HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS Home Instead Senior Care is one of the UK’s fastest-growing franchises. Founded by Trevor Brocklebank and wife Sam in 2006, 7,000 carers now provide round-the-clock support to ensure clients can stay in the comfort of their own home for longer
ul f s s e c c u s t s The mo tion a r e t l a t n e garm K U e h t n i e s i franch
Who? • Are you ambitious to run your own business? • Customer driven and well organised? • Can you follow a proven business system?
How? All Zip Yard franchises are finished to a distinctive specification and you are presented with a fully operational and fully supported business with trained staff and comprehensive brand marketing from day one.
Support Includes: • • • • •
Marketing and promotion tools Group purchasing power Internet and web support Ongoing training programmes Continued concept and product development • Day to day troubleshooting
Total Cost: £38,500 + VAT plus shop fit* One-off licence fee Franchise package: - Corporate branding - Production equipment - Marketing and PR launch programme - Opening stock - Bespoke electronic point of sale system, software and computer - Extensive marketing collateral Training and project management Ongoing business support Fully fitted retail unit
“After meeting the franchisor, Nigel Toplis, we were very impressed by the professionalism of the franchise. Since opening the reaction from customers has been amazing and business is going so well that we are looking to open a second Centre, and possibly a third after that.” Richard McConnell, The ZipYard Altrincham
For further information call Emma Downes on 01530 513307 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.thezipyard.co.uk * The exact shop fit cost will be determined by the size and standard of the premises
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The ZipYard offers a professional tailoring and alterations service in a clean, purpose build environment
Tailor-made for success O
ur award-winning business is all about outstanding customer service. Whilst there are no other specialist alterations and tailoring centres in the area, there are numerous businesses offering similar services and competition is great. As the top performing ZipYard, we have raised a total of 22,500 invoices. Turnover in the first year was £174,500 from 9978 customers. In the ten months to date of our second year we are at £238,000 from 12,675 customers and on track to hit our target of £274,000 by year end.
We want our customers to believe that nothing is too much trouble. We don’t charge any extra for the express service and often carry out additional minor repairs for free. If one of the seamstresses notices a button needs replacing whilst they are turning up a hem it takes very little additional time to do the complementary work – and customers are always surprised and delighted. Frequently people come in off the street with a button that’s just popped off. We’ll fix it there and then, again for no charge, confident in the knowledge that he or she will regard us as a lifesaver and talk about The ZipYard to others.
We frequently see brides who have bought a
Richard McConnell being awarded Franchisee of the Year at the ZipYard Conference on Saturday 21st September 2013
dress from the internet. On one occasion a woman came in to the centre in tears with a dress that fitted terribly. By the time we had finished she was parading up and down with a big smile on her face. Another customer spent over £400 altering her wardrobe after a successful diet and an elderly lady brought in all of her clothes to be taken in - all bundled into storage boxes and carried up the high street to us. Nowadays very few people have the time or skill to mend their own clothes – and a lot of our work involves repairs - but even I was surprised when one of our regular customers brought in a pair of her son’s Y-fronts for us to fix a tear! For many of our customers we have become their personal tailors. One well-heeled man left a message on our answering machine to say his wife was bringing in a ball gown the next day so ‘please leave space on your machine’ for her. They expect a very fast service and we rarely disappoint. A regular moved out of the area but saves up his repairs until he comes back to visit friends – travelling over 160 miles for our quality of service.
Managing customer expectations isn’t easy and it has been a big challenge for us to be able to turn round work quickly as the volume increases. Recently we dealt with 90 paying
“We are all very proud of Richard and his team who have developed a great business in Altrincham – and so successful has this been that Richard has now opened his second Centre in Wilmslow which is testimony to the tremendous potential of the brand” Nigel Toplis, Managing Director
customers in one day which is ten an hour. We already open seven days a week and are looking to employ another seamstress to focus full-time on express work and have installed a second till to cope with the queues that had begun to form outside the door in busy periods. We are looking at ways to extend the range of services we offer including a paid-for delivery and collection service which will appeal to our busier user clientele. At the moment I manage ZipYard with the help of one other but I will be recruiting additional customer-facing staff to free me up to do more marketing and work on plans to open another ZipYard in the north-west. March|April 2014 elitefranchise 3
Zip Yard March14.indd 2
Does lifelong income tick your box? Yes.
Free property investment e-book: bit.ly/ebm5
Hot property A franchise with Platinum Property Partners could be all you need to become an awardwinning landlord
latinum Property Partners (PPP) is an established, highly respected and successful property investment franchise. With a tried and tested model, PPP provides the specialist expertise and support to help you purchase, adapt and let your own profitable residential property portfolio. Gertie Owen joined PPP in August 2010 after 20 years looking after her children and being, in her own words, “a lady of leisure”. Various changes in her life cemented her decision to join PPP; as her children had grown into young adults Gertie found herself with increasing amounts of free time, and with this came a lust for a new challenge. Around the same time Gertie’s husband was made redundant, so there was potential need for an additional income stream. PPP appealed to Gertie as it offered a proven system to begin investing in property, providing cash flow as well as a growing asset base. Gertie had no previous buy-to-let experience, so it offered ability to achieve the income she wanted with the challenge she so craved.
Since joining PPP Gertie has bought, refurbished and fully tenanted five HMO (house in multiple occupation) properties and has met her personal target. This wouldn’t have been possible without the expert guidance and support that PPP offered her. Gertie has gone from having no experience of buy-tolet or HMO property development to the 2013 HMO Landlord of the Year, awarded by Landlord & Buy-to-Let magazine. Gertie is in good company - the award’s previous winner held the title for the last three consecutive years, has been a landlord for over 30 years and is a director of the Residential Landlords Association. Gertie believes what sets her apart from other landlords is the way she cares for her tenants. “I show it in all the things I do, from decorating all my houses at Christmas so it feels like home for them, to giving each tenant a Christmas present and also hampers to share,” she says. “I take note of all their birthdays to make sure I give them cards and give them all eggs and cards for Easter. When doing viewings I always pick them up from the station and I do my best to match the personalities in my houses, so they become good friends.
“After just about three years I am already earning approximately £126,000 per annum so I feel a great sense of achievement.” Gertie Owen, Platinum Property Partners
The new challenge Gertie craved has led to her being heralded as the best HMO landlord in the UK. However, the financial benefit has been beyond her expectations. “When I joined PPP my five year goal was to be earning £100,000 per annum, but after just about three years I am already earning approximately £126,000 per annum so I feel a great sense of achievement. If you want a new challenge or you’re interested in replacing or supplementing your income and want to ensure your pension provision provides you with financial security, PPP can help you. Begin your journey by requesting a free copy of PPP Founder Steve Bolton’s book Successful Property Investing here: http://pppl.at/ebm5e March|April 2014 elitefranchise 5
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18 The Elite interview Trevor Brocklebank is changing the face of ageing with Home Instead Senior Care
6 elitefranchise March|April 2014
25 One to watch
Natures Purest has cottoned on to what babies need most
35 One, two, many
48 Going global
39 A bank’s best friend
54 Close protection
64 Franchise diaries
Going from a single franchise to multiple units is no easy ride
29 Home, sweet home
It’s little wonder that home-based franchises are on the rise
Franchisees stand a better chance than most of securing finance
The economic downturn hasn’t dampened franchising’s spirits
Is your franchise ready for an overseas adventure?
Keeping your franchisees under control can keep your brand safe
Subway franchisee Rachel Shaw tells it how it is
March|April 2014 elitefranchise 7
Buy a coffee franchise with
Why buy a coffee franchise? Coffee is big business: 800,000 people in Britain buy coffee at least 4 times a week It makes lots of money: Total turnover for this sector reached £5.8bn in 2012 And it’s growing: Analysts predict that the chain market will grow at least 6% by 2017, hitting 7,000 outlets and £3.7bn in sales revenue.
Visit FranchiseSales.com to find out more about buying a coffee franchise – and more!
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VOLUME 02 ISSUE 02 / 2014 SALES Harrison Bloor – Senior Account Manager email@example.com Darren Smith – Account Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Matt Webb – Account Manager email@example.com Samuel George – Account Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Charlie Anderson – Junior Account Manager email@example.com EDITORIAL Hannah Prevett – Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Josh Russell – Feature Writer email@example.com Adam Pescod – Feature Writer firstname.lastname@example.org Dara Jegede – Feature Writer email@example.com Helene Stokes – Chief Sub-editor firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN/PRODUCTION Leona Connor – Head Designer email@example.com Dan Lecount Web Development Manager firstname.lastname@example.org CIRCULATION Malcolm Coleman Circulation Manager email@example.com ACCOUNTS Sally Stoker – Finance Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Colin Munday Management Accountant email@example.com ADMINISTRATION Charlotte James – Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTOR Scott English Managing Director email@example.com Circulation enquiries: CE Media Call: 0208 214 1068 Elite Franchise is published bi-monthly 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.
Franchisors can be innovators too
assion and entrepreneurialism go hand-in-hand. The widely accepted wisdom is that to start a business and withstand the hardship the early days often entail, there must be a driving desire to succeed and an unwithering commitment to making an idea become a reality. Franchising is often applauded for its lower risk, tried-and-tested model. However, it is sometimes dismissed as being devoid of imagination or “What makes an innovation. Trevor Brocklebank, chief executive of Home Instead entrepreneur a success Senior Care, this month’s cover star, isn’t where the idea turns such wild generalisations on their head. comes from – it’s all When Brocklebank and his about the execution” wife Sam purchased the master franchise from the American parent company, there was no guarantee of success. Their savings dwindled and the family home was remortgaged in order to fund the company in its formative years. But given the faith and passion that the Brocklebanks have for their business, who can blame them? They wholeheartedly believe that Home Instead is changing the face of the care industry in the UK – a sector that’s been long overdue a facelift. After all, what makes an entrepreneur a success isn’t necessarily where the idea comes from – be it setting up from scratch or buying into a pre-existing franchise – it’s all about the execution. And Brocklebank is changing the world of care, one franchise at a time. You can’t say fairer than that. HANNAH PREVETT EDITOR
March|April 2014 elitefranchise 9
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A writer and journalist specialising in small business and enterprise, Card is the author of our features on expanding overseas and home-based franchising this month. It’s fitting, then, that he penned the latter, seeing as he scribes his masterpieces from the comfort of his own abode. Card also works as a freelancer for The Guardian, John Brown Publishing and offers free media advice in exchange for beer. He is the proud father of two young children and sleeps when they do.
This month, our resident legal eagle Broadhurst gives us the lowdown on how franchises can protect their brand. She filed her copy all the way from New Orleans, where she was attending the International Franchise Association’s annual convention. Broadhurst also made time to enjoy the musical delights of Bourbon Street, even if she missed out on sampling the famous hurricane cocktail on account of forgetting her ID. She appreciated being asked though.
Our super snapper had to battle the elements during her shoot of cover star Trevor Brocklebank this month. Whilst managing to avoid the rain, Sandy got caught out by some strong gusts of wind during the outdoor shots. Thankfully, Brocklebank’s assistant was on-hand to hold her light steady – but even she almost took flight in the blustery conditions. At least Sandy could return home to her one-year old son Freddie who has just discovered stairs, singing and guitars. Another famous Freddie in the making?
It’s no surprise that we welcomed Shaw’s insight into the world of franchising with open arms. Having cut her teeth at McDonalds, Shaw then went on to own and manage a hair and beauty salon before eventually becoming a Subway franchisee in 2007. Nowadays, she is the proud owner of two Subway stores in south London after becoming hooked on the sandwich brand during a jaunt to Sydney. Bonza.
10 elitefranchise March|April 2014
Want to run your own letting agency? Let’s do the numbers.
UNIQUE VISITORS TO OUR 6000 WEBSITE EVERY DAY *Plus VAT
**Average turnover of our top 25% of offices YTD July 2013
Be part of the equation. Contact us today.
firstname.lastname@example.org 01476 570 000 / www.belvoirfranchise.com
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News + Events
Since its foundation in 1945, Baskin-Robbins has wowed us all with over one thousand unique ice cream recipes, frozen drinks, and ice-cream cakes. And much to the delight of foodie entrepreneurs on these fair shores, it recently announced the release of single-store franchise opportunities in the UK, which will require £75k of liquid capital for a total launch cost of £150k. “The single store opportunity gives the team at Baskin-Robbins the chance to see how the store owner operates their store and what help they might need to go on to become great multi-store owners if they wish – so it’s a win-win for both parties,” said Jim Johnstone, Baskin-Robbins’ UK general manager. Summer can’t come soon enough.
We’re wishing domestic cleaning giant Molly Maid a happy 30th anniversary this month. The much-loved brand currently boasts 68 franchises in the UK, stretching from Aberdeen to Brighton and notched up a network turnover of £16.5m in 2013. That’s from over a quarter of a million cleans. Tidy stuff, as noted by Sir Bernard Ingham, former president of the British Franchise Association (bfa). “The fact that Molly Maid is celebrating 30 years of successful operations in the UK shows you what a contribution franchises are making – and have been making for years – to the British economy,” he proclaimed. “It is too often an unsung contribution. Let’s sing it for Molly Maid and all associated with her.”
Razzamataz, the theatre schools company, shot to fame in 2007 when it won investment from Duncan Bannatyne on Dragons’ Den. It has since expanded to 38 centres across the UK, establishing partnerships with First Choice, Thomson and Universal Pictures – not a bad trio. And if that wasn’t enough, a recent collaboration with the Top Talent Agency to help find the stars of the future landed 11-year old Chad Wright from Sutton School a starring role in the new TV advert for Branston Pickle. Off the back of such unbridled success, the company has now set its sights abroad, seeking master franchisees as far afield as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We await the Vegemite advert with baited breath.
WORDS DARA JEGEDE
Papa John’s, the fast-growing pizza franchise, said it is ‘on target’ to open 50 more UK stores before the end of the year. The chain has already added six new locations this year including Durham and Stafford, adding to its impressive 250-strong UK presence. “The whole Papa John’s team is focused on UK growth for 2014,” said Anthony Round, the firm’s business development manager. “We have some fantastic incentive deals currently on offer to support franchisees and get new outlets open and off to a great start and these are proving particularly popular.” We’re sure there are plenty of budding franchisees out there eyeing up a slice of the action. 12 elitefranchise March|April 2014
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News + Events
Children’s drama and imaginative play company Pyjama Drama has signed a deal with children’s museum Eureka! in Halifax for classes to be run in the museum and surrounding area. Created by former drama teacher Sarah Owen, the drama company franchised in 2008 and delivers award-winning classes that introduce children to simple drama games and techniques. With the new deal, classes will start in the museum after Easter with a longer-term plan to expand into venues across the wider geographical area. Commenting on the deal, founder Sarah Owen said: “We are absolutely delighted that one of the most well respected children’s organisations in the country will be showcasing our classes. I am looking forward to working with [Eureka!] and to a longstanding partnership.” We certainly have something of a soft spot for In-toto, the kitchen franchise that graced the pages of our sister title Elite Business not so long ago. Well, it was music to our ears this month to hear that expansion is occurring apace for the firm, which has hired fine art graduate Jodie Newton as its franchise development executive. Newton, who started with In-toto three years ago as a design assistant for the Leamington Spa centre, will now be heavily involved in the research and development of existing and new franchises, along with the marketing and planning of new showrooms. We wish her all the best.
Upcoming Events The British & International Franchise Exhibition March 14-15 Olympia, Hammersmith Road London , W14 8UX
bfa Specialist Seminar: Embracing Innovation and Managing Change March 20 British Franchise Association 85f Park Drive, Milton Park Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4RY
Growing your own business March 14-15 Olympia, Hammersmith Road London , W14 8UX
bfa - Prospective Franchisee Seminar London March 26 TBC
bfa - Prospective Franchisor Seminar London March 27 TBC Elite Business National Conference & Exhibition April 10-11 The Old Truman Brewery Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR A full event listing is available on our website: elitefranchisemagazine.co.uk/events
March|April 2014 elitefranchise 13
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Where is the love? Does franchising get the recognition it deserves?
Franchising should be on the curriculum Franchising has constantly added value to the UK economy. Since the recession started in 2008, the economy has contracted by about 2.5%. And yet, franchising has grown by about 20%. It’s a very powerful economic mechanism but it does not get that recognition. There are more people employed in franchising than the whole of the armed forces put together but there is no government department responsible for franchising and those in charge of regional expenditure do not promote the model. It would not be unreasonable for the government and even the opposition to have a senior member of parliament who is responsible for franchising. Unless we get colleges and universities and management schools actually putting franchising as a core part of their curriculum, we’re always going to have a struggle on our hands. In America, the word franchising is part of the vernacular. People there talk about franchising, they go into franchising, and nearly 50% of the retail sales in America are through a franchise operation. The government, the education establishment and those working in local councils should look at franchising as a potential opportunity to regenerate the local economy.
managing director, The Bardon Group
The emphasis is always on invention – starting something new At some point most people dream of running their own business and being their own boss – hence the popularity of Dragons’ Den and other business-related shows such as The Apprentice. Given that franchising is one of the safest ways into business for the first-time business owner, it does surprise us that we don’t see more information about the benefits of franchising being championed in these shows. It’s symbolic of how little public awareness there actually is for buying a franchise. The emphasis is always on invention – starting something new. The narrative is rarely about buying an existing business. Most people don’t even know that many of the high street brands they buy from – Subway, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Timpsons, O2 and many other businesses – are franchises. Yet, we know from how the banks view franchising that you are far more likely to get a loan for this kind of venture than others. With this in mind, it makes more sense for the media narrative that seeks to exploit people’s aspirations of business ownership to involve the purchase of an existing business or franchise opportunity. This is especially true for the first-time entrepreneur who may be thinking of quitting his or her job to go into business and may not yet have the skills for a start-up.
WORDS DARA JEGEDE
ranchising has shown itself to be a resilient force through the downturn. With the economy in a state of turmoil, many were forced to seriously consider their entrepreneurial options. And whilst the recession brought about the untimely demise of many businesses, others turned to franchising because of the model’s reduced level of risk. For budding entrepreneurs with limited experience of running a business, having a model to follow and guidance from an experienced and capable franchisor can provide a promising start for their venture. Yet apart from supportive industry insiders, not much is seen from other sectors in recognising franchising as a viable, near fool-proof business option. As an industry with an annual turnover of £13.7bn and employing over half a million people, some have argued that it is yet to gain the recognition for its contribution to the country’s economy. But how do those at the coalface really feel?
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XXX - Franchise mag advert 16-40-13_Layout 1 10/01/2014 17:09 Page 5
Turn over £704k a year with this B2B management franchise opportunity
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• 15% of offices turn over £1m+ per annum
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AWARD WINNER - bfa HSBC ‘Franchisor of the Year’ 2006 and 2012 Untitled-21 1
TAKE YOUR ROAD TO SUCCESS Turn £35,000 into £380,000* within 5 years of running your own lettings and sales business. With nearly 20 successful franchises across the UK, a buoyant rental market, a growing sales market and the back-up of an award-winning franchise model, make Martin & Co your next move. “After thorough research, I was confident that Martin & Co could deliver. I’m now a confident, knowledgeable letting agent who dominates my assigned franchise territory. ” Dennis Roodhart, Folkestone and Dover Franchise Owner
Make your move with Martin & Co. Contact us today.
01202 292829 www.propertyfranchise.co.uk
*Lettings income only based on £650 average monthly rent.
To find out how you can be as successful as Dennis, visit www.propertyfranchise.co.uk
Strong foundations with a Martin & Co franchise Peter and Rani Grieve have been successfully operating their Martin & Co franchise since May 2008. Leaving the corporate world behind they were determined to create a successful business that would support them to a high standard as well as be able to build up a capital value.
hey are the proud owners of two successful businesses and a significant property portfolio. Both Rani and Peter had very stressful full-time jobs before joining Martin & Co. Peter worked as a Senior Manager in Commercial Property Lettings and was also the deputy Chairman of the British Institute of Innkeeping, whilst Rani worked as a Manager in Customer Services. In early 2008 they decided it was time to leave the corporate rat race and build a quality business in their local community. “Franchising was the best vehicle for us to establish a business quickly from a standing start, with the single most important factor being a widely recognised, strong brand. We estimated that growth was at least twice as fast as it would have been if we had simply opened a business by ourselves.” Having identified franchising as the best way to achieve their goals, they started to consider a variety of franchise opportunities. But with Peter’s experience in property and Rani’s customer service skills they soon decided that a property agency franchise would suit both their skills best.
“We did a lot of research initially before even logging an interest with Martin & Co. But once we showed our hand as it were, it was really a matter of information gathering, business planning and sorting our finances. It took us about 2 to 3 months to make the decision as we had to fit the planning process around our demanding full-time roles.” Martin & Co is one of the only UK property agency franchise that offers a combined lettings and estate agency business with UK-wide recognition.With a network of just under 200 franchise offices, they are the largest property franchise business in the UK. “The Martin & Co brand gave us instant credibility and a quality high street presence. The business progressed to the extent that after about 14 months we could see decent growth and a bit of profit. Growth continued through year two and it was then that we realised that we were building a quality, sustainable business which was capable of delivering good organic medium and long-term growth.” With strong high street and online presence, the secret of their franchise owners’ success is that they can provide local property knowledge whilst being backed by a national brand. Martin & Co has been recognised for its award-winning service by its clients winning Gold for Best Large Letting Chain at the ESTAS (Estate & Letting Agent Awards) in 2009 and 2012, as well as Silver in 2010 & 2011 and most recently in 2013. Franchise owners like Rani and Peter take market share in their dedicated franchise territories through the Marketing, Media and Public Relations support provided by Martin & Co and by developing a sound understanding of best practice in the property industry. On lettings income alone, on average Martin & Co’s franchise owners who are high street based turnover £275k in year 3 and you can expect to build your business value to in excess of £380k in just 5 years.
L-R: Rani Grieve, IanWilson Chief Executive of Martin & Co Plc, Peter Grieve. Peter & Rani receiving the award for Best Business Growth. “Having fully established the Worcester franchise, head office offered us the opportunity to acquire the Gloucester franchise as a re-sale in early 2010, and although the business was not as successful as ours, there was an overriding view that we could mirror the success we had enjoyed in Worcester. And now, after three years, this business too has grown significantly. Furthermore, because of strong profit growth, we were able to acquire a very well established and well run independent letting agency which we have successfully integrated into the core business this year.” Rani and Peter have developed a management franchise that provided them with the funds to not only acquire other businesses but also expand their buy-to-let portfolio, which now encompasses 4 properties. “As advice to anyone looking to join a franchise we would say: do your homework and your own business plan, take on board the franchisor’s forecast but challenge achievability. If you are looking to establish a business quickly, as well as operate within well thought through processes and procedures, then franchising is undoubtedly the best route.” “We would definitely buy the franchise again. Our plan is to continue to build a quality business through strategic acquisitions and to continue our organic growth. Ultimately we want to sell the business for a huge profit and retire to somewhere warmer than it is in Gloucester today!” If you would like to know more about the Martin & Co property franchise, you can call 01202 292829 or visit www.propertyfranchise.co.uk
WORDS: HANNAH PREVETT PHOTOGRAPHY: EMILIE SANDY
Trevor and Sam Brocklebank turned their backs on lucrative careers in IT consulting in order to establish Home Instead, a franchise that has transformed the care sector in the UK
en years ago, Trevor and Sam Brocklebank had paid off their mortgage, had a healthy balance in their savings account and lived a comfortable life. After a substantial stint in the red, they’re steadily rebuilding their financial fortunes – having started Home Instead Senior Care, the Brocklebanks are feeling rich in an altogether different sense. Care was a complete departure from the career to which Trevor Brocklebank had become accustomed. After a brief stint in the army and studying for a degree in computing, accounting and physics at Leicester Polytechnic, now De Montfort University, the Warrington-born petrolhead set his sights on a job in the automotive industry. Having written to all of the car companies, at 22, Nissan offered him a job at its burgeoning business in Tyne and Wear. “When I started, there were less than 80 of us in a couple of portacabins,” says Brocklebank. “By the time I left, eight years later, we were making 100,000 cars a year.” During the course of his seven years with Nissan, he travelled all over Europe, backwards and forwards to Japan, and was promoted through the ranks to eventually become senior controller, which meant he was responsible for purchasing and logistics of the prototype development programme. An ambitious kinda guy – Brocklebank was the youngest senior controller in Nissan in the world – he began to get bored. “At this point it was just tweaking and fine tuning, and whilst that’s a very important part of the ongoing development of the company, I’m not a tweaking and fine-tuning sort of person,” explains Brocklebank. Departing for Mercury Communications, which is now part of Cable and Wireless, he thrived in his role as deputy director of purchasing and supply. There was certainly plenty for him to get his teeth into as the company had some archaic practices, he says. “Mercury had a very modern brand image, but was actually a very traditional ex-governmentrun business full of hierarchy, traditional processes and very inefficient ways of operating,” explains Brocklebank. “We saved about £10m in the first year, although I think that’s more reflective of how badly things were being done rather than what a great job we were doing,” he adds, modestly. “Everywhere you looked there were just massive opportunities to save money.” Before long, his feet began to itch once more. “One day I realised that all these sales guys coming in to see us were probably earning twice as much money as me and only working half as hard. I thought: ‘someone’s got this wrong – and it’s not them’,” says Brocklebank. He moved into a business development role with Mercury, which saw him putting together
A caring company 18 elitefranchise March|April 2014
propositions for the manufacturing industry, which, given his background with Nissan, was a good fit. He was so strong in the role that he was headhunted by arch-rival BT, where he stayed for just 18 months, “which was about 17 and a half months too long,” he says, deadpan. “This is going back 20 years, so things may have changed, but back then it was such a badly organised business: things we promised customers didn’t happen, installations didn’t run to schedule.” Having grown tired of corporate life, Brocklebank decided it was definitely time to go it alone. “I’d spent ten years working to get this big salary and corporate expenses account. Then I got there and suddenly thought, ‘this isn’t for me’. The thought of spending another 20 years doing what I was doing was unbearable,” he says. Meanwhile, his wife Sam had been carving out a successful career of her own and was working for Deloitte, the professional services firm, as an SAP consultant. “We thought with my commercial background and her technical skills there must be something we could do,” explains Brocklebank. In the meantime, Brocklebank was given some equity in a CRM consultancy that was starting up, as the founders couldn’t afford to pay him for consultancy work. It was a pivotal opportunity for the wannabe entrepreneur emerging from corporate land. “It was almost like an MBA in running a small business,” he says. “A year later we sold that business to a dot com company and that really was an invaluable experience for me.” Armed with his start-up business nous, the Brocklebanks set up a business called Mezenet, which became the UK’s leading provider of business intelligence solutions for large corporates using SAP, including the likes of the BBC, B&Q and Unilever. Their first experience of working together as a couple was entirely positive, says Trevor Brocklebank. “I think working with your wife is either absolutely superb or it’s a nightmare. For it to work you need to have complementary skills and mutual respect,” he explains. “I married Sam because I want to spend lots of time with her, but if you’re both off doing different careers the only time you have together is with the kids, so working together is actually a real plus.” What was a challenge for Brocklebank, however, was acclimatising to an environment where there is none of the infrastructure of a big corporate. “All of a sudden, if I had an HR issue, I had no HR department to sort it out. Or if the office needed cleaning, I’d better get the hoover out and do it myself. And suddenly, I’d have to become an expert in finance and IT and all the other issues,” he explains. “Although technically March|April 2014 elitefranchise 19
“For me, making a difference is far more important than how much money you can make”
at BT I’d had a P&L, I never worried about payroll being made or invoices paid; everything all just magically happened in the background,” he laughs. After four years, in 2004 the company was snapped up by a French company called Unilog. Trevor was doing a year handover to Unilog and simultaneously studying for an MA in business coaching, whilst he considered his next move. “I was working in Paris, they were paying me a huge salary and I was working four days a week. It should have been fantastic – the mortgage was paid off and we had the money from the sale of the business – but it’s just like selling your soul. Once you’ve had the freedom of running your own business, it’s very difficult to go back into a corporate environment.” After a three-month foray into business coaching also failed to offer the satisfaction Brocklebank was hoping for, he and Sam began considering franchising as an option. “Franchising has always intrigued me,” says Brocklebank. “The business model is great: you have all the power of a big corporate system, but with the flair and passion of a locally owned business. Over the last 20 or 30 years, Sam and I had looked at a number of franchises, but never found the right one,” he explains. When an appealing master franchise opportunity was advertised in the Sunday
Times, Brocklebank went to see trusted franchising expert Iain Martin to ask his view. “We came to the conclusion that it was a great idea, but didn’t really make a difference. Corporate IT is great fun, there’s lots of travel and it can be very lucrative, but you have to question how much difference you’re really making long-term. I wanted something I could be proud of, whereby I could leave a legacy of having made a difference, rather than just having made money.” Then from his bottom drawer, Martin produced another master franchise opportunity: Home Instead Senior Care. The prospect of running a business that offered superior care to older people appealed to Brocklebank. “In one of those serendipitous moments, my grandfather had been ill and the care he’d got had been rather shocking. The more I looked at what happened with my granddad, the more I thought ‘there’s got to be a better way of delivering care.’” The Home Instead franchise, that had begun in the United States and now operates in 17 countries around the world, offers clients the opportunity to have high-quality care in their own homes. This would often save them the trauma of having to relocate to a care home. Taking on the franchise would mean sacrificing their lucrative careers in IT
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consultancy – but it was a cross the Brocklebanks were willing to bear. “For me, making a difference is far more important than how much money you can make. We were in the very fortunate position of having the mortgage paid off and money in the bank so we could afford to ask, ‘what do I want to do?’ rather than ‘what do I have to do?’ Money is important when you haven’t got any, but I think where a lot of people go wrong is they don’t realise they’ve got enough and keep pursuing it.” The burden of buying into a franchise in the care sector weighed on the Brocklebanks’ minds. “When things used to get stressful in the IT business, we would take the team out for a drink and say, ‘look folks, it’s not life and death, let’s put this in perspective’. When you’re in the business of delivering care, it can be life and death. That was a huge additional stress, particularly in those first few years of Home Instead,” admits Brocklebank. After due diligence was completed, the couple received their licence to provide care on February 6, 2006. Unlike lots of franchises, upon gaining the master franchise, the Brocklebanks were forbidden from selling any franchises until they’d proven the model worked in the UK and they could hit the company’s stringent quality targets. “The first year was really running a pilot, running our own care business and understanding how it really worked. Then we started franchising in 2007.” Even then, franchisees would have to meet very exacting standards. “Because we’re first and foremost a care organisation and a business second, we have to find people who have got a real passion to provide quality care. We get a lot of people applying because they look at the ageing population and think it’s an opportunity to make lots of money. We’re not interested in people who want to do this to make money. Profit is the reward for what you do, but it’s not the reason you do it,” Brocklebank explains. It’s handy he has such a laissez-faire attitude to money as the couple saw their savings dwindle and had to remortgage their house while the business got off the ground. “About two and a half years in, our bank manager came to see Sam and I. He said: ‘Mr and Mrs Brocklebank, three
“Profit is the reward for what you do, but it’s not the reason you do it”
years ago you had no mortgage and quite a lot of money in the bank. You’ve now got no savings and quite a large mortgage. What’s happening?’” the entrepreneur laughs. Brocklebank admits that the one mistake he made was underestimating how long it takes to set up a franchise business – and how long it is until the readies start rolling in. “You’ve really got three lifecycles to go through. You set up your own pilot and make that work. You’ve then got to recruit the franchisees and their businesses then need to be successful. It’s only then you start generating a significant income stream,” he explains. “I really underestimated those three lifecycles and the cumulative impact of that. Sam and I ran out of money so we spent a year to 18 months, literally just hanging on day by day.” The early uncertainty was worth it: these days Home Instead Senior Care UK has 150 franchises up and down the country, provides over 3 million hours of care and employs 7,000 caregivers. It’s won its fair share of gongs, too. It’s currently the British Franchise Association’s (BFA) franchisor of the year, and was voted the number one home care provider by national body CQC. One of the secrets to the Brocklebanks’ success is undoubtedly their modest approach to business. “We’ve got 150 owners out there, so our job now is much more one of facilitation,” he explains. “Collectively, they’ve got much more experience and knowledge than we have at the national office so our job is to share that best practice and good ideas. I think a lot of franchise companies go wrong because they think they’re the experts in the centre and they’re there to tell their franchisees what to do. I think it’s the opposite. It’s got to be a far more collaborative approach.”
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ONE TO WATCH
Making sure that only chemicalfree textiles come into contact with a baby’s skin, Natures Purest is a franchise with a fresh approach to fabrics
WORDS: JOSH RUSSELL
n the last few decades, we have been for high-quality baby products. Whilst paying increasing attention to the new players like Next and Habitat were things we put on our skin. Use of introducing some much needed style sensitive and organic lotions and potions into the market, lines for infants still has increased significantly in recent required a breath of fresh air. “When times and products for infants are often you went shopping for baby products, marketed on their skin-friendly acumen. nothing had happened in that market,” However, the chemicals used in the Albon comments. production of textiles are often Founding her own company, she spent overlooked, despite the fact they spend ten years supplying retailers like far more time in contact with a baby’s Mothercare and Zara with baby-wear, as skin. This is something that Natures well as making inroads into the nursery Purest, the chemical-free baby textiles market, both here in the UK and also franchise, is in the further afield in the US process of addressing. and Australia. “Expansion Jane Albon, the But it was whilst company’s MD and visiting China, where is using what founder, is certainly no all of her lines were you’ve got in stranger to textile made, that Albon design. Whilst studying discovered something your ranges and that utterly changed her to become a fashion designer, she won the to infants’ making it better” approach M&S student designer textiles: naturally of the year award in her coloured cotton. third year. “That was how it all started Whilst the vast majority of garments really,” she says. By the age of 22, she’d are made from white cotton and then netted a role as senior designer at M&S coloured with dyes, the organic and thus began a long career supplying pigments of the naturally coloured the high street, from BHS to cotton could produce coloured textiles Woolworths. She continues: “I’ve that wouldn’t subject your skin to an worked with most of the high street at array of harsh chemicals. some stage or another.” “It was marketed for adult health, However, after having a child of her mainly for men,” Albon explains. “If you own, she noticed a real gap in the market had terrible spots on your back or you March|April 2014 elitefranchise 25
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ONE TO WATCH
“I was just so convinced it was right I decided to create my own brand, rather than do it as own label in a high street store”
were having breathing difficulties, you had to wear this t-shirt for six weeks then all your problems were solved. I thought: ‘if it makes that big a difference for a man, what would it do for a newborn baby?’” When she began to look into it, it quickly became apparent she had something. “Everyone knew that in babies asthma and eczema were on the increase but there was no real explanation of it,” Albon says. However, given the average baby bedding used textiles that had around 500 different chemicals in it, it seemed a bit of a no-brainer that offering a chemical-free version would be kinder on a baby’s skin. She continues: “If you think about it, going from perfect womb to spending
Jane Albon, founder, Natures Purest
16 hours a day wrapped up in bedding containing that many chemicals, it’s pretty logical really.” Getting her hands on some samples of the fabric, Albon began to redesign everything that comes into regular contact with a baby’s skin, including bedding sets, vests and baby-grows. And this was trickier than it sounds. There are few products for which bold colour is deemed as important as those made for infants: restricting the palette to just the three colours of cotton available made it hard to win over conservative retailers. Both John Lewis and Mothercare were unwilling to take a gamble on a product that looked so different from the mainstream products. But Albon’s confidence in the skin-sensitive textile was so strong that she stuck to her guns and chose a different route to market. “I was just so convinced it was right I decided to create my own brand, rather than do it as own label in a high street store,” she says. Choosing the moniker Natures Purest, she packed up the ten lines she’d created and took them to a trade fair for baby goods, where her faith was quickly rewarded. She recalls: “Within an hour, I’d got my first customer.” It wasn’t just on the supply side that
expansion was so smooth. “At one of the shows, one of my Chinese partners had a photograph taken on the stand, very proud of the new brand,” Albon comments. The partner happened to send the photograph to an acquaintance in America to show she was well and happy. “He said ‘never mind about you: what’s in the brown box?’” Albon explains. “That’s how America started.” Australia quickly followed suit and with two other English-speaking countries on board, things were already looking bright for Natures Purest. But then something happened that really changed the public perception of what was being put in children’s products, vindicating the commitment Albon had made to bringing unadulterated baby products to market. “Lead was found in the paint for toys,” Albon says. “There was a huge crisis of ‘what is going into our toys?’” Whilst Natures Purest only had a few toys in its line at this stage, it was perfectly positioned to provide an alternative, trustworthy product for parents who’d had their confidence in mass-produced toys shaken. “When a baby chews or sleeps next to a toy, you want to know your baby’s going to be safe,” Albon says.
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ONE TO WATCH
That’s not to say that the company takes the ethics of its manufacturing for granted. In recent years, the brand has moved production to its own dedicated factory in Sri Lanka, where Albon felt she could ensure the highest standards were being maintained. “The government has a standard, Garments Without Guilt, where the factory’s been inspected and everything is as it should be.” Additionally, key areas of the Natures Purest line adhere to Okeo-Tex 100 certification, with the standard now being rolled out to the wider catalogue. This has all proven very successful with retailers, with everyone from Harrods and Fortnum & Mason to Selfridges and garden centres getting in on the action. But with some buyers, their loyalty to the brand was such that they wanted an even closer relationship. Albon explains: “Quite a lot of the individual shops were saying to me ‘can I change my shop into a Natures Purest shop and just sell your things?’” Inevitably franchising seemed like the best route. “We thought franchising
“Quite a lot of the individual shops were saying to me ‘can I change my shop into a Natures Purest shop and just sell your things?’”
would be a secure way to grow the group and give these individuals what they were looking for, which was a Natures Purest store,” Albon says. And whilst there were plenty of people who offer to help create a franchise package for you, there was some sage advice from an acquaintance. “I was told by a very wise person that the only person who truly knows what a Natures Purest franchise should be is me.” And this has been a vital part of maintaining the trust consumers have in the brand. “You’re going to meet a woman who’s probably more than 26 weeks pregnant when they enter into this category,” Albon says. “Especially for first-time parents, they’re going to need help and they’re going to need confidence that what they’re buying is safe.” This has meant Natures Purest needs to ensure its franchisees buy into the values of the franchise as much as its figures. She continues: “They’ve got to have an understanding and the passion to want to look after that baby.” Franchising is definitely an integral part of Natures Purest’s future. “We want to achieve our full potential in franchising,” Albon comments. However, it is still committed to enriching its offering across the board, opening a company-owned outlet for every five franchises launched, as well as offering new lines of products, including bamboo lounge-ware and cosmetics for pregnant women, to bring its natural touch to parents as well as babies. “Expansion is using what you’ve got in your ranges and making it better,” she concludes. “Never standing still.”
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BE YOUR OWN BOSS
We provide all you need to own your own commercial cleaning business! Every day nearly 11,000 JAN-PRO owner-operators across the world bring our clients the kind of high quality service we not only promise, we guarantee. It’s a reflection of the commitment that comes from the best training, equipment and measurable processes available. More importantly though, it’s a commitment that begins with a positive attitude and a drive to always do better, and that is what makes JAN-PRO a different kind of commercial cleaning company.
Training - Guaranteed Customers - Financing - On-going Support Why consider a commercial cleaning franchise? Franchise commercial cleaning is one of the fastest growing segments of the industry. Over the past ten years, total revenue has increased by 66%. It is also a relatively low-cost franchise option, and because commercial facilities must always be well maintained, it is largely a ‘recession resistant’ franchise segment. Industry Recognition for JAN-PRO In the latest Franchise 500 Awards Entrepreneur Magazine ranked JAN-PRO #1 in Commercial Cleaning and the Fastest Growing in Commercial Cleaning Overall. In addition JAN-PRO is the only franchise commercial cleaning company to have ever been ranked as the Fastest Growing for six consecutive years, 2008-2014.
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Commercial Cleaning with a Difference
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Home working and selfemployment are on the rise, so it’s little surprise there’s an increased interest in home-based franchises. We look at the practicalities of expanding via people’s abodes
WORDS: JON CARD
etting up a franchise can be a costly business. Purchasing a territory and renting retail premises tends to require finance and the perceived risk of taking out loans puts off many. Furthermore, successful franchisees typically work long hours, starting early and finishing late. It’s potentially rewarding but there are sacrifices involved. However, owners of home-based franchises can enjoy both lower start-up costs and overheads (business is conducted from home) and offer greater flexibility and control over hours. On top of that, they still get the benefit of running a business with a tried and tested business model. March|April 2014 elitefranchise 29
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“We are offering people a chance to run a business from home which is a discipline that needs to be mastered and it’s not for everybody” Freddie St George, Raring2Go
CAN YOUR FRANCHISE BE RUN FROM HOME? Franchisees and franchisors must be sure about using the home as a place for business. Can you answer ‘no’ to all of these questions? 1 Does the franchisee need to use heavy machinery or high powered tools? 2 Are large levels of stock and storage required? 3 Does the business require a ready-made sales space? 4 Does the business need to operate at set hours, or is there flexibility? 5 Are there aspects of the business which might be deemed offensive, or unsuitable for children?
Running a business from home has never been more practical as a result of affordable IT, cloud computing, mobile technology and the proliferation of the internet into all types of industries. Additionally, as people have come to realise that they can no longer rely on large institutions or the public sector for work, there’s been a surge in selfemployment in recent years. As a result there’s been renewed interest in home-based franchising as a way to run and own a business. It’s a trend that Cathryn Hayes, head of franchising at HSBC, has noticed and she believes it makes good business sense. “With the rise in the numbers of people becoming self-employed and advances in technology making it easier to work from a variety of locations, it is not surprising that there is an increasing number of home-based franchises,” she says.
THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Franchisees tend to be fairly experienced professionals that want to run their own businesses. There are a variety of reasons why they take this step, but one which is prominent is the need to balance work with family life. For this a home-based franchise can be ideal as it enables both of the above. Freddie St George is the managing director of Raring2Go, a magazine and website franchise which is aimed at parents with young children. It has 50 home-based franchisees across the country all of whom are women, some single mothers. St George says the franchisees aren’t parttime, however the business is suited to those who need to handle the school run and look after children. “The business is about advertising revenue through the magazines, which our franchisees sell to their local communities. We handle all the printing and distribution centrally. It’s not part-time but it is flexible and it is angled towards families.” Raring2Go is a franchise well-suited to those with sales skills and people who are good at maintaining client relationships. However, there are big differences between a busy sales office to working at home by yourself, and this is something which both franchisors and franchisees
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Do you want a future in Photography? ABC Photography specialise in photographing Nursery schools, pre-school groups and Mother & Toddler groups. As a mobile Studio ABC Photography also take portraits in customers’ homes, providing top end quality photographs reasonably priced. Taking photos that sell themselves is a great way to make a very good living and as you work from home, you don’t have the overheads of a Studio!
No photography experience required! All training and support provided.
If you like working with children, an ABC Photography franchise might just be the best career move you’ve ever made.
For an information pack call 0121 704 1016 www.abcphotography.co.uk email: email@example.com
ABC Photography FP.indd 1
ANALYSIS SUCCESS STORY: CARD CONNECTION
Michael Johnson is the managing director of Card Connection, a £10m greeting card franchise which has been in operation for 21 years. The business has 67 franchisees nationwide, the majority of whom who work from home, and 30 staff. He explains how his business became successful. “The franchise is designed so franchisees can work from home but they do need a stock room suitable to store the greeting cards. Some prefer to rent a small unit or warehouse or convert their garage. “Our franchisees come from all walks of life. We have an ex-coal merchant, and an ex deep-sea fisherman but often franchisees come from a retail background. Some have previously run post offices or been managers of petrol forecourts. A typical franchisee will be a couple who work from home. “A significant degree of our success is due to the business’ focus on developing and maintaining a network of national retail account customers. We have ten full-time head office staff managing 100 national accounts on behalf of the franchisee network. Our clients include the likes of BP, Costcutter, Londis, Budgens, WHS Travel and Blakemore Spar. “Currently our average franchisee has been with us for just over eight years, a testament to the franchise.”
need to take into account. “We are offering people a chance to run a business from home which is a discipline that needs to be mastered and it’s not for everybody,” advises St. George. “Working from home can also be lonely. We have a Facebook group for support and sometimes our franchisees say they need a ‘bit of a push’ and you can bet that within seconds somebody will come on and encourage them.”
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Franchisors will select their people carefully, but both parties need to be aware that running a home-based franchise will have a considerable impact on the home life of any family involved. Franchisees need to consider which parts of the house will be used for business, and franchisors need to assess whether their plans are realistic. Often franchisees just require a room which can be used as an office, but this can be a big change for some families. “We tend to suggest that people should set aside a room in their house for work, so they ‘go to work’ while at home,” says St George. “When we interview people we often ask to meet their partners too. This is because running a business from home will have an impact on the house and they will need the support of their partner. Franchisees need to have their partners 100% behind them, although we do have some single mums as well.” Typically, office-type activities are legal in most dwellings and do not require any additional permission to be granted by the authorities.
“We tend to suggest that people should set aside a room in their house for work”
However, businesses that require machinery or which produce high levels of waste would be wise to consult their local councils and check their home insurance agreements. Also, those who rent property should re-read the terms of their rental agreement in case running a business from the premises is not allowed.
Businesses looking to expand via franchising need to be sure that their business model is right for someone to run from home. If the original operation was conducted from a back bedroom then this is a good sign, if not then there may be the potential for future problems. There are great benefits for franchisees in home-based businesses but delineating the time between work and play is rather more of an art than science and takes time to perfect. The key is for both parties to be open and honest prior to any agreement or else there may be problems further down the line. As St George says: “Sometimes people think they are buying a salary but they aren’t. It’s about effort and commitment. We are straight with people and make sure they understand they are running a business and it’s up to them to run and develop it.”
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A touch of gold Having proven itself as a shining light in the world of franchising, a business opportunity with Goldgenie is surely one not to be missed
oldgenie has established itself as the world’s premier customisation brand with over 18 years of experience and a high calibre of clientele from celebrities to bluechip organisations – including Lexus, Honda, Toyota and Nokia, Blackberry and HTC.. Driven by award-winning entrepreneur Laban Roomes, who founded the business in 1995 and secured investment from James Caan on BBC’s Dragons’ Den, the business has seen exponential growth and now seeks motivated entrepreneurial individuals to grow the brand around the world. The Goldgenie Business Opportunity will allow any ambitious individual to establish and grow their own successful Goldgenie Certified Professional business by offering the attractive gold-plating service to clients. We provide you with the tools, the roadmap and the guidance to set up a proven business in your local area. This unique opportunity means that there
are no franchise fees, no royalties or fixed overheads once you become a franchisee. As a partner you will receive advice, guidance and sub-contracted business leads directly from them when available. As a formal Goldgenie Certified Professional, you are supplied with a ‘business in a box’ which will include your plug-in-and-play gold plating system and everything that you could possibly need including: personalised business stationery, marketing materials and
“We provide you with the tools, the roadmap and the guidance to set up a proven business in your local area”
high resolution images for your own marketing needs, so that you can get started building your business straight away. You will also have an affiliate link that will give you commissions from sales off their website product range. With partners now working boasting clients including luxury car dealerships, yacht owners, jewellery stores, trophy outlets, manufacturers, churches and home and hotel owners, how you build your business is limited only by your imagination. Budding entrepreneurs will have complete flexibility and freedom in how they run their business. Not only will you be benefitting from over 18 years of experience - with access to a dedicated team of specialists to assist you with everything you need to start your business - you’ll be hitting the ground running. For more information please contact Frank Fernando on 02088046200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
March|April 2014 elitefranchise 33
Be your own boss
– join one of the world’s most successful non-food franchise groups! At Mail Boxes Etc. we need energetic people with drive, determination and enthusiasm to join our expanding 140-strong UK network. You don’t need any previous experience because we have 21 years’ in the UK franchising industry and everything is covered by our comprehensive training programme.
Mail Boxes Etc. franchise opportunities offer:
Established, fast-growing network with a proven system; Full support of a globally-recognised brand; A complete turnkey start-up package from £60,000; Comprehensive start up and initial training; Continual operational and marketing support
For more information please call 01608 649238 or email email@example.com mbe.co.uk/franchise_opportunities Untitled-21 1
The numbers game
WORDS: DARA JEGEDE
The experience gained from building one prosperous franchise will come in handy for your next opening – but it is no guarantee of success
s a franchisee on the lookout for the next lucrative opportunity, the logical step may be to open an additional unit of the same franchise. After all, a franchisee will already know the ins and outs of that brand. However, that’s not to say opening further outlets will be a walk in the park. It’s important to remember that each new territory will bring with it a host of new challenges, not least a different breed of clientele. Therefore, the first step to second-store success must be to have a thorough look before you leap. “For franchisees it’s about making sure they do their research into the local area that they’re looking to go into,” says Pip Wilkins, head of operations at the British Franchise Association (bfa). “You should carry out the same research you would when first investigating a franchise; making sure it’s affordable and, if there’s competition, ask yourself ‘can the market take another store?’” This is the approach Murli Mulchandani and his partner Rikesh Nichani took when opening their second Mail Boxes Etc. store, a delivery franchise, in Mayfair. “We did our numbers,” says Mulchandani. “We looked realistically at what we believed the store would be capable of doing and we moved forward cautiously. But the big motivator to open another store was when we found the correct location.” For Murli and Rikesh, the location and size of the store for their type of franchise was particularly significant. “We would study the location at different times of day, and different days in the week,” says Mulchandani. “You look at whether the area is more residential or has more businesses and whether it is near transport links.” Once your research is done, Wilkins believes having a good relationship with financiers is next on the check-list. “With some networks, a multi-unit franchisee might be buying an already existing business, perhaps from a fellow franchisee,” she says. “They would have figures they can take to the bank and say ‘this is what this business has already done, I want to buy this as a resell opportunity and then move on to purchasing with bank funding’.” So the banks are on your side but more importantly the franchisor needs to see a successful track record. For Kate Lester, founder and owner of Diamond Logistics, she expects exponential sales growth in the franchisee’s already allocated area. “Beyond this, franchisees should be sales-driven individuals determined to build their own businesses,” she says. “They’re prepared to go and knock on doors and generate the business. They’re quality led and 100% proactive when it comes to client care.” March|April 2014 elitefranchise 35
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Ian MacIntosh, CEO of RED driving school, believes that retaining customers should be a key priority for franchisees, and that reputation is critical. “For the driving industry giving good service and being a good instructor go hand in hand on how a franchisee can grow their business.” As with a lot of things, part of securing success is exercising due diligence and making calculations but until you open the door to trade, you will never know the direction things will take. Establishing a proper structure is therefore crucial as far as Wilkins is concerned. “Your role changes when you become a multiunit franchisee,” she explains. “The owner becomes more of a management franchisee, managing staff across different regions as opposed to dealing with business issues themselves on a daily basis.” Mulchandani expresses similar sentiments. “When you’ve been an owner, you’re used to being in complete control because you’re there all the time,” he says. “But the more stores you have, the more you have to step back and learn to staff for support in our individual areas but as things manage and have procedures have evolved, we now manage across four stores.” in place for checks and It’s not all work and no play however as running balances,” he says. multiple units can have some decent recompense. A franchisee can expect “You’ve got stores that are very similar in make-up, Murli Mulchandani, Mail Boxes Etc. support from a franchisor design and outlook. It’s a bit like having four sisters in such aspects. From managing, recruiting or brothers. They’re not the same, but they retain a lot of the same and training staff, Wilkins advises that the characteristics because they’re from the same parent company. You’re able franchisor should be on hand to assist with all to transfer the skills that you’ve learnt from the different stores across to areas. “They would have training structures the other ones,” says Mulchandani. “So you can deal with a problem in in place to take on franchisee staff and make store three because you dealt with it in store one.” sure that they’re able to run the business the In one scenario, one of their Mail Boxes Etc. stores experienced same way,” she says. Having opened several flooding. “It affected our business for a period of time but because we had stores, Mulchandani found they had a degree of other stores, we were able to shoulder and share that burden across the autonomy, but help and guidance was available business as a whole.” when it was needed. Increased profit is an obvious benefit from having additional stores, For Lester, with Diamond Logistics’ three-day but it is not always that simple. “There aren’t as many economies of training programme and 90-day sales setup scale because you’re not dealing with one homogeneous thing,” says programme, the franchise provides a massive Mulchandani. “You have four distinct locations so you physically have to amount of support for franchisees right from move stock around, which can be both expensive and time-consuming.” training. “Franchisees will know exactly what Above all else, Wilkins advises a franchisee looking to expand to take they have to do day after day in order to get the note of the training, advice and support that the franchisor can offer. volume of business that they need,” she says. “They have seen and helped franchisees do it before,” she comments. “I’d Ultimately it’s in the franchisee’s hands. also make sure that if you’re taking on a second area that you can afford it. And with greater numbers comes greater There’s no point in over-stretching yourself.” responsibility – hence a vital skill in assuring Ultimately, as a franchisee sets about expanding their portfolio, it helps your success will be the ability to manage your to remember that quality almost always trumps quantity. “It’s better to growth. Mulchandani elaborates: “When we have four good stores than six mediocre ones,” Mulchandani says. “If opened our second, we divided up our roles you’re doing well and are happy with the number you have, you should and each partner took primary lead on one only add to that if you think it will improve things and if you the effort particular store,” he says. “We took on some involved will give you the return you’re looking for.”
“It’s better to have four good stores than six mediocre ones”
36 elitefranchise March|April 2014
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The Future of Property Marketing Is here . . .
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Unlike traditional start-ups, franchisees tend to have a better shot at securing finance in the early stages
Easy money? “There is generally less risk to a bank in lending to a franchisee, providing the franchisee is from a good franchise” Chris Roberts, Franchise Finance
WORDS: ADAM PESCOD
tumping up the cash to fund a new venture is usually the biggest headache for budding entrepreneurs. Failure to secure that crucial bank loan can see their big idea consigned to the scrapheap. Of course, the bashing that the banking sector has taken in recent years has hardly helped matters, with many a business owner seeking alternative sources of finance at the outset. However, whilst there may appear to be a reluctance from entrepreneurs to approach their bank manager nowadays, the resounding message from these financial institutions is that they are very much open for business. Nowhere is this truer than in franchising, a sector that has proved resilient throughout the recession and that still holds a particular attraction to banks across the country.
Such is the very nature of franchising, it is relatively easy to understand why financiers are more willing to take a punt. “There is generally less risk to a bank in lending to a franchisee, providing the franchisee is from a good franchise,” says Chris Roberts, director of Franchise Finance, the finance consultancy. “A good franchise will have a record and be able to demonstrate to the banks that their franchisees have been trading for quite some period of time, they are profitable, they get the support that they need and they are able to work within a set business model.” The stats speak for themselves. According to the 2013 NatWest bfa Franchise Survey, overall franchise churn stood at 10% last year, with a mere 2.3% of that owing to financial failure. That failure rate is the lowest since the recession March|April 2014 elitefranchise 39
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Colin Chadwick, director, franchise development NatWest
Chris Roberts, director, Franchise Finance
kicked in and demonstrates how franchisees are more likely to survive franchisor says you’re doing, but I can also look those first two years than the plucky souls who attempt to start their at the 20 or 30 other connections I have got own venture from scratch. “Generally speaking, there is an extremely under that franchise system and say ‘you know high failure rate of businesses in the first couple of years if they are not a what? They do that.’” franchise,” Roberts adds. “If somebody starts in business on their own, Banks will lend franchisees up to 70% of they don’t necessarily have that model to follow or the support, and the initial start-up costs if necessary, with the therefore it is a lot more risky.” franchisee providing the additional 30% or It is not difficult to gauge why franchising has been as resilient as more. Not only does such a ratio ensure the it has in the downturn. Of course, that’s not to say simply being a franchisees can afford regular repayments – if franchisee will automatically bring the magic green light from the bank. profitability is as expected – but it also allows However, with all the right boxes ticked, securing finance shouldn’t be the banker to draw some more comfort from all that taxing for a franchisee. “The reality is if you have a very good the individual in question. “If somebody comes professionally-produced business plan that sets out exactly what you to me with a 30% contribution, it tells me that need to borrow, why you need to borrow it, how you are going to pay it in a previous life, they have been able to accrue back, and demonstrates that the business is viable, the banks will lend,” a pot of money, so their income expenditure says Roberts. “It is just a question of understanding how the banks work, profile must have been positive,” says Chadwick. putting the proposition together in the correct way and thoroughly “And not only has it been positive, they have demonstrating its viability.” also been able to save instead of using that Clearly, having the support of an established franchisor behind you money for materialistic spend. It tells me a little can also work wonders when it comes to approaching the bank. As bit about the person.” Colin Chadwick, director of franchise The only conundrum left facing a development at NatWest, explains, it franchisee who has a solid business can help provide peace of mind for all plan and credit history is choosing concerned. “It is a tri-partite arrangement the right bank. One could argue whereby the bank gets involved and the that this choice is what makes the franchisor is involved and the franchisee is finance-raising process as daunting involved,” he says. “When I am looking at as it is. However, Chadwick a standalone proposition, I can only look at believes franchisees should have businesses in the same sector to get a guide less to fear thanks again, in part, of whether one’s financials are in the right to the support on hand from ballpark. In franchising, when you give franchisors. “A good franchisor Chris Roberts, Franchise Finance me your projections, I can look at what the will have relationships with a number of banks,” says Chadwick. “So when someone says they are looking to join a franchise, the franchisor will say ‘have you raised your finance? If not, this is where we suggest you go.’” The strong relationship between banks and franchisors is undoubtedly beneficial to the franchisee. The banks are nonetheless one of many avenues down which a franchisee can turn, albeit the most common one. Roberts says that lease-purchasing and asset finance provide attractive alternatives, and also predicts that crowdfunding could soon jump on the franchise bandwagon. “The issue with crowdfunding at the moment is that a lot of the crowdfunders tend to want a business to have traded successfully for a couple of years,” he says. “But I think over time, as the crowdfunders learn more about franchising, they will start to understand that there is less risk and they will hopefully become more willing to lend.” Of course, all lending decisions amount to a game of risk and reward, but a solid franchisee will more often than not find the odds stacked in their favour.
“It is just a question of understanding how the banks work”
40 elitefranchise March|April 2014
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Lawnscience Editorial & Advert September.indd 2
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”
Dublcheck caremark Website: www.caremarkfranchises.com Email: email@example.com Phone: 01903 266 392
42 elitefranchise March|April 2014
Caremark advertorial.indd 1
Do you dream of being your own boss? Would you like to make a difference to other people?
Are you interested in building a solid business and being part of a successful franchise network? Ever thought of a management franchise in the Home Care industry? What we offer Long term opportunity in a growing market sector Attractive income potential Competitive franchise fee and monthly service fee Financially and personally rewarding business
We have A proven track record A reputation for excellence Highly skilled and dedicated support team
Franchise Fee ÂŁ32,950 + VAT Build your business with our proven system. We will be there to support you every step of the way. Call us today! 01903 266 392 www.caremarkfranchises.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Caremark FP Dec.indd 1
Bucking the trend
44 elitefranchise March|April 2014
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A franchise has all the facets to survive and flourish in times of recession, says Matt Skinner of FranchiseSales.co.uk
he economic climate has devastated many businesses. It isn’t just small firms that have suffered or gone into administration over the last five years; surprising casualties of the depressing state of the market have included high-street stalwarts Comet, Woolworths and Jessops. However, some businesses have gone from strength to strength during that same period. Household brand names such as Subway and McDonalds are turning over record profits and both are franchises. A safe business model One of the many benefits of buying into a franchise rather than branching out with a new brand is that there will be a wellestablished business model already in place. This factor removes many of the worries that can be experienced by those undertaking a new business, such as concerns about whether the format will be enjoyed by the potential client base or supported by future financiers. With a franchise, there is a certain amount of existing confidence in the brand which leads to both a higher likelihood of achieving the required level of custom earlier in the business and of obtaining any financial support, should you decide to approach investors. This preexisting confidence is virtually supplied as part of the franchise package and offsets many concerns that have been exacerbated by the economic downturn. Support and structure Unlike those who set out to build up a business using their own new model, a franchisee can draw upon a wealth of advice and support from the franchisor. Although it is sometimes necessary to alter some details of the franchise strategy to fit in with local conditions, the fact that there are tried and tested practices relating to the business gives the new owner a reliable structure upon which to build. A franchisor can, and often will, provide
the franchisee with a template for managing the business: this can include such things as franchisee training days or bespoke software and can remove potential concerns about such issues as rates of pay, management obligations and sourcing raw materials or ingredients. Support would not only be available from the franchisor but also from those already running a franchise. The advice of somebody who has experienced setting up and maintaining a similar business would be invaluable and highly relevant. It can enable you to decide whether to go ahead with a purchase and warn you of potential pitfalls that could jeopardise the success of the franchise.
“In these tough economic conditions, it’s vital to leap upon every advantage that comes your way” Planning ahead Undertaking a new business is never entirely risk-free, but the usual risks have increased considerably in recent years. As a result, it has become even more necessary to investigate business options thoroughly. For example, it is vital to discover the size of the market, how other similar businesses are progressing in the area and the extent of existing competition, regardless of the kind of business you are hoping to start. But if you are considering buying a franchise you have the advantage of having access to a great deal of information relating to businesses that are
highly similar. While it’s important to carry out due diligence to ensure the market is not saturated with businesses offering the same goods or services, you will at least have assurances regarding other outlets of the same franchise. With the cooperation of other franchisees, you can access figures for premises in similar socio-economic areas, which can be reasonable indicators of how your own franchise might fare. Going against the grain All of these factors – strong confidence in an established model, a ready-made startup procedure and the facility for better performance prediction – lead to a greater level of trust in franchises. Customers are more likely to spend their meagre resources on a product they know they enjoy, lenders are more likely to take a chance on a business model that has a good track record and entrepreneurs are more likely to risk undertaking an enterprise that has so many built-in fail-safes. It’s no surprise that a survey carried out by the British Franchise Association in conjunction with NatWest discovered that over 90% of franchisees reported that they were in profit. In business, there is no such thing as ‘a sure thing’ and many businesses have discovered that fact the hard way over the past five years. In these tough economic conditions, it’s vital to leap upon every advantage that comes your way. A franchise provides many of those advantages. Use the additional confidence it provides to procure the best supplies you can afford, to secure financing at the best rates available and to establish your new business with as wide a client base as possible as soon as you can. Accept every offer of information and help that is made by the franchisor and other franchisees to give your business the best chance of success. Lastly, never forget that your aim is to provide a service, so keep listening to the customer and you, too, could become part of the great franchise success story. March|April 2014 elitefranchise 45
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Wideof range nities rtu k o p p o 5 4 2 m fro
Take a Bite of
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.
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.
We’re expanding. Do you want to be part of something big?
For more information call Chris on 0203 077 5880 or email email@example.com Untitled-21 1
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.
A catch worth holding onto...
www.harryramsdens.co.uk/franchise Untitled-21 1
Expanding abroad should be a carefully planned exercise undertaken by mature franchisors. It also tends to take more time and money than youâ€™d expect
Foreign forays with franchising
WORDS: JON CARD
verseas expansion is an intimidating prospect for any business owner. But for the franchisor it presents a unique set of challenges. Franchises expand by replicating the same model in each location â€“ but will that approach work when the business enters a new territory with a different language, customs, business practices and climate? There are many examples of successful overseas expansion, but often these franchisors have adapted their models to suit their new marketplace. Therefore, this means franchisors must do their homework, find the right partners and prepare their business for this complex, yet potentially rewarding phase of growth.
48 elitefranchise March|April 2014
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There is so much we want to tell you about the fantastic business opportunities available to you through CENTURY 21 UK. Here are just a few reasons why you should become CENTURY 21 > You can find out more by visiting our website or speaking to our Franchise Sales Directors today. 0115 902 1002 email@example.com century21uk.com/opportunities
FP AD PLACE.indd 1
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Are you ready?
While the prospect of overseas expansion might be thrilling, hard questions need to be asked of the business before it moves abroad. Certainly, a franchise which is already operating on a nationwide basis is in a better position to expand overseas than one which has just a handful of territories. Farrah Rose, the international development director at The Franchising Centre consultancy, has been actively involved in the industry for 32 years, working with over 200 brands. She says franchisors need to be well-established before expanding abroad and should expect to commit significant amounts of time and money. “Unless the domestic operation is fairly mature it will be quite difficult to expand overseas, as the owners will be torn between the two,” she says. “Businesses need to have sufficient resources to expand overseas, both financial and human.”
Stick to the plan
Successful franchises attract attention and interest from investors from all across the world. This often leads to offers to ‘take the business into Qatar’, or many other exoticsounding locations. However, seasoned franchisors say it is wise to resist the temptation of such attractive offers and to stick to a plan
instead. Paul Thompson is the founder of Water Babies, a £35m franchise business founded in 2002, which provides swimming lessons for very young children. Fairly early on in its development, the business made an attempt to expand into Australia, after a former colleague moved there and offered their help. However, before long the business realised it had overreached and was not prepared. “Franchisees expect support wherever they are and you shouldn’t underestimate how time-consuming it is,” Thompson warns. “Australia is also very costly and it’s a long way away.” Having learnt from his mistake, Thompson took Water Babies into Ireland and also enlisted the advice of The Franchising Centre to vet the business for suitability. It gave Water Babies a green light and helped it to plan and now the business has sold five territories in Ireland and is planning moves into the Netherlands and Germany. Thompson advises franchisors to take advice and make deliberate strategies for expansion and not to opt for what might appear to be an easy option. “I think a common mistake is to follow enquiries rather than pursuing your goals. Moving into another country is complicated and very timeconsuming, also it takes time to get a return on investment. It’s not an easy fix,” he says.
“Moving into another country is complicated and very timeconsuming” Paul Thompson, Water Babies
50 elitefranchise March|April 2014
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Franchises operate the same wherever they are, or at least “The that’s the theory. However, franchisors often have to adapt franchise their business models to suit the new environment they are operating in. Rose suggests this can be tricky for franchises will have and moving too far away from the core model is potentially to be to be dangerous. “The franchise will have to be adapted to suit the market. But what can happen is that the model is changed so adapted much that it loses the element that made it so successful in the to suit the first place,” she says. “The business must not lose its soul.” Research of the market is required and this can lead market” businesses to investigate some novel aspects of a country. Sophie Atkinson is the managing director of Autosmart, a Farrah Rose, The Midlands-based franchise which creates and manufactures Franchising Centre cleaning products for the motor industry. Its franchise outlets sell them across the UK and the business has also expanded into Australia, Sweden and France. However, cleaning products differ around the world and understanding this was key to moving into new territories. “Our products clean vehicles and they have to be adapted to suit the climate and cleaning methods of a country,” says Atkinson. “France was fairly straightforward as it is close to the UK geographically and in terms of climate.”
Countries which are similar and close by are potentially the best first targets for businesses new to international expansion. Ireland is the first port of call for many expanding franchisors, offering similarities, but also differences. David Paulson is the senior manager for franchise recruitment for Tax Assist, an accountancy franchisor aimed at small businesses. He says Ireland was a good first move for the business, which is now planning moves into Australia, the US and Canada. “Ireland has a different currency, business culture and tax laws so we treat it as a different country and it helped us to understand what was required when selling master franchises.”
Sophie Atkinson, managing director of Autosmart, explains how her business prepared and made its successful expansion into France “We chose France because the climate is similar to the UK and the cleaning methods similar to Sweden. France has a franchising infrastructure already in place making it easier for franchisees to raise money, and finally we chose France because of its
“France has a franchising infrastructure already in place making it easier for franchisees to raise money” closeness geographically. “We went to the French Franchise Association which was very helpful, and we set up our own pilot with our sales director Chris Ashton. Chris brushed up his French for over a year, and moved to France with his family and found all the local contacts. “Today, we have seven French staff who are based across France and are responsible for recruiting and training our franchisees. We also have eight bilingual staff here in the Midlands who work across our departments, supporting France. “It may seem crazy but at first we translated our UK staff contracts into French and thought that it was OK to offer French staff English terms and conditions. Thankfully, this didn’t cause any problems and we found a good lawyer to sort them out and get new contracts drawn up.”
52 elitefranchise March|April 2014
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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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Rainbow FP Jan14.indd 1
Laying down a few ground rules can go a long way to protecting a franchisor’s brand, says Nicola Broadhurst of Stevens & Bolton
key element of every franchise concept is the trademark or brand. The success of a franchise is entwined with the reputation of the brand and in time, if sufficient goodwill has been acquired in the brand it can become an extremely valuable asset in its own right. This in turn can be licensed with great effect in a number of different market sectors. A clear example of such a super brand is Virgin. However the converse is also the case and where the brand is called into disrepute by the actions of the franchisor or franchisee, this can have dire consequences for the profitability of the franchised network as a whole. In many franchises, the franchisor will be the owner of the brand. However, it is increasingly common for a company wishing to expand its business through franchising to seek to ring-fence the liability, should the franchise concept fail, by establishing a separate company to be the franchisor. In such circumstances the franchise agreement should make it clear who owns the brand and that the franchisor is licensed to use and sub-licence the use of the brand and other intellectual property to the franchisee. A franchisee should check what the position is and ensure that the franchisor is appropriately licensed where
applicable to ensure that there is no issue over its authority to use the brand. Where the franchisor is not the trademark owner, evidence of a trademark licence is another requirement of membership of the British Franchise Association. As a trademark owner, a franchisor has a duty of care to ensure that it upholds the value of the brand. If a franchisor’s actions diminish the reputation of the brand to the extent that a franchisee could demonstrate that it was losing custom then a franchisee could seek to bring a claim against the franchisor for derogation of the grant of rights which had been given to the franchisee in the franchise agreement. More often however it is a franchisee’s actions that bring the brand into disrepute and the extent to which the damage to the brand can be contained will largely depend on the crisis management abilities of the franchisor. A well-drafted franchise agreement will contain clear protections for the franchisor on the use of the brand by the franchisee. Typical controls include: (i) a restriction on the franchisee using the brand in its own corporate name; (ii) that the branding can solely be utilised for the purposes of the business and not for any other reason;
“The franchise agreement should make it clear who owns the brand”
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(iii) all usage of the brand must be in accordance with the franchisor’s instructions; (iv) all advertising and promotional material which displays the brand must be preapproved by the franchisor; (v) the right for the franchisor to have total control over any proceedings for allegations that the brand infringes another’s intellectual property with the obligation on the franchisee to cooperate; (vi) a general obligation not to do anything which could bring the brand into disrepute. In response to the increasing use of social media, franchisors are increasingly extending the scope of restrictions and controls in the franchise agreement to cover the use of social media by franchisees. Often the franchisor will have a social media policy in its operations manual which must be adhered to and will sometimes insist that it has administrator rights to any social media site which a franchisee intends to use. Other franchisors will seek to prevent a franchisee from having its own website or other social media sites by insisting that the brand cannot be used in any domain name or displayed on a website without the franchisor’s consent. Such clauses can however be open to challenge if, in fact, they amount to a ban on a franchisee having a website at all to promote the franchised business, as this could fall foul
of competition law as amounting to a ban on passive selling. Well-established franchisors often circumvent this issue by offering an extremely sophisticated website with a microsite or web page for its franchisees, thereby hoping to eliminate any desire on the part of the franchisee to do this themselves. It is essential however that a franchisor does monitor effectively the use of social media in connection with its brand and sets up the appropriate alerts to ensure that it can react quickly should something negative or inappropriate be posted. In cases where comments are posted which the franchisor consider to be defamatory, this can often be dealt with by an appropriate letter to the relevant ISP provider; most of whom will take down a site or remove material if there is even a hint that it may be libelous in order to avoid being held liable. The controls and obligations placed on the use of the brand in the agreement are usually also backed up by giving the franchisor the right to terminate the agreement with immediate effect where the brand is brought into disrepute by a franchisee. The wording of this termination right must be carefully drafted however, to ensure that it does not result in a counterclaim for wrongful termination by the franchisee if the actual
“It is essential however that a franchisor does monitor effectively the use of social media in connection with its brand”
diminishment of the brand cannot be proved. If a franchisor is entitled to use its discretion then this allows the franchisor greater scope to terminate the agreement. Termination should, however, be the last resort and reserved for those cases where the damage to the brand is severe and/or deliberate. Often swift action by the franchisor can limit the damage and the provision of further training to the franchisee and its staff can be sufficient to ensure that such mistakes are not repeated. An example of this can be seen with the Auntie Annes’s cheese incident in the US in 2013. Here a customer complained to an employee of an Auntie Annes’s franchisee that the wrong cheese dipping sauce had been provided. The employee did not take kindly to the complaint and threw cheese sauce at the customer. The story was picked up on social media and went viral. The potential damage to the brand was severe. However, the franchisor was swift to respond by providing an apology from its president to the customer concerned and offering a free cheese dipping sauce day across certain locations. This had the desired effect of mollifying the customer and limiting the damage to the brand. However, it does demonstrate that, despite the fact that much is made of the fact that the franchise relationship is independent and there is a separation of liability between the franchisor and the franchisee, where the brand is concerned the line is blurred and the franchisor has little choice but to step in and assume responsibility for the franchisee’s actions. In this case, the franchisee in question remained within the Auntie Anne’s franchise network but had to work closely with the franchisor to ensure that its staff were thoroughly re-trained. It should not be forgotten that most franchise agreements contain a broadly worded indemnity in favour of the franchisor in respect of all losses and costs incurred by the franchisor as a result of any act or omission of the franchisee. Therefore, even where the franchise agreement is not terminated, the franchisee may still be facing a hefty bill for the costs of the crisis management incurred by the franchisor. Franchise agreements are not even-handed. By allowing a franchisee access to its brand and other intellectual property the franchisor is opening itself up to risk. The actions of a franchisee does not just affect its own business but can impact the entire franchise network. The franchisor is the guardian of the brand and this should be borne in mind by franchisees when reviewing the extent of the controls imposed by a franchisor.
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ABC Photography Our franchise opportunity is ideal for anyone who enjoys working with children but not necessarily an experienced photographer! We specialise in photographing Nursery schools, pre-school groups and Mother & Toddler groups. Also, as a mobile Studio, we take portraits in customers’ homes, providing top end quality photographs, reasonably priced. Call 0121 704 1016 email: email@example.com www.abcphotography.co.uk
AboutMyArea AboutMyArea offers you a unique business opportunity: an interactive local AboutMyArea online website that keeps the local population up-to-date with all the latest news and events in their area. AboutMyArea is not a hard sell advertising business. Its success is based on engagement and careful, effective marketing. Call 0871 384 9936 www.aboutmyareafranchise.co.uk
A-Star Sports is a multi award-winning children’s sports coaching franchise, specialising in delivering weekly classes, holiday clubs, parties and events direct to families. We offer an exciting opportunity to coach ten core sports and more, promoting the all-round benefits of sport and a lifelong commitment to being active. Franchisees are offered a bespoke training programme but they all have three things in common – a passion for sport, an affinity with children and the drive to succeed in business. Call 0845 459 2210 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.a-starsports.co.uk
• An exclusive territory. • Extensive and on-going training in photographic techniques. • The photographic equipment and stationary to start up your business. • Marketing and Accounts training. • A comprehensive franchise Operations Manual. • On-going Technical, Marketing & Management Support Services • Your own personal Web Page.
• Become the ‘Go To’ news site for your local community • Franchise fee of £9,995 (plus VAT) • Low monthly fee of £199 (plus VAT) • Established in 2005
• Low cost start-up at £12,500 (+ VAT) including equipment to deliver all levels of the programme (10 core sports) • Unique eight year coaching programme for children aged 2-10 years • Ongoing support with detailed business and coaching resources • Exclusive, defined territory
Caremark offer a management style franchise, within the home care sector. Franchisees have the opportunity to grow and develop a business providing care and support to those wishing to remain living independently in their own home within an exclusive territory. On-going support both in field and office based ensure franchisees have the best possibility to replicate Caremark’s system. Enabling them to build a business in this growing sector, which can provide both financial and personal rewards. Call 01903 266 392 email: email@example.com www.caremarkfranchises.com
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• Proven business model • Outstanding support • Comprehensive ongoing training • Established network • Elder sector set to grow by 51% by 2030
Century 21 Century 21 is the world’s largest estate agency network, with over 7,100 offices and approximately 100,000 agents in 74 countries worldwide. We are looking for new offices to join the Century 21 family and bring this international and exceptional brand to new locations in the UK. Call 0870 21 11 399 firstname.lastname@example.org www.century21uk.com/franchise
CNA Executive Search Ltd Build a global business with no territory boundaries Build your own business with the brand, support and benefits of being part of one of the largest recruitment companies in the UK and Europe. CNA Executive Search specialist (Partners) forms the executive search and senior appointment arm of the Pertemps Network Group Ltd. Call 01676 822 222 email: email@example.com www.cna-international.com
• Assistance with launching your business • Induction and on-going development training • Tech support • Access to an extensive global network
• Instant brand recognition and credibility with global corporations • Full Training on how to build and grow your business • Superior and constantly evolving systems from the Pertemps Group • Start your business with low overheads from your home office.
Driver Hire Nationwide A straightforward business with huge potential A proven B2B management franchise with over 100 offices and a 30 year track record, Driver Hire is one of the most successful franchise brands in the UK. A specialist recruitment company supplying temporary staff to the transport and logistics sector. Average full year sales for Driver Hire franchisees in 2012/13 were £704k. Call Kasia Baldwin 01274 361073 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.driverhirefranchise.co.uk
Eazi Apps Get involved in the fastest growth market in history offering iPhone, iPad, Android and mobile web apps without any technical or design experience. We give you a full turnkey package that includes in- house training, support, help desk, loads of marketing materials and a full sales and marketing plan.
• Entry investment level from £35,000 (including start-up capital) • Run your own business in a sector worth £26.5bn in the UK • Net profit potential of over £100k per annum • No previous recruitment, transport and logistics experience required
• Start your own mobile app business for only £5,995 (+VAT) • Substantial income potential
Be your own boss, work your own hours, when you like, where you like.
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• No tech experience required
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Goldgenie Goldgenie was formed in 1995 and is now the most influential and trusted brand of its type in the world. Clients include HTC, Blackberry, Lexus, Viacom, American Express and Visa, and numerous A list Hollywood and international stars. Business in a box: This amazing business opportunity truly can give you the Midas touch turning hundreds of everyday items into luxurious gold or rose gold. Our success can also be your success with a small investment of just £2447.50 plus Vat. Call Frank Fernando on 0208 804 6200 Email: Frank@goldgenie.com www.goldgenie.com
• Complete business in a box • Minimal investment • Unlimited income only limited by your imagination • Change your life by visiting this link: www.goldgenie.com/ goldgenie-businessopportunity.php
Home Instead Senior Care Home Instead Senior Care specialise in providing older people with non-medical care in their own homes. We take the lead not only in the care we provide, but also for the industry leading support we provide to our franchisees. Choosing a Home Instead franchise will enable you to combine making a difference with running a substantial and rewarding business.
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The Interface Financial Group IFG 50/50 is an affordable home-based franchise that provides short-term working capital to small businesses by purchasing current, quality invoices at a discount. In IFG 50/50, all transactions are syndicated 50/50 with the franchisee and franchisor. IFG is also responsible for the due diligence and paperwork for the transactions, while IFG 50/50 franchisees build the referral relationships. Also available is an innovative Capital Leverage Programme to allow franchisees to grow their capital even faster.
• Excellent ROI • Low overhead • Home-Based • Exceptional training & support • Non-territorial & Portable
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JAN-PRO Cleaning Systems Jan-Pro is committed to helping individuals start their own commercial cleaning business at whatever level they choose – part time, full time or executive, with an entry level investment of under £10,000. Our training is excellent, our support ongoing and our vision is for you to grow your business to support the lifestyle of your choice. Call 01934 740472 email: email@example.com www.jan-pro.com/centrallondon
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Kare Plus is a leading provider of quality nursing and domiciliary care, supplying medical and non-medical personnel to the NHS, some of the UK’s largest private hospitals and nursing care groups, and those requiring care in their own home. We have new Service Level Agreements in place with the NHS, a portfolio of established National Contracts and full CQC accreditation. Join us and earn healthy profits by delivering valuable services to your local community. Call 0845 094 9288 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kareplus.co.uk
• Established brand recognised by health professionals • On-going support, including recruitment and customer development • Access to national contracts nationwide • Competitive franchise fee of £40,000
Martin & Co Martin & Co is one of the only UK property agency franchises that offers lettings and estate agency with UK-wide recognition. With a network of just under 200 franchise owners, they are the largest property franchise business in the UK. With strong high street and online presence, the secret of their franchise owners’ success is that they can provide local property knowledge whilst being backed by a national brand.
• Buoyant rental market • Growing sales market • Turnover £245k in year 3 • Build a business worth over £380k in just 5 years
Call: 01202 292829 email: email@example.com www.propertyfranchise.co.uk
Mail Boxes Etc.
Mail Boxes Etc. is one of the world’s largest non-food retail franchises. It is the only High Street chain that offers consumers and local companies a truly comprehensive range of national and international courier delivery, postal, print and copy services. As well as mailbox rental, stationery and packaging supplies plus many other complimentary profit streams. When you join Mail Boxes Etc. you get the full support of a globally-recognised brand with a proven business model and a comprehensive induction and training system. Call 01608 649238 email: mbe.co.uk/franchise_opportunities firstname.lastname@example.org
Rainbow International 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. Business opportunities are available throughout the U.K including new territories and re-sales. All training will be provided in our in-house training facility. Call 01623 675 185 Businessopportunites@rainbow-int.co.uk
• Established, fast-growing network with a proven system • Full support of a globallyrecognised brand • A complete turnkey start-up package from £60,000 • Comprehensive start up and initial training • Continual operational and marketing support
• Recession proof business • Recognised brand • Protected territories • Personalised Rainbow website • Ongoing support from a team of experts at Head Office • Extensive 3 week training onsite at Head Office
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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. Call 08000 934 984 email@example.com www.surelet.co.uk
• Send all paperwork to our PropertyManagement Centre • Bespoke Sign-writing - have the car vinyl synonymous with the SureLet brand • Cloud based technology for easy management • Franchise only starting from £12,500
Trivaeo Cloud Services The company behind the “Best CRM on the Planet” and Finalists in the Network Computing awards 2014 now seeking Channel Partners with a deal structured like a Franchise, but without on-going Management fees. Sell 65 on-line business applications that will automate just about any SME. All revenues earned come directly to you. Full training and Management systems supplied. No technical experience required.
• Easy to sell and demonstrate • Free trials for all users • Revenues that come directly to you • Fantastic margins with limited outlay and no stock.
Call David on 0844 561 1979 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.trivaeo.com
Build your own Executive Recruitment Business as part of a £600+ million Group Change your job, not your industry and leverage your years of experience, contacts and goodwill OR have a fresh start with one of our ready-made sectors. We encourage you to trade globally, take on new sectors and build a multi-million pound business. This is a great opportunity to build your own business with the brand, support and benefits of being part of one of the largest groups of recruitment companies in the UK and Europe. Fee: £30,000 with £15,000 paid on start and the rest as a % of earnings Job Title: Senior Partner - Business Opportunity Executive Recruitment. Job Type: Permanent Employer: CNA Executive Recruitment (Part of the Pertemps Group). Location: National Earnings: £100,000+ All applications to: email@example.com
The benefits include: • Build your own business in the industry you know • Full back office and IT support • Internal factoring and credit control for good cash flow • Instant brand recognition and credibility with global corporations. • Superior and constantly evolving systems from the Group. • Start your business with low overheads from your home office. With nearly 20 years’ experience refining and improving their Partner support they know how to guide you to success. It’s your business – stay small and work from your home office or build a multi-office International management business. Full invoice factoring included in the management service fees; get paid on time every month. Benefit from extensive training and on-going business mentoring from our expert team.
As well as having a strong drive to succeed, you will need; • A background as a senior professional. • A strong commercial awareness. • Excellent people skills. • Good understanding of the English language.
Call: 01676 822222 / 07909 533726
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A day in the life Rachel Shaw opened her first Subway franchise in 2007. She now owns and operates two stores in West Wickham and Thornton Heath. In her first Elite Franchise column, she describes how an average day tends to look for a multi-unit franchisee
he first thing I’d say is that no two days my second store. are exactly the same, but there are Once back in the office I will log-on to my several key processes which I need to go business banking to review my cashflow – it’s through daily to make sure my stores are important for me to stay on top of this at all running smoothly. times, especially since the launch of the Most days, I start by analysing sales trends, Subway platters as we do quite a bit of our customer count, and the productivity data business online. Being in the office also gives from the previous day. Subway offers some me the chance to check my emails and ensure great tools to franchisees that that all of the operational allow us to monitor this updates are communicated to information hour-by-hour from both my teams. “70% of my anywhere in the world. In this At least once every two weeks I customers are have a one-on-one meeting with business, priorities are always changing, so being able to easily regulars so it’s prospective new franchisees that view this information enables me wish to look at the business to identify any areas that I need to always good model and I do a 20-minute cover with my in-store teams. question and answer session. To to catch up I normally then head over to my round off a busy morning I first store and catch up with the might then have a meeting with with them” store manager on the daily my accountant, reviewing my targets, as well as spending some last year’s accounts, year-on-year time going over the previous day’s data. Being sales and profit growth. one of the first stores in the London area to Lunchtimes are our busiest period and I like launch a Subway delivery service, I ensure that to spend this time on the shop floor of one of all of the large order deliveries due to go out my stores. Around 70% of my customers are each morning have been prepared, checked regulars so it’s always good to catch up with and ready for dispatch – and then go through them. My Thornton Heath store has recently the same thing again with the supervisor from been refurbished with additional seating, and
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the West Wickham branch opened on December 18 with a fully functional delivery service from day one, so there’s an incredible amount to catch up about and the feedback is very positive. My afternoon might be spent reviewing the current marketing material that we have in place and ensuring that it is in line with my company’s mission. I am working more and more on growing the large order side of our business, so I might spend time on the design of some new leaflets and banners for our next event. I am also hoping to extend the opening hours of one of my stores so I may spend time reviewing the licence and completing the application. All of this means I also now need to have a recruitment plan in place for the additional operative hours of trade. Luckily, Subway’s recruitment site is on hand to help. It’s a great recruitment tool that allows us to
review applications and hire locally, but the admin of the site is centrally maintained, which means that’s one less job for me and my team to oversee. I find that an increasing amount of my time lately is spent within the community, and as such the later part of the afternoon might see me attending a town centre business meeting. I work with a board of around 15 other businesses on local initiatives, along with up-and-coming events like our annual summer festival. It can be hard work, but my business is going from strength to strength. I have won the best local store marketing award for three years consecutively in London, and franchisee of the year for the last two years – a testament to some very hard work, but also confirming that my decision to invest in this franchise was the right one for me.
“I am working more and more on growing the large order side of our business”
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Exciting, innovative Lettings Franchise opportunities from ÂŁ12,500 Our Property Management Centre removes the administrative burden, leaving you to be totally mobile & focus on growing your SureLet Franchise
Bespoke Sign-writing have the car vinyl Cloud based technology synonymous with runs your diary, the SureLet brand accesses your property (No need for an office) portals, sends emails and connects to in-car printer Send all paperwork to our Property Management Centre
With franchising in rude health, there’s never been a better time to get on the ladder
A sure-fire success T he franchise industry is growing rapidly as the economy continues to drag its feet and job security is a bit of a question mark for many. The number of companies going down the franchising route grew around 3.5% last year and isn’t showing signs of slowing down. Leading lettings franchise SureLet is continuing its success as not only is it a franchise that’s growing year on year, it is well established within the ever-increasing rental marketplace. Of all the franchising sectors residential lettings is one of the most competitive out there. But with so many options, how do people choose? SureLet Nottingham franchise owner Matthew Trinder said: “I am one of the SureLet newbies and I was totally baffled by the amount of options and routes. “I had done a lot of research and ended up with three companies, one of which was SureLet. I had a meeting with all three following which my mind was made up, SureLet was the option for me. “I felt as if they really cared about their company, and had the passion and insight to make anyone taken under their wing to succeed.” SureLet have been in the franchising world for ten years now and the continual revival of its opportunity is because of the way in which they use the latest technology and software enhancements. The other reason is due to the marketplace in which they operate; the lettings industry is rapidly growing as the demand for rental property increases. Dan Lewis, SureLet franchise manager, said:
“The market is strong and will continue to grow for years to come; it’s because of the rise in the cost of housing and the need to be more flexible to make a living. “It’s the perfect industry to start a franchise business in and our set-up and support system gives you all the tools you need to make it a success. Plus you don’t need any prior experience as we have a comprehensive training program that allows you to be up and running within 4 weeks.”
“I felt as if they really cared about their company, and had the passion and insight to make anyone taken under their wing to succeed” Mathew Trinder, SureLet Nottingham
“With the SureLet model, we have the flexibility to go out and do the fun side of the job without having to be bogged down with the administrative aspects of a lettings business, because the SureLet Property Management Centre takes care of this for us. The Property Management Centre team is the lifeblood of SureLet. They take care of all the administration, leaving SureLet franchisees to focus on building their business. This highly skilled team looks after rental arrears, deposit disputes, referencing, maintenance issues, renewals and much more. They are on hand 24/7 to ensure that all SureLet franchisees and landlords are looked after and issues resolved quickly and efficiently. Colin Poole, managing director of SureLet said: “Our vision is simple. We want to continue to build on our successful lettings franchise model and make a real difference in the Lettings Industry. We want to expand our network with enthusiastic, vibrant people and continue to provide our franchisees with fantastic support and advice.” For more information call 01452 313 313, email Info@SureLet.co.uk or visit www.SureLetFranchise.com
Fit your work around your life
Buying into a franchise allows you to build your work around your life rather the other way around. Sunil Mehta and Nimesh Shah own the Hemel Hempstead SureLet, they said: “We loved our previous jobs and the fast-paced, competitive, highly lucrative elements were exactly what we lived for. “But the love for the job faded when we started thinking about settling down and starting families. We needed a job that offered us the flexibility we needed and franchising was the perfect route. March|April 2014 elitefranchise 67
Home is where the heart is: Home Instead Senior Care is one of the UK’s fastest-growing franchises. Founded by Trevor Brocklebank and wife S...