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

Phillippines’ Jollibee plans to open 500 more stores worldwide as part of overseas drive

July 25, 2018

Philippine fast-food company, Jollibee Food Corporation, is set to embark on its one of its most aggressive store expansion programmes yet, with plans to open up to new 500 new stores this year, according to senior executives.

The Manilla-listed company said it will enter new markets including Malaysia, Indonesia, UK and UAE as it looks to expand its international operations.

It’s also keeping an eye out for potential mergers and acquisitions overseas.

Boasting annual sales of around $3.4bn, Jollibee also said in a that it was keen to add Mexican food to its US portfolio either through an acquisition or joint venture.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

The CEO of Jollibee, Ernesto Tanmantiong, said that a budget of $131mn has been set aside for the cost of the expansion plan, according to ABS CBN News.

In May, Jollibee had 4,239 stores across 21 territories and 12 brands. The Philippine firm’s portfolio includes Smashburger in the US, Highlands Coffee and Pho24 in Vietnam as well as Dunkin’ Donuts in some Chinese territories.

Jolibee’s plan to open 500 new stores in 2018 will represent the highest number of store openings in a single hear throughout its history.

“The launch of the new restaurants is driven by strong demand from customers, thereby bringing the brand closer, not only to the larger Filipino community present in the country, but also to several other nationalities, which we hope will now have the opportunity to experience a new culinary delight,” Jollibee UAE CEO, Hisham Al Gurg, told Gulf Business.

Related: Jollibee, Asia’s biggest fast food chain, is coming to the UK

“We remain dedicated to supporting the growth of the F&B sector, particularly the quick service restaurants segment in the country, with the launch of several additional restaurants over the coming years.”

“The business had shown resilience in the past and we expect it to continue to do so. We expect revenues and profit to continue to at least sustain its historical growth rates in 2018 and in the years ahead”, he added.

Source: FDF world

CycleBar prepares for first UK launch in London’s Nine Elms

July 25, 2018

Indoor cycling chain CycleBar will open its first site in London’s Nine Elms in the coming weeks, signalling the brand’s entry into the UK market.

CycleBar is one of a number of franchise-based fitness concepts owned by US company Xponential Fitness, which earlier this year revealed plans to take its portfolio of brands global through a master franchise strategy.

In the UK, Xponential has signed a master franchise deal with entrepreneur Oliver Chipp, who expects to open at least 30 CycleBar studios over the next five years.

“We’re really excited about the first UK studio,” Chipp told Health Club Management.

“Nine Elms is one of the largest urban regeneration projects in Europe. It’s a superb location near the new US Embassy and Battersea power station, which Apple plans to use for its new UK HQ. We aim to launch late summer.”

Related: Fitness Franchises – Should You Buy a UK Fitness Franchise?

Chipp added that the launch will mark the beginning of an ambitious expansion push.

“Our plan is to grow,” he said.

“The Xponential Fitness business models are designed to work outside the rarefied markets of Manhattan, LA and central London.

“We know there is demand for boutique fitness outside these areas. Xponential’s Club Pilates and CycleBar have proven this in the US. We aim to do the same across the UK.”

As well as CycleBar, Xponential’s portfolio of brands includes Club Pilates, indoor rowing business Row House and StretchLab, which offers personalised stretching services.

The group is led by a team of industry veterans who have experience of building fitness brands internationally.

CEO Anthony Geisler developed LA Boxing into a successful boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts fitness concept, before selling it on.

John Kersh – who helped grow Anytime Fitness into a global business – has also joined the team as chief international development officer.

“What we’re creating at Xponential Fitness hasn’t been done before and there’s enormous consumer interest in boutique fitness across the globe that we intend to capitalise on,” said Kersh.

Xponential is backed by financial partner TPG Growth, a growth equity platform of alternative asset firm TPG.

Source: Health Club Management

Which city is the UK’s fast-food capital?

July 24, 2018

Earlier this year, it was reported that Britain has ‘the worst diet in Europe’ and that our consumption of highly-processed junk food is four times greater than countries such as Greece, Italy and France.

Most people can probably identify their nearest Starbucks, McDonalds or Burger King off the top of their head – which shows just how deeply engrained our love of fast food is.

Now, new research by FXTM has unveiled that Cardiff is the unhealthiest city when it comes to junk food restaurants, with 30 franchises for every 100,000 people.

It’s been reported that the Welsh capital has approximately 23 more restaurants per 100,000 people than the healthiest city, Sheffield, which only has 6.

WHERE IN THE UK HAS THE MOST FOOD FRANCHISES PER 100K PEOPLE?

In this heat map, created by FXTM, the red markings show more than 20 outlets per 100,000 people, with yellow indicating more than 10 and green fewer than 10.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

The research also revealed that Cambridge is the coffee franchise capital of the UK with approximately 20 coffee franchises for every 100,000 people.

Newcastle is the McDonalds capital of the UK with one McDonalds per 19,000 people. Meanwhile, Birmingham is the city with the most Greggs restaurants overall.

Source: Business Leader UK

Britain sets out plans to deliver full-fiber connectivity

July 24, 2018

Britain set out plans to promote the roll out of full fiber broadband on Monday, including targeting public money at rural areas and insisting that the fastest connections are included as standard in new build properties.

Britain is lagging many of its European peers in the race to deliver “gold standard” full fiber networks that generate speeds of 1 Gbps, with only 4 percent of premises connected, compared with Spain on 71 percent and Portugal on 89 percent.

Setting out its plans to drive investment, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DMCS) said it would support investment in “the most difficult to reach” rural areas, where it estimates that some 3 to 5 billion pounds ($6.57 billion) of additional funding is likely to be needed.

The government said it hoped the majority of the population would have access to 5G and 15 million premises would have full fiber broadband by 2025. It hopes to see full-fiber broadband coverage across all of the country by 2033.

“We want everyone in the UK to benefit from world-class connectivity no matter where they live, work or travel,” culture minister Jeremy Wright said.

BT’s Openreach is the country’s national broadband infrastructure provider. Rivals and critics argue that Britain’s lowly position in the European league for broadband connections stems from a lack of investment.

BT has set out its own targets for full-fiber connections but it has until now largely focused on a fiber-copper hybrid technology which delivers slower speeds.

As businesses and households clamor for faster speeds, smaller providers have developed, with CityFibre aiming to build its own full-fiber networks.

Among the government recommendations, it said it would reform the regulatory environment to drive investment and competition in different local markets.

Source: Business Insider UK

Handy man firm looks for people with strong DIY skills for its growing franchise network

July 23, 2018

PROPERTY maintenance franchise Hire A Hubby is looking for people in Portsmouth to join their network.

Hire A Hubby UK started in Australia where they now have more than 350 franchisees and there are currently 18 in the UK.

The company, which specialises in property maintenance and DIY projects, is holding an event at 7pm on August 7 at the Holiday Inn, Herbert Walker Avenue, Southampton, for people who wish to find out more.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Home Improvement Franchises in the UK

Dirk Spence, franchise director, said: ‘We are looking to attract individuals with strong DIY and property maintenance skills and who have a desire to own and run their own business.’

Hire A Hubby also offers military personnel a deal to invest their resettlement grant.

Source: Portsmouth

Warwickshire is best in UK for economic growth

July 23, 2018

Warwickshire is leading the country in business growth – in the face of national uncertainty for future trading conditions.

Coventry and Warwickshire have suffered a drop in business confidence over the Spring, as managers think twice about investment amidst Brexit and trade tariff uncertainty.

But the region can maintain its trade growth in the UK by tackling barriers to business, Coventry and Warwickshire’s Chamber of Commerce has said.

The Chamber and Warwickshire County Council held an Economic Outlook event at the Billesley Manor Hotel in Alcester last week, to look at economic analysis from the last business quarter.

Its Quarterly Economic Survey showed that business confidence dropped slightly compared to January – March. But the region’s optimism is well ahead of the national picture.

‘Economy treading water’

The event heard from Suren Thiru, Head of Economics and Business Finance at the British Chambers of Commerce, and Dave Ayton-Hill, Economy and Skills Group Manager at Warwickshire County Council.

Mr Thiru said the UK economy had been treading water since 2016 and that the 0.2 per cent growth rate in the first quarter of this year was the weakest since 2012.

He said the British Chamber’s forecasts – based on ‘an orderly Brexit’ – were for weak growth in the next few years and that they should act as a ‘wake-up call’ to Government.

But Ayton-Hill said the economy in Coventry and Warwickshire was the fastest growing in the country and was bucking the national trend.

He said: “The figures in this area are very positive and are above the national average.

“Despite there being very real national concerns, the confidence in Coventry and Warwickshire is very high and we know that confidence means companies are more likely to invest.

“Brexit concerns are starting to increase particularly among those companies who export but the mood remains positive.

“Why? Automotive manufacturing, including Jaguar Land Rover and its supply chain – as well as other inward investment – is a strong factor but we’ve also seen growth in logistics and tourism.

Related: Mid-sized businesses outperform rest of UK plc but go unnoticed and unsupported

“But even if you took out automotive, the region would still be performing well as an economy.

“So despite a great deal of uncertainty on a national and global scale, there are huge opportunities to build on here in Coventry and Warwickshire.”

Our region bucking the trend

Ajay Desai, Trade Director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is great to see Coventry and Warwickshire bucking the trend and I see on a day-to-day basis that companies continue to seek new opportunities to trade overseas.

“The message to the Government has to be that while Brexit dominates the agenda there is plenty that can be done on the domestic front to support business growth.”

Industrial heritage

Warwickshire has many strengths for business – a strong industrial heritage, transport links in the heart of England, and well educated workers leading hi-tech innovation.

Tom Mongan, General Manager of Nuneaton-based manufacturing company Subcon Laser – which employs 35 staff, said: “There are many reasons why I believe this region continues to buck the trend. We have an incredible location, with superb road, rail and air connectivity which is extremely attractive.

Warwickshire
Shot from Subcon Laser (Image: Subcon Laser, Nuneaton)

“And, while there is a wider issue around skills, we are blessed with a good level of skilled workers in this region due to the fantastic manufacturing heritage in Coventry and Warwickshire.

“From the major closures of bigger businesses in previous years, smaller companies have emerged in this sector and that has helped the region to keep those skills and, importantly, pass them on to the next generation.

“We are blessed with two fantastic universities – both of which understand and engage with business – alongside other institutions such as WMG and the MTC, as well as some outstanding businesses that are operating on the global stage such as Jaguar Land Rover, LEVC and MIRA .

“Our Chamber of Commerce is extremely proactive in the support it gives to businesses of all sizes and sectors which, again, helps companies to grow and thrive.

“And, finally, it’s a great place to live too, which is vital when attracting the best talent – with a host of world-class attractions on our doorstep, breath-taking countryside and the City of Culture right in the middle.”

Source: Coventry Telegraph

Glasgow steakhouse set to close its doors as franchise goes into administration

July 21, 2018

A Glasgow steakhouse is set to close its doors after the franchise went into administration. Cau, which is located on Ingram Street, adjacent to Royal Exchange Square, opened in 2015, and has received favourable reviews from customers.

However, as the Gaucho franchise has gone into administration, the restaurant will cease to trade.

Gaucho is set to let go 540 staff as a result.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

Administrators at Deloitte say the 16 Gaucho sites, including one restaurant in Edinburgh, will remain open while a buyer is sought for that part of the business.

Cau has experienced falling sales for three years, and is now making significant losses, but the Gaucho business is still profitable.

Matt Smith, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: “Unfortunately the Cau brand has struggled in the oversupplied casual dining sector, with rapid over-expansion, poor site selection, onerous lease arrangements and a fundamentally poor guest proposition all being factors in its under-performance.

“As such, the decision has been made to close this loss-making part of the group with immediate effect, unfortunately resulting in today’s redundancies.”

Source: Glasgow Live

No-deal Brexit would cost European Union 1.5 percent of GDP: IMF

July 21, 2018

European Union countries will suffer long-term damage equivalent to about 1.5 percent of annual economic output in case of a no deal Brexit.

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29 next year, and Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to reach a consensus within her own Conservative Party on what future ties with the EU should look like, let alone broker a final deal with the EU.

The EU’s lost economic output in the case of no deal would cost the bloc around $250 billion, according to Reuters calculations based on the IMF’s estimate of the size of the EU economy excluding Britain this year.

Lost employment could total 0.7 percent of the EU workforce, or more than a million jobs.

The timing of the losses would depend on the length of post-Brexit transition arrangements, but would probably take five to 10 years at least to be fully felt, the IMF said.

While Britain and the EU agreed the outlines of a transition plan in March to largely preserve the status quo until the end of 2020, this deal has not been ratified and risks falling apart if there is no agreement on longer-term goals.

“The strength of the euro area-UK integration implies that there would be no Brexit winners,” the IMF said.

Ireland would be worst hit due to its close trade ties with Britain, followed by the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Germany would also suffer due to industrial supply chains.

Looking at the trade impact alone, Ireland could lose almost 4 percent of its economy in a no deal Brexit, but some big countries like France, Italy and Spain would be far less hurt.

Britain has argued it is in the EU’s economic interest to take a flexible approach to Brexit, while the EU is concerned not to set a precedent of allowing a country to leave but retain the aspects of EU membership it finds beneficial.

Some British lawmakers say the country should leave the EU and trade on World Trade Organization terms – the IMF’s no deal Brexit scenario – if the EU makes too few concessions.

The IMF said its study showed a bigger negative impact on the EU from Brexit than some previous work, because it modeled the disruption to manufacturing supply chains as well as the effect of tariffs and reduced financial services trade.

The Washington-based body also urged the EU to continue to allow London-based ‘central counterparties’ (CCPs) that clear global financial trades to handle euro transactions – something the European Central Bank has resisted previously.

Related: Chancellor says no deal Brexit will damage UK GDP for years to come

“The potential forced relocation of a globally systemically important CCP to the EU should be viewed with great hesitation,” the IMF said.

The economic damage from Brexit would be minimal if Britain were to adopt the ‘soft Brexit’ Norwegian-style model of being part of the European Economic Area, which May has rejected as it would largely require Britain to stick to EU rules.

A free trade agreement for manufactured goods – which is closer to what May is seeking – would reduce long-term EU losses to 0.8 percent of GDP, or around $130 billion.

The IMF did not estimate the costs of no deal Brexit for Britain in this paper, which accompanies a two-yearly assessment of the EU, though earlier this week it downgraded its forecast for British growth this year to the weakest since 2012.

Before Britain voted to leave the EU, the IMF warned of a possible recession under an ‘adverse’ scenario, drawing criticism from Brexit supporters.

Earlier this year Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Britain’s economy was around 1.5-2.0 percent smaller than it would have been if the public had voted to stay in the EU – not far from what the IMF forecast for a ‘limited’ Brexit scenario.

Source: UK Reuters

Our productivity problem is one of the biggest threats to the UK’s future

July 20, 2018

The productivity problem is one of the biggest threats to the UK’s future

If the summer of 2018 was remembered by one adjective, surely “hot” is a top contender.

Be it the weather, sporting contests, or the latest twists and turns in Westminster, it’s certainly brought some heated discussions and blood-boiling moments.

And talking of turning up the temperature, it’s nearly 55 years since former Prime Minister Harold Wilson made his famous speech to the Labour party where he reflected on the pace of change and its implications for business.

It was here that Wilson said that a new Britain would need to be forged in the “white heat” of a scientific revolution. Warning that there was no room for Luddites, he called for the country to embrace technology to ensure Britain’s future standing in the world.

Game-changing

Brexit discussions are not taking a summer holiday, so policymakers have once more been contemplating the UK economy’s long-term prosperity well beyond our scheduled EU exit in March 2019.

As with Wilson half a century ago, there’s a well-rehearsed mantra about seizing the new opportunities that technology is affording us to guarantee a bright economic future.

And it is a maxim that’s still right.

Technology is rapidly changing the global business environment out there and challenging established business models. Britain’s businesses need to utilise technology if they are to remain relevant to their customers and continue to grow.

But when we think about our future prosperity, we may find that many of the questions and answers lie very much in the present.

For example, many agree that the productivity puzzle poses far more serious risks to our future than Brexit.

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

The UK has a long-standing productivity gap compared to many of its international competitors, including the majority of the G7 countries. In 2016, output per hour worked in the UK was a staggering 16.3 per cent below the average for the rest of the G7 advanced economies.

Productivity has been a problem for the UK long before the emergence of Brexit. In fact, since the 2007-08 financial crisis, productivity growth in the UK has been slower than most other developed economies.

So, what needs to change?

Face value

Clearly, technology remains important. The availability of funding, particularly for small businesses, is also key to economic growth and national productivity.

But there is a less feted, but equally important, resource of knowledge and expertise that already exists across the UK economy. And this is the business support infrastructure, which small firms look to for guidance on a daily basis.

You may associate business support with a government portal, a price comparison website, or an app on your phone.

But while these sources of information are certainly providing a new channel of easily accessible and affordable content for businesses, the overwhelming majority still seek face-to-face advice. Indeed, regular surveys still show that accountants are one of the most popular sources of advice, with solicitors and lawyers often following close behind.

Why? It makes sense to seek advice from those who understand your business.

Many business owners have professional advisers whom they meet and consult with on a regular basis – even when their questions and concerns fall well out of their adviser’s area of technical expertise, because they trust them to know where to look.

Joining the dots

Professional advisers of all disciplines play a vital role in utilising their own networks to put the right support in front of their clients. For example, small accountancy practices up and down the UK retain networks with those who are experts in funding, technology, employment law, and more.

It is both their expertise and networks that encourage businesses to invest, innovate, and grow.

A recent ACCA research report called Growing Globally revealed that 91 per cent of surveyed small and medium sized accounting practices have clients engaged in international activity, giving them a wealth of expertise and a support network. Ultimately this helps small businesses at all stages of their journey as they go global.

Re-energising the workforce

When thinking about how we solve the UK’s productivity problem, we need to look beyond money and technology, and ensure that we also harness the insights of those people who know our businesses and economy best.

The government’s recent Productivity Review found that, for too long, new and innovative policymaking has neglected to think about ways in which our business support landscape can be re-energised.

Understanding how those already providing advice and support can help develop new growth opportunities for businesses should not be seen as an afterthought, but central to any long-term strategy. It is their insights that may well hold the key ingredient towards creating scorching growth across the economy for years to come.

Source: City A.M.