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Industry Focus



The signs of a growing industry

The sign industry has formed a fundamental part of commerce and trade for centuries, from wooden etchings through to the modern day inks and materials.

Rarely has an industry exhibited such longevity and relevance of purpose for such an extended period of time and despite the increasing popularity of digital advertising platforms, the signs and graphics industry is continuing to grow!

A strong industry to work in

A recent survey of over 1,000 business decision makers, conducted by Signs Express, painted a picture of an industry going from strength-to-strength with 83% of those surveyed stating that signs, graphics and displays form an important part of their marketing strategy.

Moreover, main exterior signage ranked as the second most important resource to have when marketing a business, falling just behind the possession of a website!

Growing need for a signs and graphics service

Registering a record year for start-up formation in 2015, with a total of 608,110 new businesses in the UK alone, the signage market just for start-ups alone is thriving.

On average, each of us sees more than 400 signs every day, which goes to show the extent of the sign industry’s reach and means that any career in the signs and graphics industry offers a combination of productivity, creativity, prosperity and variety, with everyday bringing new opportunities.

Due to the consistent demand for products and services offered by the signage industry, there are many competitors, predominantly independent SMEs who usually focus on a particular specialism or a specific region.

Benefits of a signs and graphics franchise

Signs Express franchisees benefit from a nationally established brand name, as well as a diverse product and services range covering all forms of signage from wallpaper to more functional way-finding systems and health and safety signs, which broadens client appeal considerably.

The benefits of being a member of a signage franchise was proven in a 2015 survey conducted by the British Signs & Graphics Association (BSGA), which revealed that the average Signs Express turnover is greater than 47% of the sign industry standard. The BSGA survey also outlined a positive trend across the entire signs and graphics industry, with 87% of sign industry professionals stating that they expect turnover growth within the next 12 months

A tried-and-test franchise model

Franchising can provide a proven business model alongside the guidance and assistance needed for business owners to meet their goals.

A fact proven by the results of the 2015 bfa Natwest survey that uncovered a record 97% of franchisee-owned units reported profitability with failure rates much lower than for other SMEs generally.

Unlike business opportunities in other sectors, the sign industry offers uncapped profit potential; the only limiting factor being your own ambition! For example, Signs Express’ average centre turnover ranges between £300,000 p.a. to more than £1million p.a., but the sky really is the limit, with the support of a dedicated team behind every franchisee.

About the author

Signs Express is the UK’s largest sign and graphic franchise business. More about their franchise opportunity can be found here.

To look at other franchises within the 'sign' sector, click here or, alternatively, look at franchises for sale in the 'print and sign' industry here.


Use your experience to help people develop their true potential

Last year a report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills reported that in 2015, the last year for which they have figures, the UK spent £45.4bn on training and development.

The figure is expected to rise in the coming years, with organisations facing up to BREXIT and increasing spending on learning and development, with most now focussed on creating the future leaders they need to drive business outcomes.

This is a good opportunity for individuals with the appropriate business skills and life experiences to help develop leaders, managers and individuals to their full potential, whilst building themselves a healthy business at the same time.

Exploit your skills

A ‘white collar’ franchise, in the leadership and people development sector is a great way to run your own business, working as much or as little as you want; what you achieve and how you measure your success is entirely up to you.

When you’re looking for a career change, maybe a new direction or just more control over your life, starting a business from scratch is hard and the failure rates are high. But owning a ‘white-collar’ franchise offers a simple to operate business, typically backed by a global brand with a great support network.

A franchise in the leadership people development sector allows individuals to combine the drive and energy of the entrepreneur with the real-world business experience and expertise of an established brand that helps open doors to new business.

Long-term relationships

Helping people realise their full leadership potential is not an overnight job, it takes time and commitment on both sides of the relationship.

This is good news for the franchise owner who can take their clients from ‘novice’ to ‘total leader’ in a number of stages, which offers good prospects of repeat sales, the lifeblood of a successful business.

There has never been a better time to start a new career in leadership and people development as the UK business community prepares for a post-Brexit commercial world – full of danger but equally full of new opportunities.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes recognise the need for not just more leadership training, but high quality programmes focussed on specific needs, delivered by experienced mentors working one-on-one with participants.

Rewarding for everyone

It is easy to think of returns only in monetary terms. But for many ‘white collar’ franchisees, the satisfaction of working closely with individuals and helping unlock their true potential, whilst guiding them to personal success is an aspect of the business that should not be underestimated.

Whether you are working with the owner manager of a small business or a rising star being readied to run a major organisation, your efforts will be rewarded with referrals, which will be an important source of new business.

Nothing sells better than someone recommending you to a friend or colleague.
But whatever franchise you settle on, if it’s a ‘white collar’ franchise, possibly operating in the leadership and people development sector, you must never lose sight of the fact you will spend a lot of your time selling.

You will need to connect with prospects, using any and every appropriate method, including content on your own website, digital marketing, PR activities, cold-calling, e-shots, pay-per-click – whatever it takes to deliver a steady stream of people to talk to.

An LMI-UK franchise

If you have the necessary business skills and life experiences, then now is a great time to become part of the world’s leading leadership and people development organisation. To find out more about what we do and the excellent ‘white collar’ franchise opportunity we offer, please click here.

To look at other ‘white collar’ franchise opportunities, please click here. Alternatively, why not consider other 'business coaching and consultancy' franchises here.


Profiting from a management-based cleaning franchise

Leaving a secure job in employment is a huge and tricky decision to make. How do you ensure that you avoid making the same mistakes that so many other business owners have made before you? When running a management business, it can be tricky to manage and not work directly within the business.

In this exclusive article, Total Clean, a leading commercial cleaning franchise in the UK, gives us a unique inside look at this lucrative industry. Having operated in both the commercial cleaning sector and in running a management business for almost 30 years, they have a wealth of experience in refining and honing their business model to be ready for franchisees. This exclusive article from Total Clean will outline everything you need to run a successful management-style business and explain how to avoid the common pitfalls.

Good franchises weather the economic storm

When launching any business, whether starting from scratch or investing in a franchise, you must ensure that the business is recession-proof and not based on a fad industry that will die out in a few years.

Research trends and dips in your chosen sector to help you determine how viable the business will be in both good and bad economic conditions and whether there is a demand for your product or service in the local area.

A key question to ask yourself when doing your due diligence is: are you able to develop new products or services to ensure that existing customers keep coming back to you and to help you attract new customers? Continuous development of the business will ensure that you stay ahead of your competitors and help you to remain profitable, despite dips and falls in the sector or economy.

Cleaning services: Always in demand

Cleaning is a service that will always be required, whatever the economic conditions.

Offices, hospitals, dentists, doctors, schools, retail outlets and a range of other premises will always need cleaning services to ensure that they comply with regulations and present a good impression to their end users and clients.

Any good franchisor within the cleaning sector, like Total Clean, will provide a wide range of services to ensure that they can target a wide variety of customers. For example, we consistently adapt and change our business to suit the market and, over the years, we have developed our own range of products.

Management versus Jack of all Trades, Master of None

This is one of the biggest mistakes new business owners make; they try to run every aspect of the business themselves.

By trying to take care of everything single-handedly, business owners can seriously hamper the development of their business and their chances of success.

In the beginning, you might not be able to afford to have full-time staff working with you in-house but as soon as you can get staff in to help you, the faster your business will grow. Delegation allows you to boost the amount of work you can do and, therefore, increase the number of customers you can serve. Having staff to delegate to will help you to focus on growing your business to its full potential.

Successful Franchisors stay ahead of the pack

Clear systems and processes are some of the most overlooked aspects of running a business but they are essential to you staying on track with development and growth.

Additionally, they are essential should you fall ill or be unable to operate the business because they will mean that someone else can easily step in and have an idea of what they are aiming towards. Having strong processes in place will also help to give staff clear guidelines to help them meet targets.

Relevant technology is essential in business development so remember to ask franchisors where they stand with this. For example, at Total Clean, we have management and CRM systems in places to help our Franchise Partners stay on track with their sales. Our systems help Franchise Partners to hit their targets and utilise forecasting tools to help grow their businesses. Technology is a critical aspect of running a business effectively and efficiently.

Summary

From the above, you will understand the questions you need to ask yourself AND the franchisors that you are researching. Ensuring that the franchise you invest in is ethical is a given but understanding the trends and pitfalls of an industry is essential too.

Should you have any questions about this article or wish to find out more about the Total Clean franchise opportunity, please click here.

To look at other management franchises, click here or, alternatively, to consider other cleaning franchise opportunities, please click here.


Build a profitable business within the Health Insurance Industry

Growing uncertainties within the NHS mean that more people are looking at ways to protect their biggest asset: their health. Private Medical Insurance will never be a full substitute for the NHS however, but it complements the much-loved national system by funding treatment in private hospitals for non-urgent, acute conditions.

In this exclusive article, Western Provident Association (WPA), a not-for-profit private health insurer with a heritage of over 110 years, gives us a unique insight into this industry and share the benefits of franchising within it.

The benefits of going private

There are a number of advantages of using a private hospital which include; avoiding waiting lists, having a private room, unrestricted visiting hours, and freedom of choice – choosing your consultant and where you want to be treated.

Who buys medical insurance? This can be broadly split into 2 categories:

1. Individuals/families who want to ensure they have the access to health treatment should it be needed. Many individuals who purchase medical insurance are self-employed and cannot afford to risk waiting lengthy periods for treatment on the NHS.

2. Companies purchase on behalf of their employees as a way to reward them, reduce absenteeism, and help recruit new staff. Each year 300,000 people leave work due to illness and injury (DWP) costing UK businesses £16 billion per year (1). Health and wellbeing has therefore become an important part of business healthcare and sickness absence strategies. A strong benefits package not only helps employers make sure they get the pick of employees at recruitment but can also help retain them.

The number of people in Britain taking out private medical insurance has risen significantly for the first time since 2008. After falling steeply between 2008 and 2011 and then staying flat, demand for private medical insurance cover in Britain rose by 2.1% in 2015 with just over 4 million people insured. (2)

Franchising within this sector

The contribution of franchising to the UK economy is now estimated to be £15.1 billion, an increase of 46% over the past 10 years and up 10% since 2013. Additionally, the total number of people employed in franchising in the UK is 621,000 with a record 97% of franchisee-owned units reporting profitability. (4)

With the franchise industry continuing to prosper (3) and the uncertainty of the healthcare systems in the UK, we have never been busier. WPA Healthcare Practice franchise has been trading for 10 years as a main distribution channel for Insurance and a growing franchise network of 76 franchisees.

When considering the right franchise route for you, it is essential to look at how a franchisor responds to industry demands, customer needs and the fierce competition. For example, although the private medical insurance industry is highly competitive WPA have remained true to their heritage and are continuing to expand their loyal customer base. This may be due to the fact that local business owners are able to deal directly with the WPA Healthcare Partners (who are also local business owners).

Benefits of investing in an established franchisor

One of the main benefits of investing in a franchise model is that you often do not need any experience in the sector you are looking to join - a good franchisor will provide comprehensive training enabling you to run the business.

Daniel Wade, Director of New Practice Development, describes what they, as an ethical franchisor, provide so as to give you an understanding of what you should expect from a good franchise network:

‘We have invested heavily in our training and mentoring programme over the past 3 years to ensure we give our new Healthcare Partners the best opportunity for success. As a franchisor within a regulated environment, we have a responsibility to ensure our Healthcare Partners are trained to the highest possible level. We initially offer a week-long residential training course followed by a 2-day follow up course 6 weeks after the initial training. We also assign a mentor who is a successful Partner who can be on hand for any day-to-day queries".

Summary

Franchising is a partnership, so a good franchisor should invest in initial and ongoing training, with both parties investing in each other to build a long-term relationship.

To find out more about the WPA Healthcare Practice franchise, click here. Why not look at other Insurance-based franchises here or, alternatively, have a look at other franchises that work in the care industry here.

References:

(1) http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/sickness-absence-rates-and-costs-revealed-in-uks-largest-survey/
(2) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/16/private-medical-insurance-sales-surge-health-nhs
(3) http://www.thebfa.org/about-franchising/franchising-key-facts
(4) http://www.thebfa.org/about-franchising/franchising-industry-research


UK Courier and Shipping Market - the Commercial Opportunity

When considering franchise options, apart from considering what you feel you will be happy doing, the first step is to assess which markets are showing positive commercial trends. In this exclusive article, industry leaders, PACK & SEND, share their inside knowledge of this thriving sector and why a franchise which offers a unique concept puts you ahead of the game.

Logistics and Shipping - A £billion industry

A look at the logistics and postal services markets reveals that this is a massively important sector for the UK economy.

Such services are not only key drivers and enablers for general commerce, within and beyond this country, they are also seeing enduring growth through the relentless move to internet-enabled remote commerce. To top it off, they also turnover some £55billion annually - around 5% of total UK GDP.

That revenue, however, has attracted many businesses and there now around 63,000 companies (ref: PwC) participating in the UK logistics market which leads to a squeeze on prices and margins.

Commercial success thanks to unique proposition

This is a challenge for typical courier or freight businesses who handle standard pre-packed freight and who are having to deliver increasingly high shipment volumes to make a profit.

Niche market propositions, such as PACK & SEND on the other hand, are riding the growth whilst maintaining prices and margins.

The secret to this commercial success is due to a unique proposition, developing a distinctive brand and delivering excellent customer service. For PACK & SEND, the point of difference is clear; whilst there are many businesses that offer part of what they do, there is nobody that provides their wide range of shipping options combined with multiple packing services and a flexibility to meet virtually any customer's needs.

The Logistics Sector - Considerations

As with most markets, commercial success in the mass freight market depends on scale, which in turn requires significant infrastructure investment and a large headcount. These can be difficult for a franchise model to deliver.

What's more, the logistics market has two kinds of customer which have historically been served by different types of businesses. However, if a company is to be successful in both the domestic and business markets then it needs to demonstrate efficiency and knowledge whilst remaining accessible and easy to deal with - a difficult task for many logistics providers to achieve.

A premium niche market proposition, however, is ideally suited as a franchise business where sales and service are the key deliverables and the investment far more manageable. Franchises, like the PACK & SEND model, have low-cost retail locations and wide service flexibility which, subsequently make the business ideally suited to the domestic consumer and B2B customer.

Offering multiple or combined services

In a market primarily geared towards moving packed parcels and packages, a combined packing and delivery service is a powerful proposition as shipments for unpacked goods can arise for many reasons:

• items bought or sold via trading sites such as ebay
• items that are unique such as artwork, antiques or classic car parts
• movements of operational or used equipment
• collection and return of items inadvertently left at a location such as hotels or airports
• personal items such as student 'end of study' moves or temporary work moves

A leading authority in the franchise industry

When considering franchising within this sector, it is important you consider the unique propositions they offer you. For example, it is essential that you do your due-diligence and check that they are an ethical franchisor – are they a member of the British Franchise Association for example?

Think about what service they offer and is there a demand for it. PACK & SEND, for example, has a 'user-friendly' end-to-end service that is very different from a simple shipping company and like-for-like sales growth in excess of 30% last year illustrates the demand for this. Their trading model is very different too! Whilst an ordinary courier typically needs to handle hundreds of parcels to make money, a PACK & SEND store could be a £1/4 million business with just 3-5 customers each day!

In conclusion, when looking to invest in a franchise, it is crucial that you look behind the scenes and get a good understanding of how the market may impact your business. Due diligence will save you a lot of time and money down the line.

To find out more about PACK & SEND’s franchise opportunity, click here. Alternatively, why not have a look at other franchises within the logistics and delivery sector here.

Ref: (PwC): http://www.pwc.co.uk/industries/transport-logistics/transport-and-logistics-logistics-posts.html


Want your business to thrive on the local high-street?

There are so many businesses well-known to UK households but, just stop for a moment and imagine the number of businesses that may exist but may not be not widely recognised! This is the reality for many business owners, and having your brand grow to be loved and recognised on a national scale is just a dream for them.

Opening a retail business is a large investment and it can often be difficult to establish a brand, build a customer base and stand out from competitors – many of these businesses don’t survive in the long term. 

Mail Boxes Etc. has thrived on local high streets while many other brands have fallen by the wayside. So, what’s the difference between starting your own business and investing in a proven franchise model in the retail sector? In this exclusive article, Mail Boxes Etc. outline how to build a successful retail business.

Location, location, location

Property costs can mean that retail businesses may have a higher start-up cost than other new businesses. The location of a retail store can have a major impact and the ideal location will depend on a number of factors including customer demographics, footfall and competition.

When joining forces with a retail franchise, your franchisor should support you in finding the perfect location for your store, as well as helping you negotiate the terms. They will have an in-depth knowledge of the market and business opportunities to guide you towards selecting a great location. But it doesn’t stop there!

Once you’ve found that perfect location, your franchisor should support you on fitting out the premises, creating another bright new store to match all the others in the network, and adding strength to the brand.

Profitable revenue streams

Choosing a retail franchise that appeals to a broad market and offers more than just one product or service can greatly reduce risk; having a range of products and services on offer makes customers more likely to come back to you for repeat business as their needs change. Having a broad product range will also appeal to a wider audience.

Another important factor to remember is that using the strength of their network, franchisees often benefit from negotiated supplier rates which not only helps towards reducing set up costs but more importantly provides attractive margins on their products and services.

Innovation for continued success

The beauty of joining a franchise network is that you invest into a business that is established and may allow you to trade into profit earlier than if you had started up on your own.

Many people forget that a franchisor is there to continue developing the business model, planning for and adapting to market changes together with introducing new products and services. These activities can take up a huge amount of time, and resources you are unlikely to have when setting up a business on your own.

The team at Mail Boxes Etc. keep a close eye on trends and changes in the market and use it to their advantage by introducing new products and services that reflect customer demands. These activities are what helps them stay one step ahead of their competition and, despite fluctuations in the economy, their franchisees can remain profitable and successful.

Summary

When researching retail franchises, it is vital that potential franchisors provide the right level of support, have a proven profitable model and react to changes in the market. Reduce the risk of success by asking the right questions and discover the right path to your business success!

To find out more about an exciting opportunity with Mail Boxes Etc., please click here. To look at other franchises within the retail sector, click here.


Prospering through procurement

Most franchise opportunities focus on a specific sector or industry, whether it’s in a Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) market. But imagine if you could target any industry and any sector, regardless of your own personal experience.

Expense Reduction Analysts explain how to leverage collective knowledge in a franchise network for maximum market-reach and what you should look for when considering a Procurement opportunity.

The B2B marketplace

Profitability and efficiency is at the heart of every organisation. Put simply, the best way for businesses to boost their bottom line is to sell more or spend less. Clearly one is a little easier and a lot more attractive than the other!

According to the Deloitte: Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) Survey 2016, cost reduction has become the top priority for CPO’s as they look to sustain business growth in a slowing market. A staggering 76% highlighted cost reduction as their biggest goal for the coming years with 62% believing their in-house teams lack the skill and capability to meet this requirement.

An effective procurement business should be able to offer solutions to any industry, giving any business the opportunity to flourish despite economic fluctuations. The ERA model takes advantage of this perpetual demand for cost savings and improved efficiency by leveraging the collective knowledge of its network to achieve maximum marketplace penetration.

Leveraging collective knowledge

An obvious advantage when investing in any franchise is the ability to benefit from the knowledge and experience of your fellow franchisees. A franchisor should facilitate regular opportunities for their network to meet, both regionally and nationally, to share real-life stories, best practice and ideas.

The ERA business model goes one step further and actually utilises the vast knowledge and skillsets of its franchisees to enhance the business model.

Rather than work completely independently, franchisees have the option to collaborate with one or more colleagues which means there’s no business or project that cannot be taken on or actively pursued. This in turn ensures that clients can have access to a level of specialist cost-centre expertise that is second to none.

Results that feed sales

With any B2B service, the ability to demonstrate proven success in a particular industry or cost-centre is vital for franchisees. Only by doing so can they effectively market to and win new business. Put simply, it is important that business owners see tangible results and with a Procurement franchise, that becomes even more important.

As part of your due diligence, it can be useful to incorporate questions on this subject for a franchisor. For example, what tools and methods are available to franchisees to help them showcase success? Where do these resources sit in the local and national marketing strategy and how often are they refreshed or updated?

The ERA strategy ensures that a library of client success stories are available for franchisees to tap-into. New examples are prepared every month and highlight not only cost savings but efficiency improvements. These case-studies cover as wide a variety of sectors, business types and industries as possible. From telecoms and fleet projects with international organisations to insurance and printing projects with charities and High Street banks.

Through ERA’s training and business development programmes, franchisees can not only generate new business but achieve exceptional results and retain customers for the long-term.

Are you suited to Procurement?

Whilst almost all white-collar franchises will look for a certain level of management or professional experience, sector and industry should have little sway on your suitability. Specialist knowledge may lead you to focus on a specific cost centre, you could even become the go-to expert in your network.

Or perhaps with a natural flair for sales you could focus your efforts on Client Relationship Management or Business Development Manager roles, partnering with your fellow franchisees to undertake the technical work.

Instead of asking if Procurement is the opportunity for you, better to ask yourself if you’re interested in making a difference? Is empowering other business owners to improve their situations and in many cases, reinvest savings to grow and evolve the type of thing for you?

About Expense Reduction Analysts

Expense Reduction Analysts, one of the world's largest and fastest growing consultancy franchises. To find out more their opportunity, please request their FREE and non-obligatory franchise prospectus here

To look at other 'Business Service' franchise, click here. Alternatively, check out 'white collar' franchise opportunities here


Transport & logistic recruiters operate in a niche market

Recruitment is a thriving, billion-pound industry with no sign of ceasing. In this article, Driver Hire, an award-winning logistical recruitment franchisor, shares their insight into this niche market exclusively with us at whichfranchise.

Lucrative market

Recruitment is big business - a vitally important sector for the UK economy. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that it is the UK’s third largest service industry, with only construction and legal/accounting ahead of it.

In terms of volume, in 2015 the recruitment industry added £35.1bn to the UK economy. An impressive 76% of that figure coming from the supply of temporary workers, a market which grew by 5.6% during that year. Looking ahead, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) expects the industry to continue growing by a similar amount in each of the next three years.

20% (6.2m) of the UK workforce is made up of temporary staff, including directly employed temps, temps provided by agencies and self employed temps. All of which makes recruitment a highly attractive sector; the number of agencies specialising in temporary work grew by 1.6% in 2015/16.

Providing an essential service

The use of temporary labour in road transport and logistics is nothing new. It’s been an essential service to this equally essential sector for over 30 years.

That’s been mirrored by the growth in the Driver Hire network; from one franchised office in 1987 to a nationwide network of over 100 Driver Hire recruitment offices. All of which makes it a market leader and a well known brand within the industry.

Road transport is a vital, round-the-clock industry. Over 90% of all goods in the UK are delivered by road. Without it, UK plc could not function. Whether it’s to a supermarket, factory or food producer, goods must be delivered and collected on time.

And that’s where the market for temporary workers comes in. If a regular driver is taken ill or is on holiday, recruitment businesses such as Driver Hire, use their team of temps to fill the gap. Nor are temporary labour suppliers totally reliant on emergency spot hire. Many transport operators use a flexible workforce comprising permanent staff and temps working on longer term contracts to cover the peaks and troughs in their business.

Offering a specialist service in a niche market

Whilst exact figures on the total value of the road transport & logistics temporary market aren’t readily available, Driver Hire estimates it to be in the region of £3bn annually.

What is clear from the REC’s 2016 annual trends survey is that the blue collar/industrial workers’ sector – which includes drivers – is the leading sector for the supply of temporary workers.

As a specialist provider within that sector, Driver Hire and other transport & logistic recruiters, operate in a niche market. Competition is high. This has been reflected by a slight tightening of margins over the past couple of years.

Of course, recruitment in general isn’t immune to the ups and downs of the economy. It is the first into any downturn and, equally, is the first industry to feel the benefit when economic growth resumes.

Challenges in this sector

The main concern for suppliers of temporary labour is Brexit. However, there is some evidence that, in road transport & logistics, this uncertainty can also be a benefit: employers preferring to go down the temp route rather than taking on permanent staff.

In common with other blue collar industries – construction being another -- there is a potential skills’ shortage. The industry is aware of this and is already introducing measures to attract a new breed of younger goods vehicle drivers.

Looking ahead, the continuing growth in online sales is providing opportunities for further growth within the sector. There’s a burgeoning demand for van drivers to complete final mile deliveries to homes and offices across the UK. All of which is good news both now – and going forward – for specialist transport & logistics’ recruiters.

Benefits of franchising in this industry

From a franchise perspective, management franchises such as recruitment businesses, have a number of benefits.

In the first instance, as you are managing the business, rather than actively carrying it out, you don’t necessarily need to have had previous experience in the sector to be a success. Also, unlike a retail franchise, you don’t have to tie up working capital in stock. And, when the time comes to sell, you can move out of a management franchise with very little or no disruption to the business.

About Driver Hire

Driver Hire is an award-winning recruitment service, supplying drivers and logistics staff to both private and public sector organisations. To find out more about their franchise opportunity, click here.

To have a look at other recruitment franchises in the UK sector, click here. Alternatively, why not check out other 'White-collar' franchise businesses here


Benefiting from a ethical franchisor in a competitive market

The strongest argument for buying into a franchise is the support that it offers and, never is this more valid than in the care sector, where franchisees are responsible for the welfare of vulnerable clients and subject to regulation and complex legislation.

The benefits of investing in a care franchise

Having the safety net of an experienced franchisor behind you is hugely beneficial, as not only will you receive a framework for compliance from the franchise’s operational policies and procedures, you should also be able to access anytime-support in all aspects of compliance, safeguarding and quality control.

Operating at the premium quality end of the market, with a client-base that is predominantly self-funded, franchise owners – like Right at Home’s - really do need to set the highest standards of care delivery.

A good, ethical franchisor’s system should furnish them with a wide range of Quality Assurance tools and tailored business support that enables you to scale up your businesses whilst maintaining the focus on quality and compliance.

Find a franchise that share your personal principles

Whilst the first 12-24 months of establishing the business can be highly challenging, a care franchise should allow you to work to your own personal principles from Day 1 and to enjoy the rewards of having a truly positive impact on people’s lives.

For example, at Right at Home we follow the ‘mum test’ of only recruiting CareGivers we would happily trust to care for our own mother. We don’t believe quality care can be delivered in short visits, therefore our preferred minimum visit is 60 minutes, which allows us to deliver care with dignity and go the extra mile to enhance our clients' quality of life. We are also absolutely committed to supporting our clients with consistent care staff, so that they can build relationships that really add to their sense of well-being.

One of the strongest incentives to enter the care sector is the reward of personal satisfaction as you witness the wide-ranging impact that a genuinely caring service can have on both an individual and their family. Operating to these values has seen us recognised as the most highly recommended national company on Homecare.co.uk, the leading independent review site for care.

Investing in a lucrative market

There has never been a better time to enter the homecare sector, providing you have the right tools with which to do the job. Demand for care in the home is growing exponentially, due to our rapidly increasing population of independent elders who have no desire to give up their daily routines or their home comforts.

Demographic data shows that the number of over 75s is going to double over the next 20 years and, like many Western societies, we are living longer lives with one in 3 children born today predicted to live to 100 years old.

The customer care expectations of ageing Baby Boomers have been met by a model of self-funded, discreet support that has emerged from America, offering holistic support that encompasses all physical, social and emotional needs and wishes.

Care franchises make their mark in the international market

Care franchises now have a considerable presence in the international franchise market; in January 2017, Right at Home was the highest-ranking care franchise in the Enterprise Top 500 franchise listing, and in the UK Right at Home and other care brands have won major BFA awards and industry accolades such as the Best Franchise Award.

While an emerging market inevitably attracts a rising level of competition, franchisees should find that the benefits of an established brand and an award-winning support system help them to establish a reputation for quality, leading to ongoing word-of-mouth referrals.

Experienced franchisors offer unrivalled support and guidance

The most significant challenge faced in the quality care sector comes from recruiting high calibre staff at a rate that allows your business to grow and meet demand.

Again, a good franchisor will provide significant support; at Right at Home our Group Head of Recruitment works with individual owners to develop creative strategies for identifying, attracting and retaining suitable candidates.

Are you right for franchising?

When considering the care sector, it is always a useful exercise to assess yourself against the recognised attributes of a successful franchisee.
For example, Right at Home franchisees must be comfortable networking and building relationships with potential referral sources and enjoy a customer-facing role in their local community.

Given the need to build up a trust-based reputation, they will have realistic expectations about the time it will take to break even – averaging around 12 months – and a determined mindset, driven by aspirations of long-term profitability built upon a well-respected brand.

Above all, at Right at Home, we look for a genuine passion for helping others. Without this, you will never stand out from the crowd; but with it, you can achieve truly astounding outcomes and build a business you can really be proud of.

About Right at Home

Right at Home is a UK-leading care service which provides high quality care, companionship and support services. To find out more about their franchise opportunity and to immediately download their FREE and non-obligatory franchise prospectus, click here.

To discover what other care franchises are available in the UK, please click here. Alternatively, have a look at 'management' franchises like Right at Home, here


Take a fresh look at promotional merchandise industry

When you think how you might promote and market your business, collateral such as TV, radio, posters and press may be the first mediums that spring to mind. However, it might be time to challenge that traditional thinking.

At Recognition Express we’ve spent 35 years understanding what makes a promotion successful and how to generate brand awareness. We know that promotional merchandise offers more exposure and value for money than any other advertising medium out there. In this exclusive article, we want to give you a unique insight into this thriving industry and share why franchising in it, may be a profitable route into business ownership for you.

Top results for brand awareness and promotion

94% of recipients of branded merchandise remember the product or the company for over six months.
BPMA research

These results, generated by using promotional products, knock the performance of traditional marketing methods out of the park. A huge amount is spent on traditional marketing methods with varying degrees of measurable success. Marketeers using promotional merchandise to target customers can be far more precise.

Marketeers have the names of everyone who received the item – and can track response rates accordingly. Compare the cost of a small advertisement, and the wastage factor of not hitting the right people, against the cost of sending out 500 pens, mouse mats or fridge magnets to individually named targets. Promotional merchandise is more cost effective and more easily measures.

Our franchises offer businesses better brand exposure

With the right product, you can ensure your brand gains maximum exposure. A mug for example will stay with a customer many times longer than a bottle of whiskey and a mouse mat serves as a constant reminder of your company.

Likewise, a well-designed fridge magnet will be seen by all the target’s family and branded USB flash drives remain one of the most sought-after corporate gifts and are used at home and in business. Used in conjunction with direct marketing, promotional products are probably the single most effective means of creating brand awareness.

As a highly-experienced franchisor, Recognition Express franchisees have the tools to confidently market the benefits of our services to clients. We have proven that, by knowing exactly who you are sending the item to, clients can opt to spend either a few pence or many pounds per unit, thus controlling their budget and turn the promotional tap on or off as business demands.

Helping businesses maximise the effect

Essentially, from our extensive experience over 35 years, we believe that there are three things a promotional item needs to be really effective – personal, usable and memorable.

If you can achieve all three at the same time you will have found the right tool to promote your business. Products that are both usable and personalised will be kept and used time after time. Let’s have a look at each of these:

#1 Personal

52% of recipients with branded products on their desks bought products or services from those companies.
BPMA research

The most effective product is one which is personal to the user. People identify with their company name or even better their own name – but make sure you always check and double check logos and spellings.

Whilst a stylish pen with your name on is to be treasured and remembered, one with incorrect personalisation is also memorable but for the wrong reasons!

Thanks to digital technology, today’s marketer can order just one name badge, one mug or one t shirt at a sensible price from our franchisees – and those days of high volume minimum orders are long gone.

#2 Useable

Over 50% of us have three or more free promotional products on our desk.
BPMA research

In a B2B situation you’re looking for a product that can be branded AND will stay on the recipient’s desk for as long as possible. According to the BPMA research the 10 most desk items remain:

1. Pens
2. Diaries
3. Desk Pads
4. Notebooks
5. Calendars
6. Mugs
7. Calculators
8. Pencils
9. Post-It Notes
10. Mousemats

A product that’s useable is retained – a product retained is remembered and a product branded with your company details and personalised with theirs becomes a call to action.

#3 Memorable

Spend some time putting a bit of creative thought into the choice of promotional item. Find out what he or she is interested in outside work and send them a useful branded related item. For example, golf balls or ball markers are always welcomed by golfers.

Something different or particular to an event or time of the year can also have the effect of raising awareness in the mind of the recipient. A mug branded one side with your logo and personalised to the recipient on the other filled with small chocolate eggs and sent out at Easter will be remembered. Equally a chocolate advent calendar at Christmas will evoke fond childhood memories – and at the same time draw the recipient’s attention to your brand 24 times!

Summary

It’s time to take a fresh look at promotional merchandise. With thousands of products to choose from there’s the perfect item for every business and every campaign.

Recognition Express franchisees benefit from the success of promotional merchandise and the thoroughly tried-and-tested franchise model which allows them to build a thriving business within this industry. It is a win-win situation!

To find out more about Recognition Express’ franchise offering, please click here. To consider other franchises which market business or sales opportunities in a variety of capacities, please click here.


Franchising in a recession-franchise industry

Challenge: By the time you’ve read this article, try and think of a building that doesn’t contain flooring or upholstery. In the meantime, Safeclean, an expert carpet and upholstery cleaning franchise, will share why this particular industry is not just successful…but thriving.

Primarily, when you think about it, society has become a little contradictory. On one hand, we are a ‘throw away’ nation, discarding and replacing items without a second through, yet, on the other, we are cost savers and DIY lovers. The question is, what happens when your items are too valuable to rip up and replace, but a DIY job just doesn’t cut it? You call in the experts.

Market demand

As a successful franchise, we have seen that carpet and upholstery care is a growing industry. In 2015 alone, the UK spent £98 million on carpet and upholstery cleaning services*.

At first glance, carpet and upholstery cleaning may not sound complex, but take a closer look and there is much more to it than meets the eye. The process of cleaning a carpet or upholstery has many components requiring knowledge of chemistry, techniques and a vast array of products. But what is you don’t have prior experience in this sector or of these technical methods? That is when franchising comes into its own….

The benefits of franchising in this sector

In simple terms, a highly-established, ethical franchise, like Safeclean, have a tried-and-tested business model for franchisees to follow. An in-depth training programme enables those who have never had any exposure or experience to become fully trained and qualified as carpet and upholstery technicians.

Within the induction programme, franchisees learn how to identify individual fibres, setting them alight and then analysing the scents and appearances they take on. For example, franchisees would learn the chemistry behind stain removal, what products contain the right chemistry to target and break down.

Marketing and customer support

Anyone who is looking to start their own franchise will know that building a successful business is much more than just learning your trade. It’s having a strong customer base and a demand for your service or product.

A franchise not only brings the training and equipment, but also the business support. Our research found that 46% of customers asked a friend or family member for a referral before choosing their service provider, showing just how important it is to get your marketing pitch right.

A recession-proof franchise

From our experience, carpet and upholstery cleaning seems pretty recession proof – many of our franchisees who testify to this have 30+ years of experience, so are in the know! When times are tough, customers aren’t in a position to replace their items, so being traditional Brits, they look to make do and mend.

That means that when their carpet, sofa or curtains are looking a bit tired, they’re looking to bring them back to life, not just replace them. That’s where a Safeclean technician comes in - they can do a thorough and professional job to achieve the desired results. And when times aren’t so tough? Customers are buying new furniture, and having it protected or they have the spare cash to just spruce up their furnishings.

Offering customers a cost-effective price

Techniques within the carpet and upholstery care industry are getting smarter and it’s reflected in the pricing. In 2015 the average value of each job was over £100. Testing and development is showing that materials we once thought were untouchable can now be regularly cleaned – think suedes and antique rugs.

We’re even able to provide our services to organisations such as the National Trust, caring for rugs and wall hangings – centuries old, carefully restoring them to their former glory.

Knowing the pros and cons

Whilst it is a trade that can be taught, it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s a physical job that requires a certain level of brute strength, determination and commitment to work hard.

With this in mind, to succeed as a franchisee, we highly recommend that you do your due-diligence before investing in a franchise and ensure you are a good fit for what the franchise demands of you.

Summary

At the start of this article we challenged you to think of a building which doesn’t have flooring or upholstery and we bet you couldn’t think of one.

Whether it’s a domestic customer or a commercial client, their property will contain at least one type of flooring or upholstery. That means that every single building is a potential customer and with an ever-increasing housing market the demand is only going to grow.

*Source: Guardsman Furniture Repair Market Research 2015

To find out more about Safeclean's established franchise business, please click here. To look at other franchise within the 'Cleaning' sector, please click here; alternatively, to consider 'Property Maintenance and DIY' franchise opportunities, click here


Franchising at the Heart of your Community

Pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV and you are likely to hear stories about the care sector – how demand for care is outstripping supply, the need for integration and more joined-up thinking between the NHS and the private sector for the delivery of social care in the UK.

Bluebird Care has responded to this demand and, in this exclusive article, we share our insights into this thriving industry and explains what it takes to be an industry leader.

The Care Industry: A Lucrative Market

In a market experiencing incredible growth (which is set to continue) and technology revolutionising how businesses operate, good franchisors are rolling out exciting innovations to ensure that they stay ahead of the game.

Consider what investments are being made by franchisors you are looking at. For example, one such invest investment we are making at Bluebird Care is our marketing materials. By refreshing them, we have helped franchise owners recruit the very best care assistants… which, in turn, facilitate the growth of their businesses.

Franchising: A replicated business model

The biggest challenge in any business is replicating the passion and dedication of the original business owner through the franchise growth journey. It is essential to remember that a good, ethical franchisor will have successfully & safely grown the business in this demanding sector.

Make sure you do your due-diligence and ensure that your investment enables you the best possible training and help at every stage of your franchise journey.

You should expect a high level of support from regionally based Business Development Managers and Quality Managers, like we do at Bluebird Care. This ensures that you can develop the business at a strategic level, whilst relying on your teams of dedicated staff to deliver exceptional care through following the carefully regulated businesses processes and procedures.

Find a franchise with values that match your own

Recruiting ‘community-focussed entrepreneurs’, who are a good match for the values of our franchise, is at the heart of our success and you should ensure that, when you are researching franchisors, that you consider what values they hold dear. Do they match your own principles?

It has been our experience that franchisees who share the same values as their franchisor, will recruit care assistants who similarly share these values and, subsequently, offer the “By Your Side” care you want for each and every family they help. It is a win-win situation.

Characteristics you will need to thrive in this industry

Key characteristics which we see time and time again across the network, which makes a success of this particular business, are communication, leadership, ability to empower teams, and the desire to succeed. Do you have these qualities?

An ethical franchise like ours is a very scalable business, it is important that business owners enjoy recruiting teams of people-focussed carers. Consider if you would enjoy managing others? Are you a people-person? Do you have what it takes to be a leader to your staff?

Striving to be a leader in the sector

Good franchisors, like Bluebird Care, work hard to change the perception of working in care. By striving to become an employer of choice in each area, through providing award winning training programmes and ensuring staff feel a valued member of the team, has made a difference for many business owners in this competitive market.

From our experience, care franchises that immerse themselves in their local communities ensure their brand is very visible and enables the business to deliver care to a diverse customer-base. At Bluebird Care we offer top-quality care to older people and also customers with physical or learning disabilities, or maybe recovering from a stroke or head injury.

Summary

With an aging population of 65+ set to increase 48% over the next 20 years and an estimated market value of £20 billion per annum, investing in an ethical care franchise has never been more attractive.

To find out more about Bluebird Care’s values-driven, caring franchise, please click here. To look at other franchise with the Care and Healthcare sector, please click here.


The Greeting Card sector that creates special moments

The greeting card industry is a huge market, with greeting cards been sent or exchanged between people for many different occasions and reasons, a few examples being birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Mother´s day Valentines plus many more reasons. Have a look at the stats…

      • The UK greeting card market is worth GBP 1,6 billion, more than coffee and tea combined.
      • 7 billion greeting cards are sold every year in the USA.
      • Swedish consumers send 30 million Christmas cards every year.
      • In the Netherlands people purchase 27 greeting cards per person/year
      • 600 million greeting cards are sold every year in Germany.

Why the greeting card industry is still thriving…

Consider how feel when you receive a greeting card? It makes you feel very special when you´re holding the card and you can read a personalised handwritten note on the inside of the card, this delivers a strong & deep sense of emotion within you.

Receiving a text message does not deliver the same emotions, it is not as personal as a card is & never will be. Card Group creates and delivers these “special and happy moments”, with their unique designs that are created with love and passion in their own design studio in Sweden.

Offering a new concept to become leaders in the sector

20 years ago, when Card Group first started, we discovered that there was a big gap in the market for something new and different. Greeting cards and stickers have all looked the same for decades with very standard designs, quality and few finishes. Stores must also often buy the stock including unsold products.

If you should look at different greeting card franchises, you will see that Card Group developed a Different concept from competitors with Next Generation Designs: Designs that are completely different and not comparable to competitors.

It is important to offer products that stand out from the crowd; Card Group designs are unique in their shapes, materials, colors, themes, styles and finishes and is the only card company that truly follows current & future trends.

With a different merchandising service offered and with franchisees, their service to their customers/shops is on a totally different level when compared with all other companies that are working with employed people. Card Group offers all products on consignment to their customers/shops, which ensures that there is no risk or investment required for the shops.

About Card Group

Card Group International was established in Sweden in 1997 and is a world leading Greeting card and gift franchise. They have Master Franchise offices in 45 countries worldwide and we are now expanding into the UK market.

To find out more about Card Group's Master franchise offering, please click hereTo look at other master opportunities in the UK, please click here


Benefiting from a repeat and referral business

Market research shows that over more than two thirds (69%) of the 34 million vehicles on the UK roads suffer from minor car damage which can be rectified by mobile automotive repair franchises. This means that franchisees in the industry can enjoy massive demand from a rapidly growing market, which we estimate to be worth over £3.6 billion.

Furthermore, an increasing number of car owners are beginning to learn of the time and money-saving benefits of recruiting a mobile automotive franchise to repair their vehicle. As more customers learn that there is a practical and cost effective alternative to local body shops and rectifying their car damage through their insurance policy, the market will keep on growing.

Opportunity to do something you love

If you like cars and motors, then an automotive repair franchise is a perfect opportunity for you to combine your passion with your career!

Not only does an automotive repair franchise enable you generate a high level of turnover through a proven business model, it also gives you the opportunity to work on a wide range vehicles and do something that you enjoy, ultimately providing you with a happier life.

Loyal, repeat market place

The automotive repair sector benefits from an excellent level of repeat and referral business, as more and more customers become aware of the benefits of using a mobile franchisee.

At ChipsAway franchise, for example, recommendation is one of the main drivers of consumer leads. Customers are so impressed with the outstanding quality of their repair and the convenience of the service, that they tell all their friends and family all about the company who has come to repair their vehicle!

Management expansion opportunities

In a market which is growing in demand, owning your own automotive repair franchise provides excellent opportunities for expansion as your become more established in your local territory.

Depending on your business ambitions, it is possible to expand from a single operator by taking on new staff, develop into a multi-van and multi-unit operation and purchase a larger territory, which will give you access to a higher number of customers and vehicles.

ChipsAway

Established over 20 years and as the originators of minor automotive paint repair technology, ChipsAway have built a fantastic reputation for providing high quality repairs to minor car paintwork scratches, bumper scuffs, alloy wheels, smart repairs and dents to car body work.

More about Chipsaway's franchise opportunity can be found here. To look at other franchises which work within the automotive industry, click here.


Thriving in the logistics sector

Most sectors are now highly competitive with hundreds of businesses targeting the same customers. With so many ways for customers to shop around and to discover information on a certain brand, it is essential that your business stays ahead of the competition. By investing in a franchise business with a highly-experienced franchisor and support team, you gain essential knowledge to help you achieve this.

In this exclusive article, InXpress, a global provider of shipping solutions, gives you their unique insight into the logistics sector and what to consider when you are researching franchises in this industry.

Lucrative Market

By the end of 2015, revenue in the courier, express, and parcel sector was forecast to reach £7.6 billion and has proven to increase year on year.

Although we have seen a growing demand for courier services in the UK, the recent economic downturn has created a shift in demand for lower cost courier and parcel service solutions. Consider how franchises responded to this change…

As an example, InXpress responded by leveraging global agreements with world-class carriers to secure preferential rates and provide international express, domestic express, freight and mail services to customers.

Top Class customer service

Excellent customer service should be at the heart of every business; with happy and satisfied customers, you gain loyal, repeat customers who refer your services to others!

We believe that there are so many ways to keep your customer service in order and on top form. Although refining and honing your franchise’s customer service may take extra resources, time and money, it will pay dividends in the long-term. Consider how franchises deal with customers…

For instance, InXpress franchisees and employees are trained to offer the best customer service that follows a set standard and ethos, and they find that this keeps their customers coming back time and time again.

Innovative Technology

In your research, find out if the logistical franchises you are looking at are reliant on technology or not. This is essential as more and more people now turn to it for their customer service needs. Ensure that you choose a franchise where your product, service and customer support team are all easily accessible.

Having adequate technology in place within your business will increase the ease of purchase for customers and therefore increase your sales. When you are researching franchises, ask the franchisor about how they provide customer service online and offline, as well as the usability of their digital platforms.

At InXpress, we know that our market and technology is constantly changing and developing. We consistently innovate and improve our service to make sure that our franchisees stay ahead of the competition. Our technology is regularly updated to meet growing demands and changes to make the process as easy as possible, giving our franchisees more time to go out and gain recurring customers.

Competitive Price

Most people now shop around for the best price when making a purchase, so you need to make sure that your franchise’s price is competitive as well as profitable. Good Franchisors keep a finger on the pulse in terms of the demand for your product or service and understand the range of price.

As an example, at InXpress we leverage our global agreements with world-class carriers to secure preferential rates and provide international, domestic, freight and mail services to customers. Due to our innovative systems, which are specifically adapted to both customer and franchisee needs, we are able to offer competitive prices with reduced overheads.

Summary

Taking the above into account, when researching franchises within the logistics sector, make sure that you compare the market prices thoroughly and do your due diligence on the quality of online and offline services they offer customers, as well as the business model you would be following.

To find out more about InXpress’ franchise offering, please click here. To look at other franchises within the logistics (courier and delivery) sector, click here.


Growth of franchising in the decontamination Industry

By Alan Wright, Managing Director of Bio-Rite

Regularly the media informs us about outbreaks of common infections such as MRSA, C.Difficile or Norovirus in our institutions and hospitals. The risk of infection is rising due to a number of factors: stretched staff resources, lack of expertise in dealing with such threats effectively, ward overcrowding and limited investment in our NHS.

In addition, the UK population is set to rise by an estimated 10 million over the next 25 years. The office for National Statistics has predicted that Britain’s society will also continue ageing, with more than one in 12 people aged 80 or over by 2039. The challenge of maintaining an infection free environment for vulnerable patients will be an ongoing one. As a result, increasingly hospitals and care homes are looking at outsourcing decontamination of equipment and wards to enable staff to rightly focus on their primary role of providing the best healthcare possible.

Market opportunity

In terms of a market opportunity for outsourced decontamination suppliers, contracts with the NHS and other institutions such as care homes do tend to be long-term.

At Bio-Rite we have worked with some of our clients for many years. By partnering with healthcare professionals in this way, we have developed a clear operational strategy to enable organisations meet prescribed performance indicators and in-turn make a significant contribution to providing the best infection free environment for vulnerable patients.

However, decontamination is necessarily a specialised sector. A deep understanding of infection control procedures and the use of the correct equipment is critical. Care staff also often need to be educated as it continues to be a concern that some institutions simply ‘wipe over’ used equipment, however, this is not a sufficient procedure to control most pathogens effectively.

Unique services

In-fact, there are few organisations in the UK that are able to offer a range of products and services that are needed to ensure an infection free healthcare environment.

For example, Bio-Rite uses highly specialised equipment including Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour (HPV) technology to decontaminate areas that are infected or are prone to infection and our service has been proven in over 40 NHS hospitals across the UK.

Increased demand

As demand for outsourced decontamination services continues to grow, this has given rise to the opportunity for properly trained and equipped franchisees to provide infection control services.

Clients include: NHS hospitals and other healthcare environments such as ambulances, private hospitals, care/nursing homes and sports facilities. Bio-Rite for example, has successfully completed more than 150 area decontaminations over the last 6 years.

Services provided by franchises combine the best practices involved with both manual and mechanical disinfection techniques while taking advantage of the very latest advances in safe and effective decontamination technology. As a result, franchisees can offer a decontamination solution that is flexible, comprehensive and cost effective to many clients who rely on them to deliver day-in and day-out. For the franchisee, as well as running a lucrative business there is the chance to make a valuable contribution to society by making a significant impact on reducing infection within our UK institutions for the benefit of patient safety.

Bio-Rite

Bio-Rite is a British Franchise Association (bfa) Provisional Member and staff and franchisees are also members of the Infection Prevention Society (IPS). More about their franchise opportunity can be found here.

To look at other franchises within the 'Health and safety' sector, click here or, alternatively, look at franchises for sale in the 'cleaning' industry here


Care franchises answer the demand for high-quality services

The UK Care sector has seen more than its fair share of negative press. It seems that week in week out the media pick up on one bad news story after another. However, what they don't talk about is the wonderful, heart warming, inspiring work that goes on each and every day across the country by family carers, care professionals, neighbours and friends.

Increase in demand for high-quality care

The UK population is ageing and this is a trend that is set to increase year on year and shows no signs of stopping.

The baby boomer post war generation benefitted from greater job security and significant house price gains giving them the opportunity to build a retirement nest egg. This generation are now coming to the age where they are requiring care and support.

Opportunity for franchise businesses

Whilst the government and local councils wrangle over funding adult social care properly, it creates opportunities for franchisees entering the home care market to establish themselves as a private care agency of choice in their local area - thus avoiding the low paid and low quality end of the market which feeds the negative headlines in the papers each week.

There are millions of baby boomers to whom it has become ingrained to pay a higher amount for specialist products or services where they perceive an enhanced experience or greater value and this extends to the care provider they choose.

Explore the many different care services on offer

With the private elderly care market opportunity being at an all time high it is not surprising that there are many home care companies offering franchises in the sector at the moment.

There are a range of different types of businesses on offer ranging from purely marketing franchises or recruitment agencies operating in the care sector through to those that are full service and expect their franchisees to cover all aspects of care delivery ranging from children with disabilities through to adults with behavioural problems.

It is important for prospective franchisees to explore the range of opportunities and determine for themselves what area of care they feel comfortable with and what level of business risk they are willing to expose themselves to.

Skills and characteristics needed to be a care franchisee

Whichever type of care franchise you decide upon - it is hard work. It requires people management, significant marketing effort and logistics planning.

However there is one universal characteristic that being part of the care sector brings - it is humbling. It allows you to get a true understanding and admiration for the human spirit both in its most joyful and most heartbreaking of times.

It takes a special person to want to become involved in this sector but if you enjoy people and truly want to make a difference then this could be the right choice for you.

Radfield Home Care

At Radfield Home Care, we provide specialist domiciliary care services for elderly who live at home. To find out more about what we do and the franchise opportunity we offer, please click here

To look at other franchises which work within the care industry, click here. Alternatively, have a look at other 'management' franchises by clicking here.


Working within a £billion sector with a virtually untapped marketplace

In the last 3 years, the UK’s domestic cleaning sector has grown by 91%, and the market is currently estimated to be worth £2.86 billion. Research has shown that Ovenclean operators currently deal with less than 1% of potential demand across the UK.

With over 26 million households in the UK alone, oven cleaners will benefit from a huge, virtually untapped marketplace as well as growing demand from emerging business markets – after all, everyone has an oven that will need cleaning at some point!

Loyal, repeat marketplace

Research carried out by Braun CareStyle reveal that oven cleaning is the most hated household chore, with a third (30%) of individuals across all generation claiming that they least enjoy scrubbing the oven. So once customers become aware of the incredible benefits of having their oven cleaned, they will never look back!

At Ovenclean, for example, we are able to drive demand through repeat and referral recommendations due to word-of-mouth and a wealth of satisfied customers. Ovenclean franchisees can restore the sparkle to ovens in just a few hours – results which would not be achievable by a customer on their own. Therefore, customers want their oven cleaned time and time again and will tell all their friends and family about the company who has come to clean it!

Opportunity for growth

Due to oven cleaning belonging to a sector which is rapidly growing in demand, there will be opportunities to grow and expand your business.

Depending on your business ambitions, you will have the chance to take on new staff, new territories and turn your business into a multi-van operation.

Satisfaction element

Oven cleaning as a career that is also very rewarding. Rejuvenating a dirty oven into a sparkling clean one is almost guaranteed to put a smile on customers faces, and the feedback and remarks from customers evoke a tremendous amount of satisfaction!

What’s more, an oven cleaning franchise usually benefits from low overheads, a high level of profitability and an easy-to-learn business model, which can be shaped to the individual’s life style and business ambitions. This means that franchisees can maintain an excellent work life balance, leading to a happier life.

Ovenclean

Ovenclean is the UK’s original oven cleaning service with over 20 years’ experience. More about their franchise opportunity can be found here.

To look at other franchises which are van-based or mobile, click here. Alternatively, have a look at franchises for sale within the Property Maintenance and DIY sector, here.


Making a profit from pizza

By Anthony Round, Business Development Manager, Papa John’s

Over the past 30 years, the UK pizza industry has grown into a thriving market. According to Pizza Delivery & Takeaway in the UK: Market Research Report 2016, the industry is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 5.4% over the five years through 2015-16.

In the early days names like Pizzaland to Pizza Hut and Perfect Pizza, caught the imagination of the public. Consumers were looking for a tasty fast meal at a reasonable price. The benefits of convenience and affordability have now developed the UK pizza scene into an industry worth an estimated £2 billion in the UK today.

Industry Development

In more recent years customer demand has become more refined and a sophisticated customer base demands excellent customer service and a premium product.

As an illustration of the rise of the popularity of quality pizza in the UK, Papa John’s was founded in the USA in 1984 and first launched in the UK 16 years ago. Now, there are well over than 300 stores across the Nation. The franchise’s popularity doesn’t stop there however, the company now has more than 4,800 stores in 40 international markets and territories across the globe.

Many changes have shaped the industry over the years. Home delivery was a major introduction and now online ordering is taking over as the way to order a favourite pizza treat, with increasing numbers of customers having never visited a store at all.

Achieving Repeat Sales

One aspect of the industry that is critical, is the degree of repeat business it is possible to create. Competition is fierce as you would expect in any mature marketplace.

Repeat customers will only keep coming back for more if they are impressed about all aspects of the buying journey from their initial enquiry to the lay out of the store (if they visit it at all), to the openness and efficiency of the staff to the delivery of the product. 30 years ago there was little choice however, now, customer loyalty has to be earned.

At Papa John’s during our new franchisees’ first training days we get them to sample all the different pizzas available on the high street. As well as introducing a little market research of our own, this allows franchisees to benchmark their future offering against the competition. We emphasise ‘keeping the main thing, the main thing’: we will not compromise on the product. Produce a better product with better ingredients and keep the quality consistent and the customers will return. However, creating the perfect product is not enough on its own. Franchisees must lead on delivery, service speed, scrupulous store cleanliness, staff training and in fact, every aspect of the franchise operation.

Market changes

One interesting aspect about the pizza industry is that it seems less influenced by economic uncertainly than other food industries.

It is less expensive to have a delivery pizza than to take the family out for a meal for example. If the delivery companies have done their job properly, when the economic climate improves, customer loyalty will remain because of the better product quality.

Managing a store

When it comes to managing a pizza store it is important to understand and appreciate the overall customer experience. Staff need to be recruited and trained to provide a great product and service. Plus there is marketing and fulfilment to manage.

The role has huge variety and no two days are ever the same! The good news is that when you buy into a pizza franchise all training to enable you to run a successful outlet is provided. Ongoing support is also at the end of the phone. It is in the franchisor’s interest to see you succeed!

Papa John's

Papa John’s is one of the largest pizza delivery franchise companies in the world. More about their franchise opportunity can be found here

To look at other 'food and coffee' franchises, click here or, alternatively, look at franchises for sale in the 'retail' sector here.


 

Franchising in the greetings card industry

By Michael Johnson, Managing Director, Card Connection

Figures from the Greeting Card Association (GCA) put the UK greetings card market at £1.6 billion at retail. The GCA 2015 market survey also suggests 878.8 million single cards were sold in 2014 which was an increase on the previous year by more than 7%.

Have you ever thought about how many cards you send each year? In the UK ‘sending a card’ remains a popular cultural activity regardless of the economic climate. In-fact at Card Connection we have seen some of our high value cards being sent instead of a gift when it’s time for consumers to tighten their belts where spending is concerned.

Although no industry is recession proof, it has weathered the storm of recent economic uncertainty and sales in this established market have continued to remain stable.

Buying behaviour

Interestingly more women send greetings cards than men. The GCA survey suggests 85% of cards are bought by women. It is important to understand these industry statistics when selling greetings cards and as a franchisor we have studied them in depth to ensure our franchisees know how to design displays to appeal to the right customer demographic.

How customers browse and buy cards is also fascinating. Research that has been undertaken has given rise to how shop displays are organised. We encourage our franchisees to lay out greeting cards to a plan which reflects the ‘circle of life’ with birthdays on the left, moving across to wedding, anniversary, age and relations to sympathy on the far right – plus plenty in between! This researched, ‘formula’ for planned displays has helps maximise sales for retailers and franchisee alike.

Distress purchasing is also an interesting phenomenon in the industry. This is where the consumer may have forgotten to purchase a card, or chooses to buy one ‘en-route’ to meet the recipient. Therefore, we see sales in forecourts where these ‘distress purchasers’ are prepared to pay a premium price for cards, suddenly revealing a great market opportunity for suppliers!

Lucrative seasons

When we interview a new franchisee they often ask about Christmas! It is a big sales opportunity but interestingly sales across the industry only rise by 13% at this time of year which again shows the strength of every day sales of cards.

Although this is a seasonal business ‘bread and butter’ card sales tend to be in birthdays, congratulations, wedding, anniversary, get well and many events which happen throughout the calendar year. Occasions like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter are the icing on the cake as far as sales are concerned!

Unique distribution service

Methods of distribution of cards vary. Some retailers buy wholesale and some have card publisher designed displays. However, Card Connection works a little differently where greetings cards are supplied by the franchisee to the retailer on a ‘consignment’ basis.

This means stock and display equipment are ‘on loan’ and the retailer only pays for what they sell. The franchisee visits the stores regularly to merchandise displays and supply new and seasonal stock. This creates a win-win situation for both franchisee and retailer and has proved popular over more than two decades.

The greetings card market is one we are all familiar with as we will all have bought a card at some point! However, there is more to it than one might realise. From the design team that go into the process of developing cards based on trends to the various distribution methods and displays designed to tempt buying behaviour. For new franchisees there is a learning curve, however, the rewards are many including working in a flexible creative sector where no two days are exactly the same.

Card Connection

Card Connection is one of the UK’s leading greeting card distribution franchises. More about their franchise opportunity can be found here.

To look at other 'home-based' franchises, click here or, alternatively, look at franchises for sale in the 'retail' sector here.


 

A healthy looking for organic produce

When veg boxes first entered the market, they were much more than just a box full of vegetables. They enabled small scale farmers to earn a living and bridge the gap between the field and the table, cutting out the middle man (mainly supermarkets) and reducing food miles. Today the competition amongst box schemes is on the increase but those founding principles still remain.

After a worrying dip following the last recession, the latest Soil Association report states that the organic market is looking healthy again, in fact for its third consecutive year it has seen growth and is currently worth nearly £2 billion. This growth has been reflected in Riverford Organic Farmers’ sales, which has shown an 8% increase in sales on the prior year.

Growth in the industry

Riverford remains one of the largest and leading home delivery schemes but competition is growing. Over the last year, new smaller box schemes entering the market has increased by 11%.

To remain competitive, companies have to stay relevant and original. For Riverford, that’s been done by introducing new product lines and listening to what customers want.

The overall growth in the organic market is primarily down to the great work bodies like the Soil Association have been doing. Promotion of organic products is high and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of what they are eating and where their food has come from.

There is obviously some concern following the recent referendum result, but as yet, it is too early to establish how or even if, Brexit will affect the organic market over the next couple of years. For the moment though, the market continues to out-perform the non-organic grocery market which has seen a decrease. In the same period organic sales saw a growth of 4.9% whilst non-organic saw a drop of 0.9%.

Role of social media

Social media is playing a big part in increasing awareness, with more and more people interacting, sharing news, recipes and experiences online and taking more responsibility for their carbon footprint.

Riverford has encouraged online interaction with their brand by launching its dedicated recipe channel on YouTube; a marketing tool that has proven to be effective at engaging customers.

Research has shown that the highest increase of people purchasing organic produce are the 18-29 year olds. Awareness amongst the millennial generation suggests they are more likely to purchase organic food to fit their personal health and wellbeing lifestyle, choosing quality and provenance.

Recognising the benefits of organic produce

There are five main reasons why consumers are switching to organic products, these stated as being: no pesticides, better flavour, more environmentally friendly, higher animal welfare and quality of food.

Fruit and vegetables are being cited as the first products consumers make the organic switch to when adopting a more organic lifestyle.The increase in home deliveries can also be attributed to the fact many supermarkets have reduced their organic product lines and given up shelf space to other goods.Consumers are now choosing a home delivery and shopping at smaller stores instead. By doing this they are also supporting smaller, independent businesses.

Even cost conscious consumers are switching to home delivery box schemes in an effort to avoid the trappings of the supermarkets and that £20 shop for a pint of milk that most of us have experienced.

Constantly innovating

Riverford have had to adapt to the change in habits over time. Consumers that were once happy to receive the same vegetables week in and week out as long as it was organic have now been replaced with those that want variety and the option to substitute items they don’t like.

Customers want to be able to make an interesting meal and learn new techniques along the way. This obstacle is being overcome with the introduction of tailor made recipe cards, cooking hints and tips and the ever increasingly popular recipe box range.

On the whole this is an exciting time to become involved in the organic market. Customers are historically loyal, once they’ve settled in to life with a veg box. As long as the customer receives great produce and service, a business within this sector will flourish and remain profitable.

Riverford Organics

Riverford Organic is a multi-award-winning organic delivery franchise business. More about their franchise opportunity can be found here.

To look at other franchises within the 'food and coffee' sector, click here or, alternatively, look at 'van-based' franchises for sale here.


 

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