they were not seen as being fair to everyone. The idea was to combat excess winter deaths by helping UK residents that were at risk of fuel poverty to pay their bills with a discounted rate. However, that discount would be heaped on the backs of wealthier customers who would then make up the difference. The effect was to be temporary as the Green Deal would then help more and more UK residents to adopt green technologies that would reduce the overall energy demands of the country via grants and other types of financial assistance. Now that the social energy tariffs are being replaced by the Warm Home Discount, the same question arises with respect to the most vulnerable groups in the UK. Is it fair to get rid of social tariffs that the broader group needs to keep heating their homes?

Low Income Group Has Green Options

The UKs energy strategy continues to evolve as it seeks to reduce its dependence on outside energy sources while maintaining social protections in place for its more vulnerable citizens. The social tariffs were never meant to be a permanent fixture, as the policy outline in 2009 indicated that the effect would be temporary based on the implementation of the Green Deal technologies. For that reason, numerous schemes were put in place to help low-income citizens improve the draughty homes so typical of Britain using insulation, window-glazing, and other services. Many of these services were provided for free to qualifying low-income households. Also, those who could afford to implement these technologies and pay for them were also helped to find ways to achieve these goals. None of these energy schemes are expected to last forever, however, and even the Warm Home Discount is to expire in March 2015.

Keep An Eye On Excess Winter Deaths

There is data to indicate that the social energy tariffs, along with other grants and energy improvement schemes, have helped to reduce the excess winter death rate in the UK. While there were 24,000 excess winter deaths for the winter of 2011/2012 in England and Wales, that figure represents an 8 per cent drop from the previous winter. The social tariffs are being slowly phased out, with many of them being replaced by the Warm Home Discount for the 2013/2014 winter seasons. Even though no one can tell how much warmer home are in the UK, if the schemes have done their job and the Warm Home Discount is doing a fair job of it, then this number should continue to decrease. If it goes up, it will be a huge indicator that more changes need to be made to the UK energy strategy, not just to make it fair, to avoid killing more residents.

Fair Deals Change With Government

A question of fairness is always going to be an issue with social reforms. However, political parties tend to see fairness in their own terms. This does lead to changes in how schemes are planned and implemented, or whether they are eliminated altogether. Some would suggest that the Winter Fuel Payment changes are unfair to expatriates who live in countries deemed “warmer than the UK” even though the winters may be equally harsh. These UK residents will no longer be eligible and may suffer undue hardship. However, with the change of government, comes a change in the ideals of fairness. The new government believes that it is not fair to continue to pay for heat subsidies that are going to people who arent even in as drastic a need of them as others. As policies change, so do social tariffs, with the eye towards creating reforms that hit realistic targets and that do good in the community of people it is meant to serve. None are meant to be permanent, nor are they meant to require no further changes once they are implemented. As the UK faces the harsh winter ahead, social tariffs may be a thing of the past, but the ideal to create a fair society where even the most vulnerable have a chance at being able to pay their bills has not. It is merely changing and adapting towards newer social reforms that meet the needs of the population as a whole.

How To Allocate Retail Loss Prevention

Profit in any business requires an increase in income and decrease in expenditure. The same theory applies to the retail industry. To make profit in retail requires an in increase sales and reduction in shrinkage. This concept has so far been non-existence in the retail industry where the focus has always only been on increase sales and hoping that the problem of shrinkage will miraculously disappear.
Retail shrinkage occurs as a result of poor or non-existent loss prevention policies and procedures. Therefore, it is imperative that any retail organisation that wishes to remain profitable include loss prevention in its standard operational practices.
Loss prevention is the series of activities that are geared towards the reduction or elimination of all potential loss within an organisation. In the past, loss prevention has been confused with security. While security is a part of loss prevention, security is reactive, basically geared towards identifying shoplifters and employees suspected of stealing, loss prevention is centred around all the activities that are responsible for store loss. It can be known loss such as damages, returns and errors or unknown loss such as shoplifting or employee theft. Preventing shrinkage is simple if we understand the sources of the loss. Last year, UK retail industry spent 771 million on loss prevention, despite this spending, retail shrinkage rose by 5.4%. This has remained the story of loss prevention in the UK for many years. Shrinkage reduced by a few percent one year and increase by several percent the following.
What is the reason for this, the answer lies in the way loss prevention funding is allocated. Even though the levels of funding differ from one organisation to the other, the principle remains the same: spending more for less return on investment (ROI).
The Global Retail Theft Barometer report stated that for the 12-months ending June 2009 crime cost UK retailers 4,063 million. This is broken down as follows:
Customer theft 1,767 million (43.5% of all shrinkage)
Employee theft 1,479 million (36.4% of all shrinkage)
Distribution chain theft 175 million – (4.3% of all shrinkage)
Administrative error – 642 million – (15.8% of all shrinkage)
Total Shrinkage – 4,063 million – (100.0% of all shrinkage)

Total loss prevention spending for the same period was 771 million slightly down from the previous year of 785 million.
Broken down as follows:
Contract Security – 270,621,000.00
In-house Security – 162,681,000.00
Security Equipment – 223,590,000,00
Cash Collection – 61,680,000,00
Other LP Spending – 52,428,000.00
However, in this same period, shrinkage as a percentage of sales rose to 1.37% a rise of 5.4% from 2008 figure of 1.30%.
This brings us to the central thesis of this article: Why is retail loss prevention measure ineffective?
The answer lies in the way funding is allocated. To produce the desired result, retailers first and foremost need to determine the source of loss and allocate funding according to the ratio of loss and the ROI.
The below table outlines this point better, it shows last year retail spending on loss prevention and their return on investment:
Measures: Spending: ROI Achieved:
Trained Employees – 6.8% – 50%
Security Personnel – 56.2% – 2%
Security Equipment – 29% – 45%
Signs & others – 8% – 3%
Customer related theft accounts for only 21% of retail shrinkage the remaining 79% can be broken down into cashier cause 32%, followed by general employee cause 24%, receiving 10% and the remaining 13% is the result of damage and error. But the interesting point that needs to be noted is that even though 79% of retail shrinkage in caused by internal activities, retailers spent more on combating customer related theft than on employee cause.
56.2% of loss prevention resources were on security personnel that produced only 2% ROI, 6.8% was spent on staff training that produced 50% ROI. It is not difficult to see why despite the huge spending on loss prevention, retailers have not been able to affect their shrinkage level. There is a direct correlation between loss prevention spending and the ROI. Until such time that retailers get the balance right, loss prevention spending will continue to produce negative result.

How to make loss prevention effective?
The following are measures when implemented can lead to massive reductions in shrinkage levels and increased profits:
Measure the Scale of the Problem
Analysis daily profit and loss report
Complete top management involvement
Create awareness of the problem
Continuous education and discipline of employees
Inspect What You Expect
Set Measurable Targets
Take Advantage Of Technology
Develop the act of flexibility in approach
Change from present paradigm

Loss prevention is a science and like any science, it requires a systematic approach. Loss prevention personnel cannot approach it with cross fingers praying for the best. Gone are the days when retail crime such as shoplifting was seen as teenage leisure activities, or conducted by drug addicts. Many incidents of shoplifting are now carried out by Organised Retail Theft rings with levels of sophistication never before seen in the retail industry. We as loss prevention experts along with law enforcement agencies have to wake up to this fact and try to build our own capabilities to respond accordingly.
Increase sale does not necessarily mean increase profit the quicker retail executives crabs this concept, the sooner they will be making sustainable profit.

Franchising Business Commercial Franchise Lawyers

Franchising Business Commercial Franchise Lawyers – We have all heard of the term, and most of us know people involved in it. After all, it now contributes more than 10 billion to the UK economy, across numerous business sectors. But what is it really all about, and how are some businesses so successful at it, whilst for others it brings disaster?
The concept is fairly simple. In a franchise, an established business (the franchisor) grants someone (the franchisee) the right to trade under the franchisors trade mark or trade name.
Most franchising is actually business format franchising. This means that the franchisor develops a business concept, including a trade name and operating methods, and they train the franchisee in how to run their business using this concept. The franchisee operates his/her own business under the franchisors name and under some fairly tight controls and guidance. These are set out in a franchise agreement, and usually an operations manual as well.
At heart, a franchise agreement is essentially a trade mark licence, with a number of operational instructions and controls placed on the franchisee.
In many cases, the franchisee is given an exclusive territory in which to operate during the term of the franchise agreement.
For franchisors, franchising can therefore be an exceptionally quick route to business growth, with low overheads and low risk. We will look at this in more detail later on in this article. For franchisees, franchising can provide an attractive opportunity to own and operate their own business, but one which has a proven business concept and which provides training and support. Franchising can in some cases also provide a very rare opportunity for genuine work/life balance.
Sadly however, as with everything in life, it is not always that simple. Although survival rates for franchisee businesses are much higher than for other business start-ups, franchisees all too often fail. Some lose substantial amounts of money, often through no fault of their own. Below are some of the perils to avoid:
Peril No. 1 – Not doing enough homework before handing over your cash
Most franchisors can talk a good talk. It is their job to convince you that their franchise offering will bring you wealth and success. However, whilst many franchisors are scrupulously honest and professional in their dealings with prospective franchisees, some of them are unfortunately not.
Remember when you take on a franchise this is a business to business agreement. There is no consumer law to protect you, so your legal remedies may be very limited. It is your responsibility to check out what you are being told, and never to take promises and forecasts on face value.
It pays to remember the age-old saying: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Membership of the British Franchise Association – requiring the signing of a charter for ethical franchising – is a good indicator of an opportunity worthy of consideration, although there is no substitute for properly checking out and researching a franchise.
Peril No. 2 Taking on a franchise which does not play to your personal strengths
You need to think long and hard about whether taking on a franchise will suit your personality and skills. You may imagine, for example, during a frustrating day at the office, that nothing would be lovelier than leaving the rat-race and running your own cafe. But beware of the grass is greener over the fence philosophy. No matter what franchise you take on, it is likely to involve hard work, and this will never be satisfying unless it is something that you are passionate about.