Computer Franchise UK – the TOP 10 MUST KNOWS about finding and running successful UK Computer Franchises.
The demand is a no brainer. But how do UK Computer Franchises really work? Should you jump on board?
The whole ‘computer’ thing has always been huge.
When it all started, the machines themselves were literally too huge for a regular person to care about. Today, the machines are tinier than ever – but the impact they have on our daily lives is exponentially huge.
The use of computers and technology in businesses really made sense when the internet made the mainstream its own. This is one of the reasons why tech companies have made it so big. In fact, some of the biggest companies in the world today weren’t in existence 30 or 40 years ago.
Where does a regular UK franchisee with a few thousand pounds to invest sit in all this multi-billion pound chaos?
It’s a tough question – made a little easier to answer by IT and Computer Franchise UK.
At franchise4u, we have already discussed many franchise sectors and businesses that have a lot to offer to franchisees. However, when it comes to sheer diversity and safety in numbers, UK Computer Franchises leave pretty much every competitor lagging. There are dozens of types of IT and computer franchises UK – and if you possess the right skill set and have some experience to go with it, you can quickly turn your franchise business into a profitable venture.
Computer Franchise UK – Differentiating Between Domestic and Industrial/Commercial Demand
Then there are purely commercial/industrial franchises that don’t focus on retail customers – financial services, to name an example.
Computer Franchises UK sit somewhere in the middle. Depending on the business model you choose and the franchisor you work with, it’s possible to mould your way into servicing both the sectors. To understand this more clearly, we need to take a look at some key statistics.
- We won’t waste a lot of time talking about how every house has a computer – it’s pretty obvious and evident.
- Smartphones have been a real game changer. On average, over 90% of UK residents aged 16-54 own a smartphone.
- Not surprisingly 9/10 households have access to internet.
- On the industrial front, almost every business – small or large – owns multiple computers and peripheral machinery. Over 80% of UK businesses (including SMEs) use custom networking solutions or software to get things done.
- When it comes to SMEs, over 70% of UK businesses have their own websites.
Computer franchises may have to face shifting landscapes and daily innovations, but it’s certain that they service a market that’s not only completely service-dependent but also ever expanding. It’s no wonder then that you often see technology companies are the ones that are capable of showing meteoric growth.
Computer Franchise UK? What Do They Do?
It’s a valid question – one that almost every would-be franchisee has in their mind.
You can answer such question quite directly for, let’s say, estate agency franchises or mortgage franchises. The same doesn’t apply for computer franchises UK, simply because there are literally no limits or constraints to what they can do.
For now, let’s go with the conventional market shares that most IT and computer franchises UK serve across the UK.
As we discussed in the earlier point, the market is sharply divided into two segments.
Computer Franchise UK – The Domestic Segment
Undoubtedly, the domestic segment of the market that computer franchises UK aim to service is no longer as attractive as it used to be 20 years ago. There was a real demand for computer technicians, tutors and vendors back in the day when a layman knew so little about the stuff.
But today, that isn’t the case. People don’t need ‘help’ to choose a product; they can use it well without much support and most children – the major segment of the tutor market – don’t have any use for non-specialist computer tutors. Thanks to this changing landscape, the domestic segment has evolved itself into offering two major services:
- Hardware services – these include hardware testing, repairing and installation
- Internet provider services – these include setting up high speed internet connections for new homes, apartments, residential complexes and schools
Computer Franchise UK – The Commercial Segment
This is the segment that well and truly brings the money in as far as computer and IT franchises UK are concerned. SMEs, for example, are always under-serviced when it comes to owning and using custom built IT/software solutions. Similarly, having a professional provide computer and networking hardware maintenance services around the year is a luxury few SMEs can afford.
The point is simple – there are businesses out there that have a genuine need for the services that UK computer franchises offer. If your computer franchise unit can manage to answer these demands while meeting all the right price points, it could be just what you need to get handsome returns on your investment.
How Much Do UK Computer Franchises Cost?
Thanks mainly to the many types that exist, computer franchises UK can cost you anywhere between £5,000 and £100,000.
We will discuss these types shortly – but before that, it’s important to understand how the outgoings and incomings shape up for UK computer and IT franchises.
Much of the initial investment you make in such franchises will go towards addressing two factors: the franchise fees (one time) and the cost of infrastructure.
Unlike other franchise businesses, computer and IT franchises UK require you to invest heavily in operating assets. These will, again, vary based on the business model and the services you provide, but the major components are computing and networking hardware, software and marketing.
“Even if your franchise offers digital marketing solutions as a part of internet-based services, you will need to invest aggressively in the marketing of your own business, too.”
Another important consideration to make while planning and budgeting for computer franchises is the ongoing costs of retaining/employing skilled, talented people. A computer franchise can’t possibly hope to grow year after year unless it has on board specialists who can offer consistently high-quality services to clients. And, as we know, working with highly skilled workforce costs a lot.
Other operational expenses will include rent of the location you operate from, client visits, utilities and insurance.
These are the outgoings you need to factor in while drawing up your business plan:
- Franchisor royalties/fees
- Marketing budget per month
- Staff salaries
- Costs of using software
Types of UK Computer Franchises
As we mentioned in the point above, there are many, many types of computer and IT franchises to choose from. It all, eventually, boils down to what you and your skill sets bring to the table.
Digital Marketing Franchises
Digital marketing is huge. Starting right from organic aspects like SEO and going all the way up to nationwide digital PR, these services are cheaper than traditional marketing and arguable more effective. There exist dozens of UK-wide digital marketing companies that want to expand their operations to new territories.
Web/App Development Franchises
The world of coding and programming is no longer shrouded in mystery and esoterism. People need skilled, experienced professionals to build them their websites, write custom software, design algorithms to order and create mobile apps. Most businesses prefer to work with local developers for these tasks simply because that’s how they think they can best stay on top of their projects.
So, unsurprisingly, successful web and app development businesses do like to onboard franchisees who can further their brand value.
Internet-Based Services Franchises
There’s not a lot of scope for establishing new internet service provider franchises in the UK. It’s a market that’s nearing saturation. That, however, hardly means that computer franchises UK need to forgo the enormous potential that internet-based services have to offer.
From creating customised network systems for SMEs to offering cloud-based data protection, forensics and storage solutions, internet-based IT franchises can offer services that almost every business needs today.
A point to note in this regard: Most internet-based franchises merely act as local representatives and agents for the franchisor. So, you won’t really need to be a trained professional in order to buy and run such units.
It’s true that the market for entry-level computer education is nearly extinct today.
However, the market for specialised learning is on the verge of a serious explosion. From basic coding to industrial programming languages like Python, experienced and trained individuals have a wide range of options to explore – especially if they want to operate in large cities and school/university territories.
Do You Need to Be a Trained Professional to Run a Computer Franchise?
It’s not always necessary – but if you are, you’ll be able to become more involved in the day to day operations of your computer franchise business.
Many franchisors require their franchisees to have some prior experience in their areas of operation.
Is It Possible to Run a UK Computer Franchise From Home?
Again, it depends on the nature of the business.
If you want to run a tutor franchise, you can easily run it right from you home and cut down on all peripheral costs – the most important feature of any home-based franchise.
On the other hand, if you are aiming to service businesses and industries, you will need a dedicated location to run the business from.
Top Computer Franchises UK
Here’s a short list of some of the most popular computer and IT franchises in the UK. Browsing through this list will give you an idea as to what minimum initial investment requirements are and what sort of brand value franchisors bring on board.
- Minimum Initial Investment: £7,995 (plus VAT)
- USP: Bespoke mobile app development service
- Full training and mentoring
- No coding skills required
- Marketing support
- Minimum Initial Investment: £6,000 (plus VAT)
- USP: Advanced digital marketing
- Home-based computer franchise
- Training and mentorship
- Lead generation support
- Minimum Initial Investment: £10,500 (plus VAT)
- USP: Computer education for children
- Ongoing training and support
- Valuable brand
- 11+ years in business
- Associate BFA Member
4. The iT Store
- Minimum Initial Investment: £50,000 (plus VAT)
- USP: UK’s only Apple product repair franchise
- 14-day training programme
- Fast growth
- Minimum Initial Investment: £3,995 (plus VAT)
- USP: Cloud-based digital signage solutions for SMEs
- Low overheads – can be run from home
- No coding skills required
- Business-in-a-box package
UK Computer Franchise – The Takeaways
- Choose a franchisor that stay ahead of the curve.
- Don’t enter stagnant or regressive markets.
- Focus on combining the commercial and domestic sectors.
- Offer specialised services complemented by ancillary, generic services.
- Get your business plan assessed by industry experts.
Running a computer franchise (or any franchise, for that matter), can be an uphill task for new, inexperienced franchisees. If you run a successful computer/IT franchise, we’d love to have you share your insights with thousands of our readers. Please send us a message here to get in touch.
Selective entries will be featured on our popular franchising success stories page.