New TaxAssist Accountants shop opens in Huntingdon

August 28, 2020

Charlie Walker has opened a new walk-in small business tax and accountancy shop on 129 High Street in Huntingdon, to operate alongside his existing one in Bedford.

Charlie Walker, like all TaxAssist Accountants, has been incredibly busy over the last six months, helping his over 200 clients to navigate their way through the coronavirus pandemic. However, keen to continue with his planned expansion, he has now opened his second shop in Huntingdon.

“It really was the perfect shop in the perfect location and will provide the ideal environment for me to meet with potential and existing clients,” explains Charlie.

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“Both of my shops are open for clients to walk-in and we provide hand sanitiser, wear masks and have installed protective screens for face-to-face client meetings, although we also offer telephone and online meetings for those clients that would prefer this method at this time. Our aim is to be as flexible and helpful as possible. Do get in contact if you’d like a free initial consultation.”

Charlie is looking positively on the future for his and his clients’ businesses. “Clearly the pandemic has caused a huge global shock, but with my services very much in demand, I believe now is the right time to expand, so that more businesses can benefit from our expertise.”

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Knowing that there is a desperate need for guidance and support right now, Charlie recently jumped at the chance when he was offered his own monthly, one-hour radio show on Huntingdon Community Radio after a number of appearances as a business contributor on BBC Three Counties Radio last year. He hopes to have a local business section, as well as a national business update and special guests each month. The show is due to begin in the Autumn.

“I’m passionate about helping the businesses in my area and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to offer the benefits of my business and accountancy experience, face-to-face, online and now via the air waves!”

Related: TaxAssist Accountants Franchise

Family-run Italian restaurant brand to sink £50m into UK expansion plan

August 27, 2020

A Glasgow-based Italian restaurant chain, Tony Macaroni, is bidding to become a ‘prized fixture in every UK town and city’ after announcing plans for a £50m expansion scheme.

Tony Macaroni, which opened its first restaurant in 2007 and now has 19 sites in operation, is aiming to open 100 new restaurants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland over the next three years, bringing its new franchise model into focus.

The new model targets quality sites in city centres, retail parks and shopping malls for expansion, giving individuals the opportunity to invest and launch their own franchise.

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

Tony Macaroni is part of the Marini family’s Viva Italia Group, along with Neapolitan pizza restaurant Mozza, the art deco cafe and restaurant Nardini, and Edinburgh’s Bar 1821.

The brand said it was ‘perfectly positioned’ to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic ‘stronger than ever’ with trading levels looking healthy since reopening after lockdown.

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Speaking to local press, boss Sep Marini said: “Ultimately, I want the brand to become a prized fixture in every city and large town across the UK – and whilst we will continue to open more restaurants ourselves across Scotland, the time is right for us to offer experienced franchise operators, with the best locations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the chance to bring this much loved brand into their portfolios.”


Source: Food Service Equipment Journal

OSCAR Pet Foods offer hope to workers facing or fearing redundancy.

August 26, 2020

The furlough scheme ends in October, and if you are one of the nine million workers furloughed as a direct result of Covid, the prospect of redundancy must be real.

Facing an uncertain future means that finding a stable income will be high on your agenda and OSCAR Pet Foods know that exciting opportunities in pet care may well hold the key to your success.

Franchising tends to perform well in a recession thanks to tried and tested business models, trusted brand names, shared marketing potential and competitive trading opportunities –and the pet care sector is a shining example. Globally, pet care is one of the largest and fastest growing e-commerce categories and being awarded essential business status throughout this pandemic means its resilience continues.

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

Pet care is always a popular choice. No matter how long this recession lasts, dogs still need walking and much-loved pets still need loving and feeding. In fact, with recent figures* from the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) confirming 9 million dogs, 7.5 million cats and 400,000 guinea pigs are owned throughout the UK, demand is at an all-time high!OSCAR Pet Foods

Great news for those of you who may well be re-evaluating your life work balance after Covid and have the desire and the energy to work your way out of a recession.

If making an investment during a recession seems daunting, it’s important to remember that franchising is seen by banks as a low-risk investment, and many UK banks have dedicated franchise units. Andy Brattesani, UK Head of Franchising for HSBC reports, “At the HSBC franchise unit last year we lent 400 million in the franchising sector … and this year we will do half a billion.”

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With investment security at your fingertips, finding the perfect franchise to fit your skills and lifestyle is also key.

OSCAR is much more than a franchise. We’re a business format franchise – just like some of the most famous brands you know – which means we provide outstanding ongoing support, advice and training so that you can grow your business with a safety net of expertise stretched out beneath you.

At OSCAR we look for honesty, positivity and enthusiasm. That’s because great franchising is all about close franchisor and franchisee relationships.

We work as a team because our success is your success. That’s why we’re keen to share a wealth of valuable tips and strategies from our nationwide network of franchisees to help you on your way.

Related: Oscar Pet Foods Franchise

OSCAR Franchisee, Richard Hebden, found security in OSCAR when planning his future, “… my enthusiasm, shared with fellow franchisees, helps me to grow my business quicker, with better ways to achieve results. The products are easy to talk about and by supporting a local pet rescue charity I have found yet another avenue that produces follow ups.”

We’re always on the lookout for talented people to join our network and our experienced franchise team would love to help you too. Please give us a call.

Caerphilly Coffee Firm Expands Commercial Service

August 25, 2020

A South Wales-based coffee business is hoping to ‘take the commercial coffee industry by storm’ with its latest expansion.

Coffee Blue is a mobile coffee franchise headquartered in Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly. Founded in 2018, the company provides opportunities for people to start their own mobile coffee van business.

Now, Coffee Blue has ventured deeper into the commercial coffee industry by launching a coffee machine rental and wholesale coffee service.

The new expansion will provide machine rental and wholesale coffee with flexible rental packages appropriate for today’s financially uncertain climate.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

Company Director, Martin Jones, said: “Coffee Blue is growing rapidly, and we determined to try and take the UK commercial coffee industry by storm through this new expansion.

“The UK coffee market is large and ever-growing. By offering this flexible new service to local businesses, we hope to provide them with flexible new solutions to expand their product range and, therefore, prosper throughout these financially uncertain times.

“Coffee Blue, as a franchisor, was built to help others achieve business success. Now our goal is to help even more business owners.”

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Coffee Blue is the UK’s leading mobile coffee franchise. The service allows prospects to set up their own business serving barista coffee and quality food throughout exclusive territories from a mobile coffee van.

Launched officially in 2018, the franchise now has 14 vans on the road throughout the UK with more in the pipeline.

Co-Directors Gareth Edwards and Colin Smith founded the company with the aim of breaking down the barriers to franchising. On the new expansion, they said:

“We are extremely excited to be taking this huge step forward.

Related: Coffee Blue Franchise

“Our team have done a fantastic job at making our franchise a success. And we are confident we can turn this into a great success, too.

“The new service will not interfere with our franchisees and their work whatsoever. We guarantee that. But it will provide them with new, exciting opportunities.

“We are all looking forward to what the future holds.”

By Rhys Gregory

Source: Wales 247

Visiting Angels doubles turnover to £2 million in six months

August 24, 2020

Home care provider Visiting Angels has announced that its first UK franchise has doubled its turnover to £2 million in just six months.

After breaking the £1 million mark in February, the Sheffield-based office has doubled in size and now provides over 1,750 weekly hours of care to its clients.

Visiting Angels managing director Dan Archer says he is “thrilled” with how much the business has grown.

“When we launched in 2017, we projected a million-pound turnover in year three. So, to achieve that, smash through it and double it within six months is astounding,” he said.

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“It just goes to show that despite the recent economic uncertainty, it is possible to grow a profitable business in the care sector with the right team. It also indicates that our ‘carer-centric’ approach, where we put our carers at the heart of the business, is the right thing to do. It is an incredibly proud moment indeed.”

Established in the US in 1998, Visiting Angels is one of America’s largest care franchises, with over 600 offices operating in five countries.

Archer was the first to bring the brand to the UK and, upon its launch in 2017, Visiting Angels described itself as the nation’s first ‘carer-centric’ in-home care provider.

This approach includes offering care workers a minimum wage of £10 per hour with guaranteed annual increases, a generous mileage allowance, regular car servicing and valeting, and a mobile phone.

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The company now has six branches dotted around the UK.

Commenting on the milestone, Gareth Redmayne, who launched Visiting Angels South Hertfordshire in September 2019, said: “The first milestone was a great achievement – this second one is excellent.

“What makes this achievement extra special is how I, along with the rest of the UK network, can envisage where our business is heading and how far we can take it in the future. Having something like this to strive towards is extremely inspiring.”

The Sheffield branch has recently been awarded the ‘Best International Franchise’ at Visiting Angel’s annual conference in Philadelphia, after becoming the fastest-growing office in the brand’s history.


Source: Home Care Insight

Mothercare goods to be sold through Irish Boots stores

August 21, 2020

Babycare retailer Mothercare UK has finalised a deal with Boots to sell goods across the chain in time for the autumn season.

Mothercare announced a new business model following talks with its franchisee.

Under the terms of the deal with Boots the pharmacy chain will become Mothercare’s Ireland and UK franchise partner.

The agreement, which was first announced in December, allows for Mothercare clothing to be sold in all Boots shops across the two countries, while bigger items such as pushchairs and car seats will be sold in the larger Boots stores. The products will also be available to buy online.

The Boots deal had suffered a series of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mothercare – which last year put its UK stores into administration, closing all 79 of its shops – has also announced a new business model after talks with franchisees.

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It said the new franchise arrangements would ensure a “more sustainable and less capital-intensive business model”.

That model will see the group’s franchise partners pay for products directly to the manufacturers.

Shares in Mothercare jumped in morning trading yesterday, rising as much as 18pc at one stage yesterday before settling around 7pc higher in London.

As well as the 10-year Boots deal, Mothercare said it had also struck a new 20-year franchise arrangement with Alshaya Group, its main franchise partner.

But Mothercare added that it still expects to take a £10m (€11m) hit from the UK stores entering administration last November.

The administration left Mothercare refocused on simply providing branded products to retailers.

In June, the group was also dealt a blow when temporary boss Glyn Hughes said he did not want the job on a permanent basis.

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His departure saw Mothercare led by the chief operating officer and chief financial officer, under the eye of chairman Clive Whiley.

Mothercare Ireland was placed into liquidation in June with the loss of 197 jobs after the directors said they could no longer see a viable future for the business.

Prior to that the company – which is a separate entity to Mothercare UK – had operated 14 stores across Cork, Drogheda, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, Limerick, Newbridge, Portlaoise, Sligo and Tralee.

The business had been operating in Ireland since 1992.

In 2018 sales in Ireland were €28.5m, generating a profit of €136,000.

By Ellie Donnelly

Source: Independent

Right at Home Outstanding rating marks first for Basingstoke

August 19, 2020

A Right at Home franchise in Basingstoke has become the first home care service in the area to be awarded with an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC.

During the unannounced inspection, the branch located in Daneshill, given the top accolade for being Caring and Responsive, leading to an overall ‘Outstanding’ rating.

This was the second time that the service, which was established in August 2015, had been fully inspected post-registration with the CQC. It was previously rated ‘Good’ overall and ‘Outstanding’ for being caring.

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Right at Home provides care and support to people living in their own homes, predominantly in the Basingstoke area but extending to Hartley Wintney, Whitchurch, Tadley and Odiham.

According to the CQC report, one of the key strengths of the service was how caring its staff were.

It said: “Staff were exceptionally caring, compassionate and kind in their approach and reflected the values of the service, to treat people as they would one of their relatives.”

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The report continued: “Staff were motivated and were passionate about providing high quality care that they were proud of, treating people with utmost kindness and respect.”

Inspectors also praised the senior management team for driving “high quality and continuous improvement” in all aspects of care.

“There were robust arrangements in place to monitor the quality of the service and the performance of staff,” the report said.

Related: Right at Home Franchise

Commenting on the achievement, Kevin Smith, owner of Right at Home Basingstoke, said: “I’m so pleased with the outcome of this inspection. It’s fantastic that the team here at Right at Home have been recognised for all the great work they do.

“They are truly inspirational and are always going the extra mile for our Clients. We are passionate and committed to providing personalised support and are delighted that this has been highlighted within this inspection.”


Source: Home Care Insight

Record breaking July for new business client leads

August 18, 2020

As people turn to accountants for advice and guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, TaxAssist Accountants registers its highest ever number of July new business client leads.

In the most turbulent of times, small business specialists TaxAssist Accountants have proved to be an essential hub for local business communities as a result of unsurpassed levels of support and communication.

With over 230 franchises across the UK looking after more than 76,000 clients, TaxAssist Accountants has seen its services in demand like never before.

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The Norwich-based Support Centre team is working tirelessly to ensure its franchisees have correct and up-to-date information to meet its network’s clients’ requests for help, and the timely advice and online and centralised email campaigns offered by TaxAssist Accountants during the pandemic have been very well received from clients who have praised the proactive help and advice offered.

James Mattam, Group Business Development Director at TaxAssist Accountants said: “July was an unprecedented month for new business client leads generated by the Support Centre, with over 800 qualified by our team of call handlers.

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“All of our accountants have been incredibly busy supporting their clients through the COVID-19 crisis, with grant applications, funding and furloughing claims and cash flow advice. As a result of the quality, responsive service our network has offered, we are receiving a huge number of new business enquiries and referrals from existing clients, happy to recommend TaxAssist’s services. We are also receiving calls from businesses looking to migrate to our network who are feeling unsupported by their current accountant in these challenging times.

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“All of our accountants are open for business and offer flexible ways to meet, either over the phone, via video consultation or safely in one of our shops or offices. We provide a full service offering to clients utilising the very latest online software solutions, taking the guesswork out of managing financial business records. We regularly hear back from clients that they enjoy the ease and clarity of the software, coupled with the personal, local service that our accountants provide.

“I’d encourage anyone wanting to find out more about TaxAssist’s services, or to request a free initial consultation to give the team a call on 0800 05 23 555.”

German Doner Kebab signs franchise deals for 30 shops in Saudi and North America

August 11, 2020

Glasgow-based fast food chain German Doner Kebab has signed up franchise partners to open 30 outlets in Saudi Arabia and Canada and is in talks over a similar deal in the US.

Ajlan Bin Ajlan Group becomes master franchisee in Saudi Arabia, with an agreement to open 100 stores in 10 years for the brand which markets doner kebabs as a gourmet snack.

Franchise partners have been signed in Canada’s Ontario and British Columbia provinces, while negotiations are under way to open outlets in New York’s Manhattan, New Jersey and Houston, Texas.

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

GDK, owned by Hero Brands, already has franchised stores in the UK, Sweden, Dubai, Abu-Dhabi, Oman and Bahrain. Its new partners have worked with brands including KFC, Starbucks and McDonalds.

Group franchise director global Jon Cullen said: “The interest and developments in recent months reflects our position as one of the world’s most exciting fast-casual brands.

“We have been building a number of new partnerships with experienced franchise investors during this time and plans are well on their way to open up a new region in the Middle East.

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“Our brand has truly disrupted the fast-casual space and has remained agile and responsive during what has been challenging trading conditions for the wider industry.”

Former United Wholesale cash and carry director Athif Sarwar bought the GDK brand through Hero Brands after discovering it on holiday in Dubai. The company has recruited executives from Taco Bell and TGI Fridays as it targets fast international growth.

GDK says it has received more than 300 inquiries from potential franchisees in recent months. Having continued to operate in partnership with Deliveroo during lockdown, it now employs more than 1000 people in the UK where it has opened 35 new restaurants in three years. It plans to open 350 franchise units over the next seven years. The firm says it has delivered 30,000 free meals to frontline NHS workers and vulnerable people.

Related: German Doner Kebab Franchise

Cullen added: “Our unique fast-casual dining experience and our experienced senior team brings a strong proposition and opportunity to accomplished franchisers, which is being reflected in the strategic partnerships we are developing across the globe.

“Our current partners are the epitome of what we look for and we continue to work closely with them to strengthen our partnerships and build the most exciting fast-casual brand of the future.”

By Hamish Burns

Source: Insider

Clip ‘n Climb franchises to benefit from rise in staycations after UK lockdown

August 10, 2020

Clip ‘n Climb, an international leader in the fun climbing market, is expecting a rise in UK staycations following the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Clip ‘n Climb franchise owners in the UK are likely to benefit from a rise staycations this summer, following the fact that many people have put their holiday plans on hold as a result of the pandemic.

The UK entered a coronavirus-related lockdown in March this year, and while restrictions are now being relaxed many will not be travelling abroad this summer. In fact, 45% of people in the UK are expected to holiday within the country in the next six months.

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To capitalise on this, business owners may decide to open a franchise under a quality, well-known leisure brand. This means they can attract customers quickly while enjoying the security and support of Clip ‘n Climb’s proven business model.

Compete turnkey business model

Clip ‘n Climb has over 80 centres in the UK, as well as more than 300 centres around the world. The franchise model is a complete turnkey leisure business, including design and installation for more than 40 climbing challenges for the whole family. Franchisees can also take advantage of full training and support, useful resources, equipment discounts, maintenance checks and marketing support.

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Vicky Coupe, Clip ‘n Climb franchise manager, says: “Following our reopening on July 25th, we are encouraged by the high number of bookings we’ve received by existing and new customers. It’s clear that more and more people across the UK are looking for new fun ways to spend their free time and with that, there’s the opportunity for new franchisees to benefit.”

Clip ‘n Climb centres in the UK have been open to the public once more since 25 July, with extra safety procedures such as social distancing, online bookings, contactless payments, PPE, smaller sessions and new hand sanitising stations. Many have been declared ‘Good to Go’ by visit England, confirming that they meet all the relevant health and safety guidelines.

Earlier this year, Clip ‘n Climb published the results of its global customer survey on attitudes to COVID-19, with the aim of helping operators plan for a safe reopening that takes into account their visitors’ needs.

Source: Blooloop