Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is best known for creating easyJet in 1995 when he was just 28 years old. He has since developed and retained ownership of the ‘easy’ brand which has now been extended and licensed to many other sectors – all dedicated to offering consumers more value for less.
easyStorage is a member of the ‘easy’ family of brands and was founded in 2018 by Tim Slesinger (CEO) and Nigel Dawson (franchise director), offering the no-frills, well priced approach to storage. Its success is based on the fact that this rapidly growing industry, in its current form, can be inefficient and therefore more costly than it needs to be.
Unlike traditional self-storage, easyStorage brings easyPods to customers’ doors. Items are loaded there and then, the easyPods are closed using security seals and taken to an easyStorage secure storage facility.
And, unlike walk-in self-storage, easyStorage takes advantage of storing high in its warehouses, using cubic meters that are often otherwise wasted. Each pod is priced sensibly and on an ‘as needed’ basis. As a result, storage plans provide a cost-effective alternative to renting lockups or other storage space. Customers can still visit and access their items by booking an access visit at their local facility.
In September 2019, chartered accountants and business advisory experts d&t, were asked to work with potential new franchisees interested in joining easyStorage to help them with their business plans. Since then, easyStorage has now appointed d&t as its head office accountancy practice as well as providing the QuickBooks license and support for the whole franchise network.
Karolina Jankos, head of operations at d&t explains: “One of the services d&t offers is assistance from our expert advisors for business planning for franchisees. Although the franchisee does the basic ‘information gathering’ including research on competitors, SWOT and risk analysis, we help with evaluation and number crunching to ensure franchisees have a viable and workable plan particularly when it comes to the finances.
“We look at the projections for the next three years, profit and loss, cashflow and balance sheet. If franchisees need to raise finance to buy the business, then we build in loan repayments into the forecasts. It is important to be able to check projections against reality so now easyStorage has franchisees that have been trading long enough, we can use this data to ensure plans are realistic.”
Louise Harris, QFP, head of strategic partnerships at easyStorage confirms: “I worked with d&t before I joined easyStorage on another project and liked their approach. d&t staff now attend our franchise discovery days where possible to gain a deeper understanding of our business which helps when it comes to planning. When candidates are ready to proceed, we introduce them to d&t for assistance with the business planning aspect of their franchise application.
“easyStorage has only been running for a few years but we already have franchises in place across the UK. We are currently recruiting for new franchisees in strategic locations, particularly the Midlands and the North and in Cornwall. For this reason, we don’t have long trading histories to help with forecasts. Therefore, we supply the background and work to date trading history figures which are updated regularly along with data from our pilot franchises.”
Harris added: “There are many aspects that need to be worked into the forecasts, it maybe that a potential franchisee already works in the sector or a neighbouring territory is already doing well and has done extensive marketing, this can all influence how quickly a new franchisee will get off the ground. d&t works with the potential franchisees to factor in these points and develop a realistic, workable business plan.
“d&t has experts in tax planning, accountancy and financial planning so I know franchisees are in safe hands when we introduce them to the team to develop viable business plans for the future.”
Phil Archer, asset finance manager at d&t confirms: “2020 was certainly a challenging year in every respect. However, we have worked with more than half a dozen new easyStorage franchisees in the past 12 months, who have either opened or are set to open shortly. The detailed financial plans we have supplied to ensure forecasts and cashflows are realistic, have been used to go on to secure borrowing such as vehicle finance or other bank loans essential to start the franchise.”
Karolina Jankos, head of operations at d&t concludes: “It has been a pleasure working with the new franchisees for easyStorage so far and we have more business plans in the pipeline with other candidates. We are looking forward to seeing how those plans evolve into real life as new franchisees continue to join easyStorage in the future.”
Source: Franchise World