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Month: July 2018

Cleaning Franchises UK – All The Facts All You Need to Know Before Buying One

July 31, 2018

Cleaning Franchises UK – the TOP 10 MUST KNOWS about finding and running a successful UK Cleaning Franchise.

Commercial & Domestic Cleaning Franchises in the UK are among the safest, evergreen business opportunities. Here’s what you should know about them before you buy one.

Dozens of reasons can be attributed to the immense success witnessed by franchising business models in the UK over the past two decades. Whether it’s the last-mile penetration by big-ticket food and soft-drinks mega-brands or the modest but equally fascinating leap in performance exhibited by local players, this phenomenon definitely says one thing out loud – if you can make the demand count, the business will take off.

This, perhaps, is one of the reasons why some businesses that don’t – at the first glance – look good candidates for franchising are also among the ones that have benefitted the most from it. Cleaning franchises make a great example of this. Traditionally, a cleaning company would rely on a set of longstanding, familiar and local clients to make money. The resource-intensive nature of the business would often prove to be a millstone that automatically pre-empted growth attempts. Franchising, however, has – in more ways than one – set this industry free. Today, thanks to the power of franchising, many UK cleaning franchise businesses have seen tremendous success.

But what exactly does a cleaning franchise business do? Who is better suited to buy or run cleaning franchises in the UK? How much money does it take to do so? What are the other cost implications?

Find answers to these and many other relevant questions in this comprehensive guide to running cleaning franchises in the UK!

Cleaning Franchises – Making the Most of Year-Round Demand

At franchise4u, we have discussed in great depth how the foundation of modern economics – the never-ending duel between the supply and the demand – is always the best indicator of the viability of a franchise business.

As far as the demand side of the equation is concerned, cleaning franchises in the UK have little to worry about. Unless there is a sudden and drastic downturn in the economy, there will always be people and businesses that want and need the services of cleaning professionals. The present state of this industry in the UK is a good reflection of this fact. Let’s review some key numbers in this regard to understand how the evergreen demand is one of the most important things in your favour if you are looking to buy a cleaning franchise business in the UK:

  • The professional cleaning industry was one of the first to recover from the global recession that started in 2008. Since 2010, this industry has grown over 21% per year, whereas the rest of the economy has struggled to touch the 17% mark.
  • In 2017, this industry saw overall turnovers exceeding £24 bn – a sizeable number for any service-oriented industry.
  • Over 700,000 people in the UK are employed in various capacities thanks to the growth of professional cleaning businesses in the last 5 years.
  • When it comes to start-ups, the cleaning industry leads the national average by a fair margin. Similarly, the ‘demise’ percentage of businesses in this industry is much lower than the national average.
  • Average wages in the professional cleaning industry have risen at a rate of 6.4% post 2010 – nearly triple of the national average that hovers around 2.3%.
  • Experts expect this trend to continue over the next few years. By 2024, the cleaning industry in the UK is supposed to generate close to half a million new job opportunities.

 Source: ‘The Cleaning And Support Services Industry Research Report 2017’ by the British Cleaning Council

What is a ‘Cleaning Franchise’?

Now that we have established that the demand can be counted on, let’s see what cleaning franchises are and what they really do.

A cleaning franchise is a standalone service point run by franchisees on behalf of the franchisor. The franchisor typically offers the equipment, training, knowhow and marketing infrastructure to help franchisees get started. The franchisees can then secure a given ‘territory’ to expand their business and profit from the same.

The cleaning franchises in the UK are typically expected to offer a variety of highly customised cleaning services to their customers. The clientele includes homeowners, businesses and government agencies.

Recommended: Here’s why children’s franchises are flourishing in the UK!

Cleaning Franchises in the UK – Major Types

All cleaning businesses in the UK are service-oriented businesses, as we noted earlier. There are, however, a few large businesses that also sell customised cleaning equipment, chemicals and other paraphernalia. However, in this article, we will be focussing solely on cleaning franchises as services, not products.

Based on this, such franchises can be classified into three major categories:

Commercial/Industrial Cleaning Franchises

Commercial and industrial cleaning franchises in the UK are large businesses that focus entirely on offering robust, customised solutions to a variety of businesses, corporations and government agencies.

If you wish to buy a commercial cleaning franchise in the UK, it’s imperative that you have adequate initial experience in the cleaning industry. If you lack in experience, the workload and business management can quickly become overwhelming, resulting in a general drop in the quality of services offered. As a commercial cleaning franchise owner, your job will largely be to acquire clients, hire staff, manage business operations and grow the business. It should also be made clear that commercial cleaning franchises are extremely difficult to run from your home, thanks largely to the nature of business operations and the number of people involved.

For commercial cleaning franchises, the list of clients includes hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals, office spaces, warehouses, factories and other similar businesses.

Residential/Domestic Cleaning Franchises

As the name suggests, residential or domestic cleaning franchises concentrate on offering cleaning services to individual homeowners, landlords, townships, residential societies, dormitories and so forth.

It’s quite common for these franchises to employ a small team of people in the first few years of the business. Due to the personal nature of services and the small scale of operations, it is indeed possible to run a domestic cleaning franchise from your home.

Customised/Specialised Cleaning Franchises

Customised cleaning franchises, at times combining the features of industrial and domestic varieties, bring to the table speciality cleaning solutions. These solutions are often tweaked and finetuned to suit the project-specific requirements.

The clientele for specialised cleaning businesses range from large scale chemical plants to small, local businesses and housing projects. Your neighbourhood carwash business is perhaps the best example of customised cleaning franchises. Similarly, window cleaners, pet store cleaners and hospital cleaners can also be regarded as specialised cleaning franchises. When it comes to the scale of operations, these businesses are closer to industrial cleaning franchises than domestic cleaning franchises.

Cleaning Franchises – Initial Investment and Working Capital

A large percentage of would-be and first-time franchisees don’t have the luxury of readily available working capital or credit. In fact, while choosing a franchise to buy, most franchisees have the initial investment as the first and most important ‘filter’ criterion. It does make sense too – if you can’t inject enough money into a new business, it’s impossible to make it grow or turn it profitable. Therefore, if you are thinking of buying a cleaning franchise, you should know how much it typically costs and how you can meet these cost requirements.

The initial investment, of course, depends on a number of factors. Some of these are:

  • The type of cleaning franchise you’re buying – commercial, domestic or specialised
  • The brand value that the franchisor brings to the mix
  • Training, equipment and marketing support on offer
  • Location of your business and the market value of the territory
  • Local competition and room for growth

As you can notice, these variables can contribute significantly to the initial investment, and, in return, to the overall profitability of your franchise business. A small-sized domestic cleaning franchise typically costs about £10,000 in initial investments, whereas a medium-sized variant in a more profitable territory costs in excess of £20,000.

These numbers are enough to give you an idea about how much money you will need to buy a cleaning franchise in the UK. There may, however, be other costs to consider, as well. These can be grouped together as ‘operational costs’, and include rent, staff salaries, utilities, miscellaneous expenses, insurance, licences, certifications, royalties to the franchisor and so on. The sum total of operational expenses for the first six months and the initial investment is approximately the working capital you will need to get your cleaning franchise business up and running. Hence, it’s safe to say that if you can raise £30,000 or more, you will be in a very good position to kick-start a cleaning franchise in the UK.

The initial investment for commercial cleaning franchises is higher, as can be expected. A medium-sized commercial cleaning franchise can cost you upwards of £25,000.

How Do UK Cleaning Franchises Make Money?

Unlike retail franchises or fitness franchises, the territory is more important than the location for cleaning franchises. You and your team will be expected to visit the client’s house or workplace to offer your services, and hence, choosing a territory with enough demand to cater to is of utmost importance.

A typical domestic or industrial cleaning franchise will initially align all its resources and efforts towards acquiring new customers. An extensive round of marketing is often required to get the word out. Many franchisors, knowing the importance of this, offer marketing support to all their franchisees. A domestic cleaning franchise operating in a mid-sized city or town will be expected to target a minimum of 10,000 to 20,000 customers in the first six months in order to establish its credentials. Securing the business of customers that can offer bulk contracts – think landlords, housing societies, hotels – often proves to be the most efficient way to meet these numbers.

Most cleaning franchises generate revenue with a subscription model. A fixed monthly fee based on the extent of cleaning required is the norm in this context. This business model can take many variables out of the picture, allowing you to estimate the profitability with much more certainty. This, while true for residential cleaning franchises, isn’t always true for commercial cleaning franchises. A commercial cleaning franchise can register profits by securing only a few sizeable contracts with large businesses. The revenue, in such cases, revolves around building customised, project-specific models that are flexible and offer the customers the benefits of bulk-ordering.

A well-run cleaning franchise with a steady base of customers can expect to break even in 15-18 months.

How Much Can You Earn? – A Representative Example

If you charge £50 per cleaning session, the largest chunk of it will go towards paying the salaries/commissions to your staff and paying for the equipment, chemicals, travel and other overheads. Nearly a third (based on conservative estimates) of the leftovers – let’s say £15 – will then go to the franchisor as royalties, maintenance fees, contract fees and marketing fees. This will leave you with £10, a fifth of which will need to be reinvested into the business. Of the £8 left as profits, nearly 40% will go towards taxes and other incidental charges. So, in essence, a £50 cleaning session will yield a net profit of £4 to £4.80.

Servicing 1,000 customers a month at this rate will thus generate an annual turnover of £600,000, and profits to the tune of £48,000.

Recommended: Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know About Franchising

Should You Buy a Cleaning Franchise?

We have already produced a thorough guide to help you decide if franchising can be a good fit for you, along with a handy checklist. If you haven’t already, we strongly suggest you go through it and learn what it takes to run a franchise business.

Going further, you can ask yourself the following questions to get a fair idea about whether you are suited to operate a cleaning franchise:

  • Have you previously run a business of your own?
  • Do you know how franchising can affect your personal and social life?
  • Have you familiarised yourself with the ins and outs of how cleaning franchises work?
  • Have you conducted a thorough market research?
  • Do you have a well-rounded business plan in place?
  • Are you passionate about the industry?
  • Can you manage the business well while also working closely with your on-ground and in-office teams?

Many cleaning franchises exclusively target women who are either retired or wish to work from home. So, if you happen to fall into that category and you want to establish a business that doesn’t eat up hundreds of thousands of pounds in capital, cleaning franchises can be an option worth exploring.

Pick Your Team Carefully!

Being able to generate employment is one of the most prominent benefits of running a business. But when it comes to hiring staff, you – as a franchisee – need to be very, very diligent and careful.

This couldn’t be truer for cleaning franchises. You not only need to hire trained, efficient personnel, but also be sure that they are just as trustworthy (online CRB/DBS check for employees).

Cleaning Franchises and Innovation

There’s no denying that being able to adapt, survive and innovate is essential to make a business grow and keep it relevant in any competitive market. So, it goes without saying that even when your cleaning franchise attains profitability, it just won’t do to expect it to run on cruise-control. You will invariably need to bring in newer, more efficient techniques and methods of providing the service to your customers.

A great way to do this is to find and secure a profitable niche while also focussing on your central services. For example, a domestic cleaning business can add customised pool cleaning or gardening services as add-ons to attract new customers and retain the existing ones. Similarly, switching to eco-friendly cleaning chemicals and adding recycling services can immensely benefit an industrial cleaning business.

Top Cleaning Franchises in the UK

If you are serious about buying a cleaning franchise, the following overview of some of the best-known names in this industry is a good starting point.

· Sanondaf

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £35,000 (approx.)
  • Type: Commercial/Industrial Cleaning Franchise
  • USP: Touchless disinfection and decontamination for hotels, hospitals and other businesses
  • Extensive training and marketing support
  • Popular in the UK and Ireland
  • Flexible working hours
  • High brand value

· Molly Maid

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £16,975 (Excluding VAT)
  • Type: Domestic/Home Cleaning Franchise
  • USP: All-inclusive home cleaning, specialty spring cleaning, tenancy cleaning and more
  • The franchise fee includes a marketing budget worth £9,000
  • Reputed brand, 30+ years of experience
  • Full BFA Member

· Safeclean

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £10,000
  • Type: Hybrid (Domestic and Commercial Cleaning Franchise)
  • USP: Carpet cleaning, furniture cleaning, stain removal, mattress cleaning, deodorisation, sanitisation and more
  • Large sales volume
  • Thorough training and support
  • 40+ years of experience
  • Full BFA Member

· Dyno

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £45,000
  • Type: Specialised Cleaning Franchise
  • USP: Commercial, heavy-duty drain cleaning
  • Finance support
  • Thorough training and personnel referrals
  • A well-established brand name, industry standard for 50+ years
  • Full BFA Member

· Techclean

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £19,500 (Excluding VAT)
  • Type: Commercial Cleaning Franchise
  • USP: IT equipment cleaning (printers, computers, ATMs, laptops, scanners, systems hardware and more)
  • Unique business model
  • Existing relationships with numerous charities, businesses and government agencies
  • Extensive training and transfer of knowledge
  • Associate BFA Member

· Oven Wizards

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £12,500 (Excluding VAT), plus £240 per month as management fees (Excluding VAT)
  • Type: Domestic Cleaning Franchise
  • USP: Systematic oven cleaning services
  • Allocation of large territories (100,000+ households)
  • Regular training sessions for staff
  • Full BFA Member

The Takeaways

  • Conduct a detailed study of the market.
  • Know your objectives and be sure that the franchise you select meets them.
  • Hire with care.
  • Innovate to expand and grow your business.

Related: Cleaning Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Brexit and business poll: 3 in 4 finance bosses think firms will be worse off

July 31, 2018

Just one quarter of chief financial officers are optimistic about Brexit’s long-term impact, new survey suggests.

Many of Britain’s financial bosses are more downbeat about our prospects after Brexit than at any other time since the referendum, a cheery new poll has revealed.

Every three months, financial consultancy firm Deloitte gleans the views of more than 100 chief financial officers from major UK-based firms about leaving the EU.

Its latest results, which you can see below, show three quarters believe the long-term environment for business will be worse once we leave, with just 9% believing things will improve.

“In a sign of a more challenging international backdrop CFO concerns around protectionism and a slowdown in the euro area increased in the second quarter,” Deloitte said of the figures.

“Business sentiment continues to be buffeted by the news on Brexit. The mid-year position of the UK corporate sector is defensive and watchful.

“How that changes over the rest of 2018 will be heavily dependent on the unfolding negotiations between the UK and the EU in the next six months.”

Businesses have never backed Brexit: and opposition keeps growing

Now, there are a couple of important qualifiers to the above graph.

First of all, the survey was carried out between 3 June and 14 June, which is before recent talk of a (still unlikely) no-deal scenario hit the headlines, which is hardly likely to have improved their outlook.

That said, we should also point out that businesses have generally been opposed to Brexit all along.

As a case in point, the results of the first poll carried out by Deloitte (which you can also see above) showed just 13% were optimistic about the outcome while 68% were downbeat.

Related: What impact is Brexit uncertainty having on the UK economy?

So even though pessimism is undoubtedly at a record high amongst respondents, the mood isn’t a million miles away from the consensus two years’ ago.

Public faith in the Government is falling far faster

The same can certainly not be said for Theresa May’s Government.

In a separate poll by Sky News, it was revealed that 78% of the public think the Government is doing a bad job negotiating Brexit.

This is an increase of 23% since the poll was last conducted in March.

What’s more, almost two-thirds of those who voted in Sky’s poll now believe we’ll be landed with a ‘bad deal’ when negotiations are complete, up from 51%.

No one knows anything for certain, so what do you think?

Given that Brexit is so divisive, and new developments seem to sway opinion on an almost weekly basis, we should always be wary of making any meaningful conclusions based on snapshots of public (or business) opinion.

As always, we want to point out that the none of the above is an attempt to convince people one way or the other, merely to highlight a stat – or in this case stats – that we find interesting.

So how do the above views tally with your own? Answer the following two poll questions and we’ll soon see how loveMONEY readers’ outlooks compare, and please do share your individual views in the comments section below to explain why you voted the way you did.

Source: Love Money

John Clark Motor Group acquires Volvo Dundee from Barnetts Motor Group

July 31, 2018

John Clark Motor Group has continued the growth of its representation with Volvo Cars UK with the acquisition of Barnetts Motor Group’s Volvo Dundee dealership.

The Aberdeen-based AM100 retail group followed up its opening of its first franchised site with the Swedish brand in February – a new Volvo Edinburgh franchise in Edinburgh – with its new addition this week.

Previously located at Riverside Drive, Dundee, the new franchise opened its doors in a temporary facility at MacAdam Place ahead of the opening of a new facility, which will subscribe to Volvo’s latest VRE design code, in 12 months’ time.

Chris Clark, John Clark Motor Group’s managing director, said: “We are looking forward to opening a new home for Volvo Cars in Dundee and welcoming customers to the showroom, as well as some of the existing Volvo Dundee staff into the John Clark Motor Group.

“They are a brilliant team of people and we intend to invest in further training to ensure they are confident with the products and the systems to ensure a seamless transition of the business.”

The new Volvo Dundee franchise’s future home will be John Clark Motor Group’s former BMW facility and will be revamped and re-occupied once a new BMW facility has been built.

The group said that the site will serve customers with a spacious showroom, ample parking, a seven-bay workshop with an MOT facilioty and up to 65 used vehicles on display.

Paul Lanni, John Clark Motor Group’s Volvo Cars UK brand director, is overseeing operations at the dealership.

He said: “I am personally very excited about the new dealership as we have a great team to work with, some brilliant products, such as the recently launched XC40 and V60, plus some exciting models planned for the future.

“Opening a new site is very challenging and I am pleased to say that we have managed to achieve this in an incredibly tight time scale.

“I am fully confident that with the new team in place the dealership will quickly be fully operational and we look forward to welcoming customers to a launch event in the very near future.”

“All current Volvo Cars Dundee customers will receive direct communication from the group that will reassure them that any current manufacturer service plans or warranties will be honoured.

“Plus any future model orders, will be transferred across to the new business at MacAdam Place.”

The John Clark Motor Group, recently ranked 90th in The Sunday Times Top Track 100.

It now employs 1,344 people and represents 14 brands at 42 dealerships across Scotland.

In 2017, the group’s turnover grew by 5% to £742m (2016: £703m) and sold 28,136 vehicles.

Source: AM Online

Why babyballet founder is travelling the globe

July 30, 2018

Greetland-based Claire O’Connor has embarked on a year-long global tour to expand her babyballet business.

And she’s been joined on the worldwide odyssey by husband Chris and three of their four children – Charlie, 14, Claudia, 12, and 10-year-old Kitty. Eldest son Harry has stayed at home to continue his university studies.

Claire used a world map and some wool and pins to chart a “family wish list” of places to visit – combined with ideal locations to set up new franchises for babyballet such as Canada, the USA and Japan.

Claire and the kids joined up with Chris in Canada, where he is a sports analyst working for rugby league team Toronto Wolfpack.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

Now in Toronto, she is actively looking for opportunities to set up franchises in Canada.

Claire and Chris are home schooling the children during their 12-month travels.

Babyballet is one of the fastest growing franchise businesses in the UK. Claire founded the business in 2005 to create a dance experience for children aged six months to six years in a fun, caring and supportive environment away from the traditional dance classes often associated with ballet.

With 74 franchises currently in the UK, Claire successfully expanded the business into Australia and New Zealand last year, establishing 33 new franchises Down Under – with more in the pipeline. More than 25,000 children now enjoy babyballet in the UK and Australasia every week.

Claire worked with her mother Barbara Peters, a registered Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) teacher and former RAD examiner, to develop babyballet’s syllabus and teacher training programme for franchisees to follow.

“The successful expansion of the business into Australia and New Zealand made me realise that if I can do it there, I can do it anywhere in the world,” said Claire. “With Chris already in Toronto, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to join him and look into expanding over there, as well as other countries.

Related: High five for babyballet as dance franchise celebrates quintet of award nominations

“It’s going to be an adventure of a lifetime and will enable me to take babyballet across the globe and build the brand on an international level. I can’t wait to meet dance school owners and teachers who are keen to bring babyballet to children in their local areas.

“Being able to involve our children is amazing and they are so excited to go, learn and experience new things. It’s not going to be an easy ride, but we’re all in it together and can’t wait to set off.”

Claire and the babyballet brand have won numerous awards including ITV Mumpreneur and Best Business Parent at the Mum and Working Awards. She also featured in Channel 4 documentary Big Ballet exploring issues of size in the world of ballet.

Claire has set up a blog – livingourglobaldream.com – where people can follow the family’s adventures over the next 12 months as she takes the next step in turning babyballet into a worldwide franchise business.

Endeavour Automotive takes on London EV Company franchise in Chiswick

July 30, 2018

Endeavour Automotive has taken on the  London EV Company (LEVC) hybrid taxi franchise in Chiswick.

Endeavour is one of the largest Volvo dealer groups in the UK and LEVC has the same parent company as the Swedish-brand – chinese manufacturer Geely.

The LEVC Chiswick is on the same site at Endeavour’s Volvo Cars West London showroom and will sell the TX electric taxi. The new dealership will be a standalone showroom adjacent to the current Volvo dealership.

The TX is a plug-in hybrid range-extender electric vehicle designed to comply with Transport for London’s Taxi Private Hire regulations, which, from January 1 this year, means that any taxi driver applying for licence has to have a zero emissions capable vehicle. This will eventually lead to the phasing out of all diesel taxis in London.

Related: Endeavour Automotive prepares to open Lotus Colchester franchise

The TX has a zero emissions range of 80.6 miles and a total range of 377 miles.

In a statement from Endeavour, it said it decided to take on the franchise “after seeing the popularity of the new taxi with passengers and drivers, as well as the level of support from both national and city government for the electric taxi project”.

Endeavour has invested in its Chiswick site to increase workshop capacity to support the arrival of a new brand. The group is also investing in some dedicated fast charging points for taxi drivers to use while in West London.

These will supplement the 52 dedicated rapid chargers which are set aside for taxi use in London.

These chargepoints can be found on street and in five Q-parks across London, including China Town, Harley Street, Pimlico, Oxford Street and Knightsbridge.

Adrian Wallington, Endeavour Automotive managing director, said: “The extension of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and arrival of electric taxis are measures that will significantly improve air quality in West London.

“Alongside this there will be a significant increase in demand for more environmentally friendly passenger vehicles in the capital.” Wallington said the TX can save taxi drivers up to £100 a week in fuel.

A spokesman for LEVC said the company is still on the look out for more dealers to take on the franchise in major cities in the UK.

Source: AM Online

Franchise proposition launches for advisers looking to become independent

July 29, 2018

A franchise proposition called The UK Adviser has been launched, enabling ambitious individuals to build their own mortgage business with signifiant levels of support.

Set up by entrepreneur Maxim Cohen and business development expert Lisa Bird, it has been designed to help established advisers who want to take their business to the next level. It’s also for graduates, people looking for a career change, or those who simply want to be their own boss.

Cohen, chief executive of The UK Adviser, said: “The message is clear: becoming a UK Adviser provides an exciting opportunity to own your own business as part of a credible and nationally-recognised brand.

“We have launched this franchise proposition business with the intention of disrupting the industry and offering the simplest and most sure-fire way for people to set themselves up as a fully FCA-approved mortgage adviser or grow their existing business.

“We want to provide ambitious individuals with a ‘business in a box’ style framework which will give them everything they need to drive a profitable and successful business, leaving them to focus on what matters most – securing mortgages, generating sales and providing the incredible personal service which will form the foundation of their success.”

Related: Mortgage Franchise UK – Essential Information for all Mortgage Franchises & the UK Housing Sector

The FCA-regulated franchise proposition – the only adviser model to be fully-backed by the British Franchise Association (BFA) uses a bespoke software solution (The Adviser Suite®) and user-focused support system.

The industry-leading cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system, together with case managers who will handle all admin and paperwork, will provide mortgage advisers with more time to grow their client portfolio, complete mortgages and ultimately boost their bottom line.

Chief operating officer, Lisa Bird has already invested personally in the business by purchasing the first UK Adviser franchise proposition.

She said: “With over 17 years’ experience in the mortgage market, we recognised a significant decrease in the level of personal service offered to consumers.

“Advancements in digital technology have been hugely beneficial to industry, but they’re no substitute for a strong relationship between a trusted adviser and their client – it’s exactly this personal approach that The UK Adviser is championing and the reason why I made the decision to not only launch the business alongside Maxim, but also personally invest in the franchise, demonstrating my belief in the vision of the company.”

Together with a far-reaching network, core to the newly-launched proposition is The UK Adviser’s training programme, The UK Academy.

Through the academy, training is tailored to each level and funding is available for those new to the industry.

It includes: courses for becoming CeMAP qualified – an industry requirement for mortgage advisers; post-exam training; and ongoing development to help people achieve competent adviser status (CAS), before being awarded an exclusive Certified UK Adviser (Cert-UKA™) accreditation.

Related: An FCA-regulated business launches The UK Adviser

Cohen added: “In an industry first, training forms the basis of our framework and will cater for all levels of experience, from those new to the financial services industry to already qualified advisers.

“Our decision to place such a focus on continued development ensures that UK Advisers lead the industry by providing consumers with up-to-date advice of the highest quality.

“Training isn’t only for those new to the industry, it’s just as important for those advisers who are already established.

“The financial services industry is constantly evolving and we believe that the only way to stay ahead of the game and provide clients with a top-class service is through continued professional development (CPD).”

CeMAP-qualified advisers looking to become UK Advisers will be awarded the exclusive Certified UK Adviser (Cert-UKA™) accreditation.

The UK Academy also offers the Certified UK Commercial Finance Adviser (Cert-UKCFA™) accreditation for those looking to build a business or brokers already operating in the commercial property sector.

In addition, The UK Academy offers further qualifications, in areas such as equity release and advanced mortgage advice.

Source: Mortgage Introducer

‘Pleasing progress’ at Franchise Brands

July 27, 2018

Revenue and profits have jumped at Franchise Brands, the Kidderminster based group, thanks to its £28m takeover deal for drain cleaning business MetroRod.

It become its fourth franchise business and has helped push revenues up 88% to £16.8m in the six months to June with Franchise Brands swinging to a £1.4m pre-tax profit from a £200,000 loss a year ago due to the costs of the MetroRod deal.

Related: Cleaning Franchises in the UK – Here’s All You Need to Know

Executive chairman Stephen Hemsley said: “The first half of 2018 has been a period of pleasing progress for Franchise Brands with the business as a whole performing as expected.

“Metro Rod is capable of significant growth and I am very encouraged that we have started to see the benefits coming through of the new strategy. The investment we are making will help unlock Metro Rod’s potential; new technology is already allowing us to automate processes, reduce costs and provide a superior customer experience.”

The group also owns car body repairer ChipsAway, cleaning business Ovenclean and dog sitters Barking Mad, all of which “performed solidly” in the first half of the year

Mr Hemsley added: “The outlook for the group remains very positive and I look forward to the remainder of 2018 with confidence.”

Source: Express and Star

How to raise funding for your own business

July 27, 2018

The funding landscape

Access to funding is crucial to the growth of the small business sector, which has a combined annual turnover of £1.9 billion, so where should you go for this money?

Traditionally, the usual source of finance for a business was bank loan but things have changed dramatically over the past decade.

The devastating financial crisis resulted in many institutions becoming reluctant to lend. While problematic, it’s helped the development of alternative sources of funding.

We have also seen the emergence of so-called challenger banks, according to Ian Walters, managing director of business banking at Metro Bank.

“We’re committed to supporting businesses across the UK,” he says.

“For the second consecutive year, we have pledged £1 billion net lending to SMEs, helping businesses to expand, recruit and innovate.”

Work out your funding requirements

According to Denise Friend, partner and founder of Friend Partnership, which advises businesses, there are a number of areas to consider when it comes to financing growth.

“You need to make sure you have a sound and coherent business plan that sets out why people should lend to you, what you need it for, and how you plan to repay it,” she says.

It’s also important to build a little extra working capital into your forecasts in case there are unexpected problems along the way.

This could include how your cash flow would be affected if a customer is slow to pay or you don’t hit the expected sales targets.

“Get the right sort of finance for each area of the business,” she adds.

“For example, vehicles should be leased not bought, and asset finance used for plant and machinery. Key to this is making sure that the finance matches the expected useful life.”

Funding options

Business finance is an area that has grown substantially over the last few years, according to Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, the business support group.

“There are now so many options,” she says. “This is great for small business owners as it means there are plenty of channels through which to raise funds.”

The key is doing your research on each area. “Many start with crowdfunding which is a great way to secure funds and profile,” she adds.

For example, you may be drawn to angel investors, which are usually affluent individuals that provide capital in exchange for a share of ownership.

“You also have working capital from the likes of MarketInvoice and IWOCA, and peer-to-peer lending such as Funding Circle,” says Jones.

“There’s also your business bank.”

Of course, there are pros and cons to each approach. For example, if you’re taking out a loan you need to be wary of when you have to pay it back – and how much it will cost.

“Money doesn’t come for free so if you’re raising money through releasing equity in your company, be wary of how much you’re offering and to whom,” adds Jones.

The key, she suggests, is treating a business partnership as seriously as you would a marriage and use websites such as FundingOptions.com to help determine which meets your needs.

“Look at the terms and conditions before agreeing to deals,” she adds. “It can be better to look for money when you don’t need it, as you’ll be in a better negotiating position.”

Organic growth

The concept is to reinvest profits into your business and expand gradually. The obvious benefit is that this option won’t cost you a fortune in interest.

However, the downside is that growth is likely to be slow – especially when you consider that most businesses take a few years to actually break even.

Although organic growth is arguably the most sensible option initially, once your venture shows signs of promise you’re likely to need a better source of finance.

Support from family and friends

If you have wealthy and supportive family members and friends this can seem like the obvious solution.

They lend you money – either free or at a low rate of interest – and enable you to crack on with your project.

However, what happens if your plan fails? Will it cause a major rift if you can’t return their original investment, let alone make them a profit?

Crowdfunding

Crodwdfunding is one option to start your business (Image: Shutterstock)

An increasingly popular choice. The concept is all about raising small amounts from a larger number of people.

However, the term covers a variety of methods, including peer-to-peer lending, where a business borrows money from a collection of lenders and pays it back with interest.

There is also equity crowdfunding. While broadly similar to peer-to-peer approaches, investors take shares in the business instead of repayments for a loan.

Invoice finance

This is a way of borrowing based on what you’re owed by customers. In exchange for paying a fee, you will receive most of what you’re owed earlier.

This means that you’ll be able to put this money to use rather than having to wait anything up to 90 days – or more in some cases – for invoices to be settled.

As anyone will tell you, cash flow is the lifeblood of any business and you may feel it’s the best option to swallow a charge to ensure money is in your bank account.

Asset finance

This type of lending can be defined in a couple of ways.

The first is providing access to business assets such as machinery, which can be a cost-effective alternative to buying them outright.

An example is hire purchase, where you spread the cost of the items over time by paying in regular instalments.

Related: What to do when your business needs emergency funding

The second definition is asset refinancing, which is where loans are secured against valuable items that a business owns, such as buildings and vehicles.

Funding platforms

There have also been a number of SME funding platforms emerge whose objectives are to bring together lenders and those needing a financial injection.

An example is the one operated by the Federation of Small Businesses that puts its members in front of potential sources of funding.

According to Dave Stallon, the FSB’s commercial director, technology is a great enabler that has helped provide a great foundation for the platform.

“The platform is a good example of how automation and AI (artificial intelligence) can be utilised as a tool that increases efficiency, because it allows getting the ‘right human being’ in front of the customer at the right moment,” he says.

Bank lending

Banks with dedicated relationship managers can not only provide sources of funding but also support as your business grows.

Those with a broad range of products and services are in a good position to help, agrees Ian Walters, managing director of business banking at Metro Bank.

“Banks that put in the time to understand the people behind the business and their vision, are often best-placed to support their lending requirements,” he says.

Summary of your options

The fact is there’s no simple, one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to business funding. It all depends on the type of business and the longer-term goals.

The best advice is to ask around, suggests Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation.

“Surround yourself with support from peers who’ve been there and done it, as well as professionals such as lawyers and accountants,” she says.

Source: Love Money

Driver Hire wins bronze in Franchiser of the Year award at bfa HSBC Franchising Awards

July 26, 2018

BRADFORD-based transport and logistics recruiter Driver Hire has been honoured at a recent awards ceremony.

The firm, based in Canal Road, collected bronze in the Franchiser of the Year category at thr 2018 bfa HSBC Franchise Awards.

Driver Hire has been a finalist 12 times in the past 13 years, and has been an award winner in three of the last four years.

The company collected its prize from Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy at a ceremony in Birmingham, sharing the podium with McDonald’s and Agency Express, which produced ‘for sale’ signs.

Over the last 30 years Driver Hire has developed a network of 100 offices across the country, supplying temporary and permanent staff to businesses that operate commercial vehicles.

Related: Driver Hire franchisees celebrate record breaking £108m turnover

It also provides driver training and risk management systems, and has an annual turnover of more than £1.1 million.

Graham Duckworth, franchise sales director at Driver Hire, said: “It’s nice to be recognised as one of the best franchisors out there.

“It’s a huge achievement and will certainly take the business to even greater heights.”

Related: Recruitment Franchise UK – Should You Invest In UK Recruitment Franchises?

Pip Wilkins, bfa chief executive, added: “Every year it’s great to see the excellent work our members demonstrated through their entries.

“The quality has never been higher with a wide range of businesses represented. It was an extremely hard job for the judges to separate them. Our congratulations go to all our winners.”

Source: The Telegraph & Argus

One of UK’s leading pet franchises hits 30 franchisees!

July 26, 2018

The Pets, Homes and Gardens Company hits 30 franchisees!

One of the UK’s leading pet franchise organisations, The Pets, Homes and Gardens Company, has just hit a whopping 30 franchisees. Recently taking on franchisees in Torbay, Haywards Heath, Lewes, Southampton and Thetford, the organisation is going from strength to strength.

One of the factors to achieving this, and which is appealing to people looking for a pet franchise, is the low cost entry level. To secure a territory costs just £995 + VAT * whereas other competitors charge between £6 and £10K for an area.

Peter Maxted, one of the Director’s of The Pets, Homes and Gardens Company says, “We have found people put off by the huge upfront fee. We have taken out this cost and although it needs money for marketing in the first few months of operation, we feel that it is our job to help make the franchisees successful and in turn, the franchise becomes successful.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

“A percentage of turnover is also required as part of the franchisee fee rather than a fixed fee every month too, to help accommodate the eb and flow of any small business.

He continues, “We also don’t insist on a livered car or van to start with. Most franchisees use their existing vehicles as long as they are safe and roadworthy and can put metallic signs on to help promote the business when they are working. Many franchisees do tend to take on a purpose vehicle after several months anyway.”

Sarah Heal of PHG Torbay was made redundant earlier this year from a well-known brewery chain and decided to change career completely. She says, “Becoming a PHG franchisee has been the best decision I have ever made. Having worked in the corporate world for many years, I have seen a vast improvement in my work life balance. I have the freedom to run my business the way I wish, with the reassurance that I can ask for help whenever I need it. Peter and Julie’s training and knowledge is second to none and has given me the confidence to set up the business I have always wanted and to make the step into self employment.”

Other franchisees have been with PHG for several years now including Debbie Brownlow who runs PHG Bolton and says, “A big thank you to both you and Julie for all the support and encouragement you have given me. I consider myself to be so lucky looking after all the lovely animals in my care. Running PHG Bolton is the best job I have ever had.”

Source: Response Source

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