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The Golden Touch The Dragons turned up their noses at Laban Roomes’ plans to build a franchise. Four years later, Goldgenie boasts a multi-million pound turnover and sells its wares in 20 countries around the world

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An exciting business opportunity for those with long term vision When investing in a new business, there are never any guarantees. True entrepreneurs thrive on the risks and challenges that come with a start-up, overcoming such challenges is what drives them. However, taking on those challenges with the support of a franchisor is proving an exciting option particularly in the world of home care, where policy and procedures to meet quality standards can be time consuming and costly. Home Care is an exciting business opportunity for those with long term vision; The UK’s elderly population is set to grow by over 50% in the coming 25 years a statistic no-one can ignore. Couple this with Caremark’s business model that incorporates care for all vulnerable people offering franchisees multi revenue streams, plus exceptional business support. Add to this in house accredited training, and starting a care business begins to look a very attractive option.

The care sector attracted my attention because it was clearly a growth industry and was providing a service, which I knew I could feel passionate about. I thought the level of support offered to franchisees by Caremark was particularly strong Janis Anderson (Caremark Aylesbury and Wycombe) the bfa, HSBC franchisee and Female Franchisee of the Year 2013 commented

To find out how a care franchise could meet your business and personal goals call Caremark’s Franchise Recruitment Manager Claire Collins on 01903 266 392

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SPRING 2014 SALES Adam Reynolds Account Manager EDITORIAL Hannah Prevett – Editor Josh Russell – Feature Writer Adam Pescod – Feature Writer Helene Stokes – Chief Sub-editor DESIGN/PRODUCTION Leona Connor – Head Designer Dan Lecount Web Development Manager CIRCULATION Malcolm Coleman Circulation Manager ACCOUNTS Sally Stoker – Finance Manager Colin Munday Management Accountant ADMINISTRATION Charlotte James – Administrator DIRECTOR Scott English Managing Director

In this issue A golden opportunity


Laban Roomes has transformed Goldgenie into a formidable franchise

Circulation enquiries: CE Media Call: 0208 214 1068 Elite Franchise is published quarterly by CE Media, Fortis House, 160 London Road, Barking, IG11 8BB Copyright 2013. All rights reserved No part of Elite Franchise may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of the editor. Elite Franchise will make every effort to return picture material, but this is at the owner’s risk. Due to the nature of the printing process, images can be subject to a variation of up to 15 per cent, therefore CE Media Limited cannot be held responsible for such variation.

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Moving on up Many a female entrepreneur is franchising their way to glory

7 15

Sharing in success

Buying into an established brand can work wonders for an entrepreneur

A taste of Asia


Pan Chai is set to take the UK food scene by storm

24 30

Building up speed

Franchising is a decent bet for firms with an eye on fast growth

Care and attention

It pays to make sure you’re not misleading franchisees with your figures

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Upcoming Events: The Franchise Show February 14 - 15 ExCel 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1XL National Franchise Exhibition February 14 - 15 The NEC Birmingham, B40 1NT British & International Franchise Exhibition March 14 - 15 Olympia Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX British Franchise Exhibition June 20 - 21 EventCity, Phoenix Way Manchester, M14 7TB A full event listing is available on our website: events

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FRANCHISE NEWS Rounding up the latest happenings in the world of franchising

Regardless of your sector, the last quarter of the year can only mean one thing: awards season. This holds just as true for franchising, with the Smith & Henderson 2013 Best Franchise Awards in December proving to be a rewarding evening for the industries best and brightest. Home Instead Senior Care netted the top gong, also being recognised for its five-star franchisee satisfaction.

There’s nothing quite like a January sale, which is possibly why Papa John’s has launched its ‘biggest and best’ franchisee incentive scheme. Coming packaged with a royalty holiday, free equipment and marketing spend for new stores opening in designated areas, the Papa John’s scheme seems to come as part of a concerted push for growth for the franchise in 2014. Definitely

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an enticing extra topping for those buying into the pizza franchise. All-in-all, 2013 was a year of milestones for sandwich franchise Subway. Not only did it open its 40,000th store on our fair shores with another outlet in illustrious Ipswich but a new outlet in the Irish city of Cork marks its 1,700th store in the UK and Ireland. Perhaps this sort of growth isn’t surprising, coming as it does from the world’s largest restaurant chain, but it’s still something to celebrate nonetheless.

into the Central Asian and Middle Eastern markets, Tesco’s togs are set to be brought to Europe following the signing of F&F franchise agreements in Gibraltar and Switzerland.

JuliusKielaitis /

Elsewhere in awards town, the warm glow of the spotlight would certainly have taken the minds of certain franchisees off the winter chill as they were recognised in October’s British Franchise Association (bfa) HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards. Caremark franchisee Janis Anderson netted both Franchisee of the Year and Female Franchisee of the Year. A full list of the winners is available on the bfa’s website.

We’ve long been accustomed to Tesco’s ubiquitous presence in our towns and cities, something which is only furthered by its expansion into clothing with its F&F brand. But it seems its clothing is likely to become a familiar sight on the continent as well. Following successful forays

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Generation XX EWIF’s Louise Bruce tells us how women are taking on the world of franchising


lance through the business pages on any given day and there’s a fair-to-middling chance you’ll stumble across something about the importance of female business owners to our economic resilience. However, not every woman in the UK will necessarily want to build her own Unilever or clamber to the top of G4S. Fortunately, franchising can prove an excellent fit for women looking to run their own business whilst retaining a level of freedom that may be unavailable in a corporate career. “Frequently women have taken time out of their careers to have children and returning to their old jobs may not be possible, may not be attractive to them or may not allow them to fit their family life around it adequately,” explains Louise Bruce, managing director of Big Red Box PR and co-chair of Encouraging Women into Franchising (EWIF), the organisation championing women’s involvement in franchising. “However, buying a franchise – where they can choose the area they work in, the hours they work and receive full training and support – is a very attractive proposition for women seeking to return to the workplace.” One of the key aims of EWIF has been to encourage women who may be frustrated with traditional employment to consider franchising, especially considering its of franchised incredibly low failure rates businesses were still compared to launching a start-up – Bruce references trading and profitable figures from the 2012 NatWest after two years British Franchise Association (bfa) Franchise Survey that found 85% of franchised businesses were still trading and profitable after two years. She explains: “Franchising won’t be for everyone but, before they invest in a potentially risky start-up business, we’d ask them to come along to an EWIF meeting, meet some experienced franchising professionals and consider



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Louise Harris and Louise Bruce, co-chairs, Encouraging Women Into Franchising (EWIF)

franchising as an option.” Putting a woman at the helm of her own business is an admirable aim but it’s not just about individual benefit. “As their businesses grow, more jobs may be created and more service industries employed, meaning further economic prosperity for all,” comments Bruce. Of course, whether it’s a man or a woman that has their hand on the tiller isn’t the influencing factor; the important point is that the right business options are available for all, regardless of gender. “The overall impact of that is a workforce, male and female, that has a range of different options for earning an income, options for working flexibly and longer term.” Given the bfa’s last report placed the annual turnover of the franchising industry at £13.4bn, it’s not surprising 2014 is already shaping up to be an important year for EWIF. Following a meeting the previous year with Justin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon, the organisation has been invited to hold its London meetings at the Houses of Parliament from here-on. As Bruce explains: “This is an incredible opportunity for us to take our message to the heart of the government, to lobby for change in areas that affect our members and to generally tell even more women about the wonderful world of franchising.” Adding this to its NatWest EWIF Awards 2014, to be held in May at RBS House, it certainly seems big things are round the corner. “With the rise of the ‘mumpreneur’, more and more women are looking to go into business for themselves and EWIF are perfectly positioned to guide them on their journey to becoming a successful franchise business owner,” concludes Bruce. “The future of franchising continues to look bright for women going into 2014.”

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“The future of franchising looks bright for women going into 2014�

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24/12/2013 11:56

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24/12/2013 12:33



A glittering success

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Laban Roomes’ Goldgenie is a perfect fit for business people who feel they have the Midas touch


hen Laban Roomes, the founder of Goldgenie, appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2009, the investors were staunchly against him franchising his gold-plating business. Theo Paphitis said he’d need more money to franchise the company. Peter Jones predicted difficulty finding successful franchisees: “You need to go and find another 30 Labans – and I think you might struggle,” he famously said. But, in a twist of fate, as the BBC show has been beamed around the world, it’s given Goldgenie’s franchising model the boost it needs to become a glittering success.

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former doesn’t entitle a company or an individual to use the original brand now, Roomes explains. “They can call themselves a Goldgenie-certified professional, but the company can’t be called Goldgenie. So the company may be called ‘John’’s gold-plating company’, but John is a certified Goldgenie operative.” There are currently just under 60 Goldgenie business opportunities across the UK. From a 100ml bottle of gold, Roomes says business opportunity purchasers can expect to make £2,000- to £3,000. The appearance of the gold is surprising – far from being the molten gold conjured by makers of epic movie The Hobbit, the solution is actually purple, but when used in conjunction with activator chemicals and then charged with electrical current, the gold soon shines through. (Elite Franchise can confirm the process is as simple as Roomes attests having gold-plated a spoon at the Goldgenie offices last month.) The decision to plump for business opportunities rather than full franchising was an effort to protect the Goldgenie brand, says Roomes. It also meant he could keep costs down for those wanting to buy a slice of the company. “The reason we don’t want people trading as Goldgenie is because we’ve built the brand so much over the years… to trade as Goldgenie you’d have to pay a lot more than £3,000.” This is one tenet to the company’s business model. Another is the selling of master franchises overseas. The first was sold in Cyprus three years ago, but master franchises have now been sold in 20 countries, including Qatar, Oman, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Sweden and Germany. Roomes says the cost of purchasing a master franchise varies and can cost as little as £3,000 or as much as £100,000 depending on the market.

“It’s funny because when I first went onto Dragons’ Den, they were completely against me franchising” “It’s funny because when I first went onto Dragons’ Den, they were completely against me franchising. They thought I’d need a lot more money to do the franchising successfully,” says Roomes. “But Dragons’ Den is shown in so many different countries, every time they show the Dragons’ Den show in a new country, that country seems to want to buy a franchise. It’s an amazing tool that’s still working for me up until this day.” Goldgenie has two different propositions for people wanting to buy into the brand. Firstly, it offers so-called ‘business propositions’. This is where a punter will hand over £3,000 in exchange for all of the materials and equipment required to get up and running. They’ll also get training – either in person at Goldgenie’s HQ in Pimlico, London, or via video tutorial. Where a business opportunity differs from a franchise is that the

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Goldgenie invested heavily in its website which means that when a new master franchisee comes on board now the website can be immediately duplicated in the franchisee’s country. “It’s a good way to make extra revenue,” admits Roomes. “Also, we were getting so many calls from people outside of the country about gold-plating, we thought wouldn’t it be good if we could have people based all around the world who could take up this service themselves.” Once the master franchise is sold, the onus is on that franchisee to market the business within their region, and to sell business opportunities in their domestic market. They also sell Goldgenie’s higher end luxury goods. “We become like a wholesaler,” explains Roomes. “Our Cyprus model probably takes £50,000 or £60,000 of products from us every single month.” For the entrepreneur, selling master franchises has enabled the brand to grow much more quickly than if he was selling direct in each

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“The last thing we want to do is sell a franchise to someone who’s just going to sit on it” country. “I haven’t got time to go and set up in a foreign country where I don’t know the laws,” Roomes says. “Also, that means I’m going to be away from my core business. It’s much better to get somebody to actually invest money into the company, and at the same time take the business forward in their own country. They know the rules, they know the market. It’s worked successfully in every single country.” Owing to the weight of responsibility on master franchisees, Roomes says it’s vital to choose them carefully. “We’ve got a process to make sure they’re the right type of person that we are looking for – it’s very important for us. The last thing we want to do is sell a franchise to someone who’s just going to sit on it. And then it’s almost like that country becomes dead.” One of the concerns of the Dragons back in 2009 was that marketing would cost a pretty penny – but the show has done the lion’s share of the promotion for Roomes and his team. Each time the show is aired in a new market, that usually leads to a master franchise enquiry, he says. From the point the partner signs on the bottom line, the impetus is on them to market the brand on their home turf. But Roomes says master franchisees aren’t just buying a slice of the company, but a bit of Laban Roomes too. “Everyone’s buying a piece of me,” he laughs. “I think they buy into the sizzle, they buy into the dream I’ve got for this business. It’s not about the machine, or the chemicals, or even the product, it’s more about the lifestyle.” Roomes takes his inspiration from his business heroes. “I try to emulate the style of business visionaries like Richard Branson, who is the face of his brand. You’ve got to be someone interesting, and come across as someone interesting, so people want to buy into your brand. It can help tremendously if you can do that.”

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Suzie McCafferty, managing director of Platinum Wave

A safe bet?

Suzie McCafferty, managing director of franchise consultancy Platinum Wave, explains why buying into a franchise could be the best business decision you ever make

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f you’ve ever heard the expression ‘don’t reinvent the wheel’ then you should appreciate why there are huge benefits in buying a franchise business. At the core of franchising is the fact that the franchisor should have a proven business model and track record of success. Straight away this gives you an advantage over someone starting from scratch. Moreover, a good franchise should have invested heavily in building a brand, operational systems and proven marketing strategies so you don’t have to. However, how do you know which franchise opportunity to choose? There is a bewildering choice of franchises out there. According to the most recent NatWest bfa Franchise Survey there are now 929 franchise brands operating in the UK, employing 594,000 people. Many larger franchise brands are well-known such as McDonalds, Subway and Domino’s Pizza, but you do not have to be in fast food or join a multinational operation to become a franchisee. There is a huge variety of franchise business opportunities from children’s sports coaching, homecare services and property lettings to vehicle repair, garden maintenance and family magazine publishing. And that’s just naming a few. The key thing is that for the majority of franchise opportunities, you do not need to have previous experience in that field. Franchisors like to train franchisees in their particular systems and processes so starting with a ‘blank canvas’ is often an advantage. However, you should be able to follow a system and be aware there is little room for mavericks in franchising.

24/12/2013 11:59

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“The good news is that the banks are very much in favour of franchise-based businesses” The cost of a franchise can range from under £10,000 to in excess of £100,000 depending on sector, so there is something for every budget depending on the return you wish to make. The good news is that the banks are very much in favour of franchise-based businesses. Most of the main banks have specialist franchise units who will lend up to 70% of the franchise set-up costs (including working capital). There is also much variety in the styles of franchise business. You may want to buy into a management franchise where you appoint a manager to run it for you once you have the business up and running profitably. This arrangement can be ideal if you have business or other commitments outside of the franchise. Alternatively, you may want to work from home or be mobile-based. There are plenty of opportunities to choose from depending on the environment you would like to work in and the required return on investment. What other reasons are there that may make it preferable to buy a franchise rather than do it on your own from scratch? Firstly, franchises have a much lower failure rate than businesses in general. Independent research has shown that franchise businesses are six to seven times more likely to survive. The franchisor has to have proven that they have a sustainable and profitable business before they can offer it as a franchise. In effect, they have done all the hard work to develop systems and processes, which form the foundations for a successful business. Secondly, the majority of franchisors will help with such things as admin and marketing support, business development, property or lease acquisition and

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are continually developing the business model so that you can focus on your core activity: building a profitable local business. So how do you go about choosing a franchise? There is a substantial amount of information out there in the form of books, magazines and websites. Your first port of call should be the British Franchise Association website and Both websites have a wealth of information, contacts and resources relating to franchising. It is also worth visiting the major franchise exhibitions where you can meet franchisors and franchisees face-to-face – details of these and regional seminars can also be found on the bfa website. Once you have shortlisted the franchise businesses you are interested in, the next step is to meet the franchisor. Many franchise businesses now host discovery days where you get the opportunity to meet with the franchisor and existing franchisees and find out about the business in much more detail. It is vital to prepare in advance what questions you would like answered. A franchise is a long-term commitment (normally a minimum of five years) so it is absolutely vital that the two parties can work well together. Despite how it may appear, a franchise is by no means an easy option – it needs commitment and hard work from the franchisee to make it work. However, if you choose the right franchise business for you, the rewards can be enormous, both financially and personally. I can think of many examples of franchisees who have said buying a franchise has been the best career and business decision they have ever made.


About Platinum Wave Platinum Wave is an independent BFA-accredited franchise consultancy. Managing director Suzie McCafferty has worked in the sector for over a decade having successfully built her own international franchising networks and establishing multimillion pound companies through franchising in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean. She now specialises in helping other businesses grow and develop through successful and sustainable franchising, and franchisee recruitment on an international scale.

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A caring opportunity Since its launch in 2005, Caremark has become synonymous with two things: a great business opportunity and high quality home care. Franchise Fee £32,950 + VAT



t is as true today as it was then, with the franchise continuing to attract plenty of interest from high calibre professionals seeking a worthwhile investment. The brainchild of Kevin Lewis founder and CEO, Caremark has continued to grow and develop and now has offices throughout the UK, Ireland and one in Malta. Having been involved in the Care business for the last 25 years, Kevin reflected “I still find it the most exciting business I have ever been involved in and I’m staggered that I am still as excited today as I was then”. As business opportunities go, Caremark has produced a business model which has remained both relevant and commercial, in spite of the downturn in the economy. Two factors which contribute to this are: the model embraces diverse ways of delivering care and support, thus keeping pace with the Kevin Lewis, Caremark changing needs of the public it serves and secondly, being competitively priced it has remained accessible to a broad range of potential investors. Historically, investors wishing to buy a Caremark franchise were professionals looking to change their career or invest funds into another business. Today, more and more professionals are finding themselves looking down the long pipe of possible redundancy and what that will mean for them. Those attracted to the care sector (which has a current annual value of over £25bn) are also looking for a career which will do more than just build a very profitable business. There is

also the need to find a business which will return something to society and the community they serve. Interestingly, the care sector is now attracting enquiries from overseas business professionals and domestic high-investment entrepreneurs. Having a vision of several years down the line is essential if franchisees wish to reap the rewards of this high level, long term investment. Entrepreneurs certainly need to have the requisite amount of capital available to buy a high-level investment franchise, but more important is the need for the right professionals to come into the business, which is why the company is careful in its selection of franchisees for the network. The care industry is about people – managing a team and delivering a service to vulnerable clients. It is so much more than simply owning a multi-million pound business. Caremark started 2013 at a run, with 4 new franchisees joining the network in January alone, attracted not only by the proven business model, but also by the longevity of the industry into which they were investing. Crucial to the continued success of the network is the recruitment of the right calibre individual who will have not only a passion for the industry, but the requisite drive and ambition to grow a substantial business. Certainly, this is a business opportunity with great potential. What it is not is a ‘get-rich-quick’ option. The success of the business is essentially down to the franchisee – there are no guarantees with any business, which is why Caremark is careful to select the right franchisees for the network.

From an investor’s point of view, buying into a reputable brand is vital. There is also the need for honesty and integrity within the organisation– a culture which must come from the top down. A successful network will demonstrate this ethos and will be a clear indicator that the company operates within a culture of honesty and transparency. Marry this up with strong network support and excellent training for franchisees and their staff and you have a franchise opportunity guaranteed to get a second look.

“I still find it the most exciting business I have ever been involved in”

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24/12/2013 12:31


Having established itself in the Harrods Food Hall, luxury panAsian food concept Pan Chai seems destined for franchising glory at home and abroad

A franchise made in foodie heaven




“Being in the Harrods food halls is almost like the window to the world”

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f there is one industry that accommodates franchises like no other, the eating-out arena can stake a fair claim. Firstly, it continues to be a lucrative and popular market; recession or no recession. Equally, there is probably something to be said for the lure of owning a restaurant. However, the vast majority of growth is currently being seen most in the fast-food domain. There is yet to be any significant movement in the traditional restaurant sector when it comes to franchising, nor has there been much differentiation in the types of cuisine on offer. This, though, is where Pan Chai comes in. For starters, the luxury pan-Asian restaurant concept can boast having a flagship outlet in the Harrods Food Hall. Needless to say, such a positioning has put the brand in fairly good stead as it sets foot on its franchising journey, with five new sites planned before the end of this year. “For us, when we are creating a brand for the restaurant sector, being in the Harrods food halls is almost like the window to the world,” says Andrew Lloyd, director at Pan Chai. “It gives us so much exposure and it puts you on such a high platform to launch a product. It was the perfect route for us and we have learned a lot of stuff from the way that Harrods works and the types of standards they expect.” Of course, it is reasonable enough to ask how one goes about securing a place in the Harrods Food Hall. Well, the stature and reputation that Pan Chai owner and restaurateur Eddie Lim brought to the table had some part to play. Lim already has the likes of Awana and Singapore Garden under his belt. That’s not to mention Mango Tree, the much-lauded Thai restaurant in Belgravia which has sites worldwide and now shares the floor

space with Pan Chai in Harrods. This ultimately gave the company some artistic licence – so to speak – over what sort of offering would materialize in Harrods. “They wanted us to take over the sushi bar, but they said they’d seen a 30% increase on the Chinese customers coming in,” explains Lloyd. “So we did a little bit of research on this and said it would be more suited to a pan-Asian restaurant. It is somewhere that people can go and have a dish from the region of Asia they love.” Unsurprisingly, Lim and Lloyd have had little chance to breathe since Pan Chai’s April 2012 Harrods launch. Not only has the restaurant gone down a storm, but work has begun in earnest in taking the concept nationwide with a franchise model. Thankfully, this is another area where the pair has considerable experience. “We have got a few brands within the group and we have always done franchising on a worldwide scale,” Lloyd comments. “We sat down and thought we should really focus on the UK market because we are a UK company. So we decided to start franchising in the UK with Pan Chai and, being really passionate about franchising and the way we market that as a group, it is the perfect route for us.” These credentials have been recognised by the British Franchise Association

24/12/2013 13:51


“They have got to be passionate about food. They have got to be passionate about business”

(bfa), which has accredited Pan Chai as a provisional member. Lloyd adds: “That gives us a real push in the right direction. When people come to us, they know that we have got an approved body saying we have got a proven system in place that you can follow and you can have a sustainable business.” Pan Chai’s franchise proposition is certainly an intriguing one, with three different concepts up for grabs. On top of the quick service restaurant (QSR) outlets akin to the flagship Harrods site, franchisees will also have an opportunity to open fine dining and casual dining versions. Lloyd explains that this is part and parcel of a desire to take the luxury pan-Asian dining experience to as wide a reaching audience as possible. “Our target market will vary between the different models because it will be on the level of spend,” he says. “I would say the casual will be accessible to most people. The fine dining will be at that higher spend that may be out of the reach of most people but it will still be accessible.” And whilst the initial focus is on the fine dining outlets, Lloyd envisages a situation where Pan Chai franchisees are operating a handful of sites, potentially under each of the three banners. “The people who come on board could have one QSR, one casual and if they feel like going into the fine dining sector, they could have a fine dining unit as well.”

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Naturally, the ideal Pan Chai franchisee will possess the qualities required to maintain the level of class and quality cuisine being offered in Harrods. “The franchisees that are coming on board are hopefully going to be multi-site operators, and people from all different backgrounds,” says Lloyd. “They have got to be passionate about food and they have got to be passionate about business.” The target of five restaurants by the end of 2014 is also reflective of the need to retain control of the brand in the early stages of franchising. “We have got to grow organically,” says Lloyd. “We don’t want to grow too quickly and not be able to maintain the control and checks that are needed to make the level of restaurant that everyone is expecting.” Nevertheless, international expansion is firmly on the agenda for Pan Chai, as one would reasonably expect. “Even though we are concentrating on the UK market, we are looking at global markets,” says Lloyd. “In five years’ time, I would like to say that we have really got control of a sector where nobody else has come in and standardised the pan-Asian concept in a franchising manner.” We can already hear the stomachs of the British public rumbling with anticipation.


24/12/2013 17:59

Harry Ramsden’s is Britain’s longest established restaurant chain and is world famous for its Fish and Chips. Celebrating 85 years in operation, there are currently almost 30 Harry Ramsden’s outlets operating across the UK from as far North as Inverness right down to the South in Bournemouth, with branches also trading successfully in Ireland.

We’re expanding. Do you want to be part of something big? HARRY’S FACTS • Fish and Chips remain the nation’s favourite cuisine with 382m portions sold annually. • Harry Ramsden’s is the brand most closely associated with Fish and Chips globally. • Brand awareness and recognition coupled with the popularity of the offering ensure Harry Ramsden’s outlets compete effectively with their competition from the outset.

For more information call Chris on 0203 077 5880 or email Harry Ramsden's.indd 1

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Harry’s Franchise Options We’re looking to increase our presence through the roll out of our two core offerings: Restaurants and Locals, both of which offer an amazing opportunity to become part of a British Institution. •Full service restaurants with seating and separate takeaway counters in premises extending up to 4000 sq ft in major cities and seaside locations… Typical investment c£705k. •Traditional locals extending up to 1000 sq ft, located in the heart of heavily populated towns, cities and suburbs offering takeaway meals to the local community… Typical investment c£245k. If you’d like to find out more about becoming part of our Great British Institution, contact Chris on 0203 077 5880 email or visit our website.

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24/12/2013 12:48


Franchising: The Fast Way To Grow 24

Entrepreneurs who want to expand rapidly would do well to consider franchising, writes Jon Card. He speaks to three very different businesses about why this was the best model for growth


ranchising has been around for some time, made popular in the 20th century by major US food brands such as McDonald’s and KFC. However, it’s a method of growth to which entrepreneurs return. Also, for those who want to ‘be in charge’, but who lack the start-up idea, it’s a great way to go into business. Franchising is about taking a tried-and-tested business model and transporting it wholesale to another destination, where, in theory, it should operate in precisely the same way. For Mahesh Raikar, founder of Indian burrito company Wrapchic, franchising was the obvious option to expand his business. He opened his first food outlet in Birmingham city centre in July 2012 and began expanding almost straight away, with a second venue opening the following September. The business now has eight outlets nationwide and Raikar is already thinking internationally. “Usually you need to have at least two years’ history to get someone on board and to have the systems and processes in place to give them confidence that the business is scaleable,” Raikar says. “We have broken the mould and expanded rapidly in our first 18 months.” Raikar benefitted from his contacts in the food industry where he worked for many years. The initial franchises were purchased by his previous employer, Compass Group. However, his most recent franchisee in Soho, London, was someone who had simply seen the business and wanted a slice of the action. Raikar spent nearly two

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Franchising is about taking a tried-andtested business model and transporting it wholesale to another destination years perfecting his products and delivery before starting and believes it is key to build a strong launch pad prior to rapid growth. “You have to have processes in place, an idea that is replicable and the business needs to be scaleable,” he says. “People need to have the confidence that the brand they are buying into is strong.”

Into Africa


Food retail isn’t the only area where franchising can be a success. Indeed some businesses that use the model come from the other end of the spectrum entirely. BBOXX is a university technology spin-out from Imperial College, London, which produces solar-powered electricity generators for the developing world. “Electricity is fundamental to quality of life and so we wanted to address the fact that many people in the developing world don’t have access to it,” says CEO Mansoor Hamayun. He and cofounders Christopher Baker-Brian and Laurent

“Franchising was the way to internationalise our business – there was no other way” Mansoor Hamayun

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Van Houcke, developed ‘plug and play’ solar systems and quickly began to make inroads. Within three years, BBOXX was operating in 15 African and Asian countries, and has brought electricity to more than 40,000 homes. The business has revenues of $3m per year and has recently gained investment from Silicon Valley clean-tech investor Khosla Impact. However, when expanding internationally, finding good partners is always key and this is even more important when working in the developing world. “Franchising was the way to internationalise our business – there was no other way,” Hamayun explains. Going into places like Congo or Sudan themselves wouldn’t have been an option, meaning they needed an inclusive business model that would help them to get containers into those countries. “So we work with traders and people who have real experience of working in these countries and know how it works,” he says. “Our typical customer has never had electricity before, so we are also selling them TVs and fridges as they don’t have experience of these products.” As this is new technology, BBOXX provides considerable training, via consultants, to its franchisees. The business starts with a simple distribution agreement and then deepens into a more meaningful arrangement and full franchise as both parties get to know one another. “We like to think it’s a business in a box – that’s where the name came from,” explains Hamayun. “It starts off with a distribution agreement and then builds into a franchise. The franchisees have exclusivity in their country and have to import and sell certain amounts per year. They want to be a part of the bigger family, there’s a lot of pride in this for them and we want to support the local franchisees in driving the business further.”

24/12/2013 12:03


Checklist for franchising


The operational side of running a franchise is often fairly straightforward and there are manuals explaining what to do for those running the businesses. However, some franchises also recruit very skilled and experienced people, and it’s by no means confined to product-led companies. Therefore, entrepreneurs in the UK’s services sector might also consider using it as a model for growth. Pink Spaghetti, founded by Vicky Matthews and Caroline Gowing, offers PA services to primarily clients in the SME sector. Both founders wanted to use the skills they had gained during their professional careers, but desired more flexibility in their lives. They began their own office just over three years ago, but after it was successful they decided to expand. “We felt we could have a bigger business, as the model was working for our area and we thought it would work elsewhere. However, we didn’t want to have to employ lots of managers and set up new offices across the country,” says Matthews. “By having franchisees we can find people with the same level of passion and commitment that we have. Also, they can use their local knowledge and contacts in the business.” Pink Spaghetti sells franchises for £3,000 targeted at women like them who’ve had experience working in the corporate world, possibly have had children, but now wanted to use their skills again. “It has to be the right person and we have to be right for them. We want people who are professional, approachable, and empathetic to the needs of customers. No day is ever the same, we get a wide range of requests from clients. But we offer comprehensive training so they’re ready to start on day one. Also there’s no limit to the support we give people.”

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Is your business ready for franchising? Put it to the test with our list


1 Is the business replicable? Franchises offer the same services wherever they are.

Vicky Matthews and Caroline Gowing

“By having franchisees we can find people with the same level of passion and commitment that we have”

2 Is the business scaleable? Many franchises are domestic as householders need similar products and services across the country. 3 Could a manual explain how to run your business? Franchises typically offer training, guidance and support to franchisees. 4 Do you have a strong brand? Your franchisee will benefit from company-wide advertising, marketing and recognition. 5 How strong are your company values? Franchisors typically have core values which define their businesses and are upheld by their franchisees.

24/12/2013 12:03


Dublcheck doubles down the decades


Now entering into its 21st year, Dublcheck reflects on its anniversary celebrations and the success of franchisees


s one of the fastest growing and most successful franchises in the UK, 2013 has certainly been a big year for Dublcheck, not least because it marked 20 years of business for the leading commercial cleaning company. Deciding to celebrate in style, the franchise hosted a glittering ball to recognise the many achievements of the organisation and its franchisees. The ball, hosted by founder and Chairman Carol Stewart-Gill, was held in the Leverhulme Stand at the historic Chester Racecourse. Over 120 guests attended the superb occasion and enjoyed a champagne reception, dinner and an evening of entertainment. Guests were treated to a dazzling performance from world modern jive dance champions and franchisee owners Hazel Surguy-Price and John Lloyd. An outstanding performance by acoustic reggae and Latinostyle band Duncan Disorderly & The Scallywags brought everyone to the dance floor and got the evening into full swing. Speaking passionately on the night about the company she founded in 1993, Carol StewartGill said, “It is fabulous to be sharing the achievements of this wonderful organisation with our franchisees. Success only comes with hard work, grit and determination, and this evening demonstrates the commitment of our franchisees and dedicated head office team.” Len Donnelly won the prestigious Dublcheck 20th Anniversary Award. Since joining the

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Dublcheck network over six years you a success. Dublcheck’s “We can’t thank make ago, Len has amassed an annual approved training programme our franchisees will make you a professional in turnover in excess of £325,000. To recognise his ongoing growth your field. Having been in the enough for and exceptional quality service, business of setting people up in the sustaining our commercial cleaning business for Dublcheck awarded Len a holiday reputation as for two at the luxurious Bellagio twenty years, Dublcheck knows Hotel, Las Vegas. how to deliver. When you invest in a high quality Carol congratulated and thanked a franchise, our committed head and committed office team will not only walk you franchisees for maintaining Dublcheck’s values and for through a comprehensive training organisation” providing exceptional customer course but it will also go that Carol Stewart-Gill, founder and Chairman, Dublcheck service standards, “We can’t extra mile by obtaining cleaning thank our franchisees enough for contracts on your behalf. sustaining our reputation as a high quality and Founded in 1993, Dublcheck is the UK’s leading committed organisation. We look forward to even franchised commercial cleaning company and more exciting and prosperous years ahead.” has been recognised as the 20th fastest growing private company by Virgin Fast Track and The About Dublcheck Sunday Times. With over a hundred franchisees Dublcheck is a franchise that requires few sales in operation, Dublcheck remains a wholly owned skills. All the business is obtained on behalf British company. Carol Stewart-Gill says with of our franchisees so they know exactly what confidence, “If you put in the effort and follow the their turnover will be. You can start with a Dublcheck System, huge rewards can be realised!” minimum turnover of £14,950 per annum if you want to run a hands-on business, starting small whilst retaining the security of your current employment, or you can purchase a franchise Dublcheck worth half a million pounds per annum by operating a management business. Opportunities Website: are endless: there is no upper limit. Email: Whatever your background, investing in a Phone: 0800 317236 Dublcheck Commercial Cleaning Franchise can

24/12/2013 13:00

We GUARANTEE: Turnover





Dublcheck franchise owners receiving their awards at Dublcheck 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner





Dublcheck franchisees celebrate at their National Conference




Len Donnelly franchise owner receiving his Las Vegas Award


Find out how you can be a business builder with Dublcheck. Call us today or fill in the slip below for further information

0800 317236


The Dublcheck Head Office Support Team For fruther information please fill in your details below and post to:

Dublcheck House, Minerva Court, Minerva Avenue, Chester CH1 4QT Name:






I would prefer to contacted by: Untitled-5 1



Email 24/12/2013 13:05



Including inaccurate or intentionally misleading details in a franchise agreement can prove to be a costly mistake indeed

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hen thinking of franchises fighting involved in being found guilty in a fraud case. Ford continues: “The legal battles, one is more likely to think finding of fraud in the High Court is a matter of public record – it will of coffee cups and Golden Arches than massively affect their existing network relations and their ability to fraudulent claims made on franchise agreements. recruit in the future.” Nonetheless, cases of misrepresentation in In cases where there isn’t a claim of intentional misrepresentation, a franchise agreements can result in significant franchisee can still attempt to prove either negligent or innocent legal costs for all involved. For this reason, it’s misrepresentation. “They still have a right to rescind the agreement and vital to know how to bring about a happy possibly claim damages but they then have to overcome all of the resolution for all involved – preferably before the exclusion clauses in the contract,” explains Ford. Obviously this retains case hits the courts. in place some of those essential legal protections but can potentially still Allegations of misrepresentation can come leave a franchisor open to some pretty severe repercussions. about in one of two ways. The first is a mistake on Realistically, it’s going to be better to resolve contract-breaking the part of the franchisee in misunderstanding scenarios out of court. One option is to use mediation to find a mutually what was being offered by the original agreement beneficial solution. For example, in a case where a franchisee is and failing to seek professional financial and legal struggling and seems unlikely to be able to turn things around, it may advice. Russell Ford, director of Owen White actually prove prudent to discuss the possibility of an early exit. “That Solicitors, says: “They’ve almost misled may be by trying to encourage the franchisee to sell the business and to themselves about the details of the business.” bring somebody else in,” Ford says. “It’s a good way of a franchisor But this doesn’t mean there aren’t cases where avoiding a claim for damages and what could be risky litigation.” the franchisor is at fault and there can be grounds But, inevitably, the best treatment is prevention. Both franchisee and for a misrepresentation case, franchisor can save themselves significant whether the intention was pain by giving the original franchise malicious or benign. “Often it’s a agreement the due care and attention. case of expectations being On the franchisor’s part, this takes two unrealistic,” explains Ford. forms. First of all, it’s important to ensure Obviously a franchisor can’t be they have all of the relevant exclusion clauses expected to take into account every in the agreement to limit the impact a court eventuality and can’t offer cast iron case could have. “Sometimes mistakes do guarantees but there are significant happen and they want to restrict their errors that can creep in. “Where liability for that,” comments Ford. franchisors do fall down is when The other, and more fundamental, action a they’re issuing projections for a franchisor should take is to make sure there turnover and profits that are based isn’t any misrepresentation to begin with. on either their own pilot operation Ford relays the advice he regularly gives to or franchisee experience that’s not clients and franchisors at seminars: ensure Russell Ford, White Solicitors up-to-date.” they regularly update their projections and It’s easy to write this off as a retain evidence of any and all supporting comparatively minor error or mistruth but the analysis. He explains: “If a franchisor has made a genuine attempt to consequences can be severe. If a project what would happen in a business and that’s an honestly put misrepresentation case is successfully made, not together analysis, they probably wouldn’t be liable for any losses.” only can a franchisee potentially rescind their Franchisees can fend off being sold a business on misrepresentative agreement, freeing them from the contract and data by doing a little legwork before they sign. “Ask the franchisor what entitling them to a refund on their fees, but they the projections are based on and also talk to a range of existing may also be entitled to compensation for accrued franchisees,” says Ford. “Find out from the horse’s mouth whether they losses and loss of earnings. are demonstrably evidenced by people’s experience.” By getting “If there has been deliberate or reckless confirmation of the source of quoted data and finding how it has stacked misrepresentation then that’s classed as up against the actual experience of franchisees working in a live fraudulent misrepresentation,” says Ford. Not environment, a potential purchaser can have a much better idea if there only does this mean that any exclusion clauses is a whiff of misinformation to the details they’re being sold on. protecting the franchisor are void, opening them Evidently then, a little diligence early on can pay dividends and prevent up to potentially devastating punitive costs, but high costs all around. Taking this into account, there’s no excuse for there will also be huge representational damage letting the figures in an agreement trip you up.



“If there has been deliberate or reckless misrepresentation then that’s classed as fraudulent misrepresentation”

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24/12/2013 12:02

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SureLet has been providing a fresh, exciting and innovative lettings franchise opportunity for over 10 years. The support, care and attention that each and every franchise receives is the reason our company continues to grow. Which is why when you buy into our SureLet Franchise, you don’t just buy into a successful business, you buy into a family. We want to continue to build on our successful lettings franchise model and make a real difference in the Lettings Industry.

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Rainbow International is the leading supplier of restoration and specialist cleaning services following fire, flood or accidental damage in domestic and commercial premises. These services are offered to many of the top insurance companies as well as large companies and private customers.

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Franchise F hi owners say: JOANNE Previously Project manager at Bank of Scotland Starting turnover: £50k Current turnover £73k

“We found Dublcheck during our research into the franchise industry and immediately liked its concept of guaranteed turnover*, with Dublcheck finding your clients and guaranteeing the level of turnover you desire.” - Peter


Previously Greengrocers Starting turnover: £12k Current turnover £77k

Previously MD of Colouroll Starting turnover: £48k Selling turnover £400k

“Facing redundancy in my 50’s was unsettling. A management franchise was ideal because it enabled me to utilize my previous management experience. I love the fact that the harder my team and I work the higher the rewards.” - Graham

LEN DONNELLY “A big thank you to the Dublcheck team, and o receive an award was brilliant” - Len

Carol Stewart-Gill and the Dublcheck Support Team

“Once I met the Dublcheck team I found the concept of commercial cleaning very appealing” - Joanne




Previously Retail Manager Purchased resale Current turnover £300k


We Guarantee:

• Turnover • Profit • Growth Larry Bainbridge

Jolanta Lavrenova

Starting Turnover £62k Current Turnover £250k

Starting Turnover £14k Current Turnover £82k

Full training, support and low investment Invest from £9,950 to £190,950. Turnover from £14,000 to half a million per annum. With over 100 franchisees nationwide, and many more areas and opportunities available, you too could benefit from the proven Dublcheck system. Dublcheck’s unique franchise system is a proven way to build a successful business in a multi-billion pound cleaning industry. Carol Stewart-Gill, Founder and Chairman of Dublcheck

Further Details: 0800 317236 SONAL & MITESH Previously Quantity Surveyor Starting turnover: £14k Current turnover £118k

“Sonal and I can’t belive a year has past since we decided to join this wonderful franchise. We both wish we had done this years ago.” - Mitesh

email: web:



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Dublcheck, The 20th Fastest Growing Company in the UK - Official Source, Sunday Times 24/12/2013 13:12

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Elite Business Franchise Winter 2014  

Elite Business Franchise Winter 2014

Elite Business Franchise Winter 2014  

Elite Business Franchise Winter 2014

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