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Total Guide to Franchise

Total Guide To is an online local information portal. Franchisees generate local content and make money through advertising revenue.

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At a Glance

Established: 2012

UK Presence: Locations covered include Bath, Bristol, Manchester, Reading, Poole and Swindon.

Start Up Cost: £8,000

Development type: Single unit franchises

BFA Status: Provisional

Franchise Info

screenshot of bristol page

Total Guide to is an online information hub for towns and cities across the UK.  Franchisees run their own local Total Guide website that including dedicated sections for Eating/Drinking, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Business, Families, Jobs, Property, Motoring and Sport.

Bristol franchisee Liam Armstrong

“I have always wanted to have my own marketing business to not only make money but to help others grow their business. Total Guide to is marketing with a difference, its online marketing as well as the care of the client is on the top of their agenda. The team from the central office have been absolutely amazing through our journey and they help us every step of the way. Our clients love the vibrance of the team and website and I would seriously suggest speaking to Liz if you are driven and passionate about bringing communities together and willing to put in some hard work for great results”.
Liam Armstrong, Total Guide to Bristol – Franchise Owner

The role of a Total Guide to franchisee

Total Guide to franchisees work with local business to offer customers information on what’s on, special offers from businesses, latest business news, advice and interviews with local business owners, competitions, local celebrity news and interviews, sport fixtures and news, fashion, well-being and beauty features, motoring and fitness features.

Total Guide to works with clients of all sectors and sizes from national brands such as Domino’s Pizza to Longleat Safari Park to local cafes, takeaways, bars, restaurants, gyms, children’s services, hairdressers and other local businesses.

Clients pay the franchisee a monthly retainer (6 to 12 month agreements so franchisees have guaranteed recurring revenue) for branding, content, guide inclusion, listings, events, jobs, offers, competitions, email insertions and promotion on our social networks.  There are also ad-hoc/bolt-on options available for seasonal campaigns, launches and events which are great for boosting cashflow throughout the year.

As well as selling to businesses in your location, you also can generate additional money by cross-selling packages on the group website.

Total Guide to offers franchisees a business that is not only flexible and can fit around family life as well as other business and personal commitments, but it can be fun!  You get to meet local business owners, find out about their business, attend local events and review food establishments.  You will enjoy the satisfaction of helping local businesses to grow and being an integral part of your local community.

You do not need to stick to traditional working hours so you can open your laptop and start making introductions and offers at any time of the day.

You need to be friendly and approachable with meeting, and picking up the phone to, local businesses who would benefit from promoting their services through your Total Guide to website.  You need to be motivated and hungry for making a sale and developing your business; your passion for your business will help sell your services to local businesses. And equally able to take rejection and move on to the next potential client. 

total guide to franchisees taking selfie

How we train and support you

One month initial technical and business training courses, including:

  • Content Management System Training
  • Sales and Product Training
  • Marketing and PR Training (including SEO, Social Media and PR)
  • Photoshop/Design Training
  • Ongoing additional ad-hoc training to develop the range of services you can provide in your business such as social media management and training
  • Business Mentoring from Founder and Managing Director Liz Hutchings
  • What’s App group with National Office Staff and Franchisees for ongoing support and knowledge sharing
  • Franchisee and National Office Facebook group for ongoing support and knowledge sharing
  • Weekly 30 min video calls with Liz or Rachael
  • Site visits every six months

Total Guide to team

Who’s ideal for us

  • Individuals looking to set up their own business quickly with minimal risk and investment
  • Local councils, BIDs or Chambers of Commerce looking for an all-encompassing local website which can be monetised
  • Young Entrepreneurs wanting to take control of their own destiny without the constraints of a big corporate and to learn on the job with the support of an establish brand
  • Parents wanting to work from home and around the kid’s school/childcare times
  • Anyone wanting to set up their own business with interest and skills in sales, digital marketing and writing
  • Those passionate and knowledgeable about the town/city or area they live

Beneficial skills:

  • Confidence to develop your customer base - cold calling, networking, face to face meetings, sourcing and contacting prospects via social media
  • Tenacity and drive to make sure you work hard and smart every day
  • A flair for writing and digital content creation
  • Experience of writing compelling sales emails / proposals (templates will be provided though)
  • Social Media experience - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • Networking and building solid business relationships (having existing contacts in your patch would mean you would hit the ground running)

Total Guide to team

How much does a Total Guide to franchise cost?

The investment ranges from £8,000+VAT to £25,000+VAT; dependent on territory size; e.g. a town the site of Newbury approx. 155,000 population would be £8,000, a city the size of Manchester or Leeds would be £20K-£25K. Please enquire to find out about available territories and investment.

The Licence Fee is based on 5% of your turnover.;

What’s included in the Licence Fee?
Your franchise entitles you to trade under the Total Guide to name and to make use of our in-house staff, site, software, content management and IT software to build yourself a successful business that you will manage and run. You will have access to all aspects of the business, including all the marketing material, the website, newsletters, prospecting system, CRM, social media and ongoing support and training.

Examples of earnings:

Proven model - our first site Total Guide to Swindon had a £179k turnover and 26k profit in year 1 – during the recession!

A website the size of Newbury would be projected to turnover £60,000 in year one, doubling the following year.

A website the size of Manchester would be projected to turnover £120,000 in the first year doubling year on year.

Interested and want to know more?

By clicking the link below, we can send you further information on this franchise opportunity and allow you to contact them direct with any questions.

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Case Studies

Case Study
Interview with Bristol franchisee for Total Guide to, Liam Armstrong

Liam Armstrong has owned the Total Guide to Bristol Franchise since February 2019. Liam worked in the past with franchisees and seeing their passion for running their own business, and the successes it brought them, it gave him the motivation to do it for himself. Liam is already looking to buy another territory in the South West.  Read Liam’s journey to becoming a Total Guide to franchisee.

Read more


Franchisor Interview
Exclusive interview with Liz Hutchings, Total Guide to

As well as being the Founder and Managing Director of Total Guide to Ltd and managing her own Total Guide to franchise in Poole, Liz is Mum to Florence with another baby on the way in August.   Liz started her career at a local internet start-up where she was made partner at the age of 21.  At the age of 26, Liz left the company to set up Total Guide to. Liz now has plans to develop Total Guide to franchises in all major towns and cities across the UK. “It isn’t an easy path and you have to have a good team around you to support you and deliver the day to day side of the business while you focus on getting all the systems in place.”

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Entrepreneur Liz Hutchings gains prestigious Qualified Franchise Professional award

Entrepreneur Liz Hutchings of the Total Guide To franchise has succeeded in gaining the prestigious Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP) Award. 

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Entrepreneurs collaborate to launch a new digital business around climate change

Total Guide to’s Founder Liz Hutchings has joined forces with communication and engagement specialist Pamela Barbato to launch a new digital platform to support us all to live more sustainable lives. Action Net Zero CIC, (Community Interest Company) Bristol, will launch online in the autumn using the behind-the-scenes digital structure pioneered by Liz’s company Total Guide to.

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Liz Hutchings, who is currently self-isolating during lockdown as she’s six months’ pregnant, has used the time to launch a diverse and agile online marketing platform for the town of Poole. The 37 year-old, who lives in Hamworthy, Poole with her husband 34 and daughter Flo, aged 2, had always planned to launch a local platform for her business which began in Swindon, Wiltshire eight years ago.

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Total Guide to Turns Eight!

Happy Birthday Total Guide to! March marks our 8th birthday, so we couldn't let it pass without a celebration! "We are constantly kept busy and on our toes by the ever-evolving digital trends. Our anniversaries roll on by at a rapid rate so it's important to pause and recognise how far we've come."

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6 Reasons to Buy a Franchise During Tough Times

Although the Covid-19 Pandemic has meant many businesses (ourselves included) are tightening our belts where we can, this is actually a really good time for budding entrepreneurs or those that have been considering buying a franchise to start seriously looking at opportunities. I've been considering offering our Total Guide to franchise opportunity on franchise recruitment websites yet where we have been so busy, I didn't see it as a priority. However, although things are less than perfect at the moment, we do have time to work 'on' the business.

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