The UK franchise industry is already worth billions of pounds. But it continues to grow every year.

Because – especially in a world where financial crises and novel coronaviruses can appear and shut down some types of business – it’s good to start your company with a ready-made support network in place.

You might already be on board with the idea of beginning your new business riding the wave of pre-existing brand awareness and getting the full training a good franchise opportunity will offer you.

But you still might not be sure which industry to buy your franchise in. So, what are the most profitable businesses which offer franchises in the UK?

Let’s find out:

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Table of Contents:

The most profitable franchises in the UK – and the most expensive

McDonald’s. KFC. Starbucks. Sonic. Most of the biggest and most successful franchises in the UK are in the food and beverage industry. Specifically, most of them are in the fast-food portion of the industry.

Brands like these are known around the world. They offer good returns and sky-high brand awareness. But there’s a downside which puts most would-be franchisees off at the door:

The buy-in. The franchise fee for McDonald’s is £30 000 and is growing. You also need to purchase your restaurant premises. Estimates for how much you’ll need to do this vary, but £800 000 is a figure that’s often suggested.

You can’t rely too much on bank loans to fund this expenditure either. McDonald’s insists that, in order for their brand to stay strong, you need pre-existing assets to get in the door.

That’s why most prospective franchisees – even though they know that food and drink franchises have a relatively high chance of success – look into other fields to make their fortune.

Industries with the most profitable franchises

Outside of that top tier of the most profitable businesses offering franchises which come with massive fees attached, there is a huge variety of profitable options which have smaller demands in terms of initial fees:

1) Cleaning and home improvement services

The number of households in the UK which currently use or are thinking about using domestic cleaning services is currently somewhere around the 2.5 million mark.

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Because of the expansion of the gig economy in recent years and the way modern jobs seem to require ever-increasing time commitments, people seem to have less time for themselves than ever before.

In turn, this has led to steady growth of the number of people using domestic services to free up their time. Despite the shocks of the 2008 recession, other financial crises and, most recently, COVID-19, this number continues to rise.

This all means that buying a franchise in the cleaning industry or home improvement industries is much more affordable than other options, while still being one of the most profitable types of franchise in the UK.

Plus, you don’t have to be keen to get involved in manual work for this to be the right industry to choose. Some franchisors – Fantastic Services, for example – also offer area development and master franchise opportunities where your sales skills, people and financial management abilities may be more highly valued.

2) Gardening services

Much like the other domestic services mentioned above, a gardening franchise is:

  • Highly affordable
  • Doesn’t require you to buy a premises or make other property investments
  • Resistant to shocks caused by financial crises and (as we’ve recently discovered) pandemics
  • Potentially accessible to sales and people management experts as well as green-fingered professionals
  • Always in demand

3) Financial services

Another profitable business area for you to consider if you’re a potential franchisee is financial services. This might cover providing a huge range of financial assistance for companies, other organisations and individuals, including:

  • Accountancy
  • Cost management
  • Debt management
  • Financial planning
  • Retirement planning

The only downside is that it’s usually a requirement that you have pre-existing training or experience in the UK financial services industry.

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Some finance franchises do come with training. But, as you might imagine, it’s fairly extensive if you’re coming from a non-finance background.

4) Home care services

Home care services include providing assistance for the more than 10 million people in the UK who are over the age of 65.

This might include assisting with home healthcare needs of all kinds, from helping people with mobility problems or disabilities to conditions like dementia.

Others provide general home care services which assist elderly people with their cooking and cleaning, shopping or managing their finances.

The UK’s rapidly ageing population means that this is sure to be an expanding market in the coming years. But it’s also one which should only really be considered by the most caring and dedicated prospective franchisees.

5) Fitness services

If you have a background in health or nutrition or are willing to train and study to get one, a franchise in the health and fitness industry might just be for you.

There always seems to be a new gym opening somewhere nearby, indicating that this is an industry with high demand but also we might imagine a high turnover, as old gyms seem to close and new ones take their place all the time.

6) Removals and waste removal services

Perhaps less “on-trend” than a fitness franchise, but if you’re going to be on the manual end of a removal service franchise or waste removal service franchise, a little bit of physical fitness usually goes with the territory.

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Many people become franchisees in removal or waste removal services as it allows them to deliver the same kind of services they always have – or which they have experience in – but know that they will be doing so:

  1. Under a brand people are aware of
  2. With access to better processes
  3. While able to work with a much larger existing customer base

7) Pest control

It might not be the most glamorous industry, but pest control is highly necessary and a pest control franchise is a profitable one.

Again, driving factors that motivate people to enter the industry vary between the facts that there are low barriers to entry, little demand for upfront capital, and high demand for services.

There are also opportunities to enter at an area development or master franchise level with some franchise systems – Fantastic Services, for instance.

Don’t choose the most profitable businesses – choose by industry

Overall, the most important “takeaway” is that while the takeaway business might be the most profitable, it’s also by far and away the most expensive to enter as a franchisee.

Also, when choosing the most profitable franchise opportunity, it’s always a good idea to choose an industry where the demand for the services you offer remains high come what may.

This way, you’ll always be ready to turn a profit.

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Looking for a profitable franchise opportunity matched to your skillset?

Fantastic Services offers franchises in six different industries – all of which feature on this list.

Contact us today and tell us about the opportunity you’re interested in. There’s no commitment whatsoever.

  • Last update: October 15, 2021

Posted in Advice Hub, Industry Insights