New franchisee ‘perfectly aligned to the Alchemy family and ethos’

March 16, 2021

Alchemy Virtual Assistant (VA) has welcomed Midlands-based Gemma McMillan to its network of virtual assistants for entrepreneurs and small enterprises, after she decided to pursue her business dreams during a Covid-19 lockdown.

 
With decades of experience in administration, sales, customer service and client liaison roles, McMillan felt it was the right time to leave her secure job at an international shipping firm to focus on her new venture: “Sure, there are lots challenges right now but there are also lots of opportunities as a result of Covid and Brexit, and many small businesses are thriving, especially those that are virtual,” said McMillan who had been following Alchemy VA’s founder Suzy Sanders online for a while before deciding to commit to become a franchisee.

McMillan continued: “I have been dreaming of working for myself for so long, but it was reading Suzy’s latest book, seeing all that Alchemy had achieved during the pandemic and more recently ‘e-meeting’ other franchisees on an online discovery discussion Suzy hosted that inspired me. It gave me the courage to finally take the leap, despite everything that is going on.

Related: Home Services Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Home Service Franchises?

“As this pandemic continues, more and more entrepreneurs and organisations are reviewing their operations and deciding to outsource their admin and other business support functions. So starting my VA business now makes complete sense and because I have chosen to set up my new venture with Alchemy’s support, backing, proven business model and ongoing training, I definitely don’t feel alone. Through Suzy and the wider team, I have been given the confidence and know-how to start my own credible VA company.

“My VA Hub is currently working on some really intricate and complicated tasks compiling graphs, data and reports. There are some creative tasks too – refreshing power points, branding, formatting training materials and social media management. My business is all about precision, delivering tangible value and building meaningful relationships.

“I have a great deal of experience across many corporate office and field based roles, and I am genuinely passionate about supporting independents and small businesses. I truly believe they are the life blood of our economy and that’s where I can make the most impact.”

Sanders added: “As a virtual business our VA support has always been driven by having the right people with the right skills, connections and experience, rather than who is in a specific geographical location. We are absolutely delighted to have Gemma strengthening our incredible team based here in the Midlands.

Related: Professional Services Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“As our other franchisees are continuing to thrive despite all the uncertainty, I am excited to welcome her. Gemma has a phenomenal amount of experience, insight and passion, and an abundance of readily transferable skills. She’s perfectly aligned to the Alchemy family and ethos too, and has joined us at just the right time as we attract more and more enquiries from all over the globe.

“I believe the Alchemy VA brand is reaching people as far as Australia and the U.S. because everyone is far more open to remote working now and is much more aware of tapping into a global talent pool. Hiring a virtual assistant partner through an established, family-run VA company is the ideal staffing solution for businesses in these turbulent times – it’s a reliable, efficient, adaptable and cost-effective solution.

Alchemy VA was founded by Sanders in Northamptonshire in 2016 to provide remote administration services, practical marketing and flexible PA support to sole traders, entrepreneurs, business owners and not-for-profit organisations.

Sanders launched the franchise model of her award-winning service in 2019 and Alchemy highlights that Sanders has been listed a finalist in the Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards 2020 for Business Woman of the Year and has also been named a finalist in the Northamptonshire SME Awards 2020 in the categories of Businesswoman of the Year and Lockdown Leader.

Source: Franchise World

Car salesmen switch career by investing in a two-region LockFit franchise

February 12, 2021

Two sports car salesmen from the West Midlands have switched careers by investing in a two-region locksmith franchise for Coventry and Warwick/Leamington Spa, reports LockFit.

 
Chris Hitches (31) and Lewis Moore (30), both from Knowle near Solihull, had previously worked for Porsche and BMW but despite the radical shift in career, the childhood friends say they have already achieved success.

Related: Home Services Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Home Service Franchises?

Hitches explaining their decision to join the franchise said: “The car industry had been going through some major changes which neither of us was able to control partly down to Covid-19, so we have been looking into various investment opportunities for a while.

“When we saw what LockFit was offering, we were both really keen. The start-up costs were very modest but in terms of training, support, and credibility, LockFit stood out a mile and it’s been fantastic right from day one.”

Related: Professional Services Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Established in 2018, LockFit is a 24-hour mobile locksmith service for both commercial and domestic customers. Its service includes assisting customers who have lost keys, locked themselves out or need to secure premises following a burglary. The company says it has sold nearly 50 franchise territories across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Related: Lockfit Franchise

Source: Franchise World

Success is in-store for easyStorage’s new franchisees with help from d&t

January 14, 2021

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

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.”

Related: Professional Services Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Discovery days

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

Self-storage company easyStorage launches franchise in Dorset

November 9, 2020

A SELF-storage company that brings “pods” to customers’ doors has welcomed its first franchisees based in Dorset.

Family and business partners Spencer Bowley, Anita Bowley and Connor Budny will run easyStorage, covering the county and its neighbours Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset.

 
easyStorage, part of a family of brands founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, promises affordable self-storage to individuals and businesses.

It brings ‘easyPods’ to customers’ doors and takes them away to a storage facility, where they can be stacked high and deep for maximum efficiency.

The company says the method saves space in depots and it can pass on the savings to customers.

Spencer and Anita Bowley have run other businesses in the area, while Spencer’s son Connor is a marketing graduate setting out on his first business venture.

Their storage facility is in Bournemouth but they plan to have other locations across their territory.

Nigel Dawson, franchise director and co-founder at easyStorage, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Spencer, Anita and Connor to our franchise offering in the UK and welcome them to the easyStorage team.

Related: Professional Services Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“They will be providing their customers in the south of England with affordable mobile storage from their base in Dorset and their ambition and drive is well-suited to the easyStorage brand.

“Our comprehensive training and investment in smart technology means they can really hit the ground running and we look forward to the launch of their business franchise.”

Mr Bowley said: “As multi-business owners we are really excited to start this new venture with a product, brand and USP (unique selling proposition) we really believe in.

“We heard about the opportunity through a business network we regularly meet with and it was too good not to pursue. It will be the first time my son, Connor, is part of the business and he has hit the ground running. We are a strong family business with the attention to detail and drive needed to make everything we do as successful as we can, and our new easyStorage venture will be no exception.”

By Darren Slade

Source: Bournemouth Echo

easyStorage welcomes its first franchisees in Scotland

October 13, 2020

easyStorage is pleased to welcome its first franchisees in Scotland, Tariq Din and Shkoor Anwar, who will expand the reach of easyStorage’s no-frills, mobile storage facility. The depot based at Glasgow, will serve both the public and commercial businesses.

 
easyStorage, part of the easy family of brands founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, promises affordable self-storage, up to half the price of traditional storage facilities with an online fixed price booking service. The company explains that unlike traditional self-storage, easyStorage brings easyPods to the customer’s door, where items are loaded onboard and transported to a secure facility.

By using easyPods, its storage depots are able to store more, as they can be stacked high and deep for maximum efficiency without wasting valuable real estate. With better space utilisation, easyStorage says it is then able to pass the savings it makes on to customers.

In addition, through easyStorage’s collection and return service, customers don’t have to do all the lifting and packing, resulting in a convenient service. Customers can also access their items whenever required at an easyStorage facility, with their easyPods transferred to a viewing area.

Prior to embarking on their venture, easyStorage says that the new franchisees have accumulated vast experience in sales and operations within retail, hospitality and business sectors, with multiple brands and FTSE companies and are the 14th franchisees to join the network.

Related: Professional Services Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Nigel Dawson, franchise director and co-founder of easyStorage, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Tariq and Shkoor as our newest franchisees and the first in Scotland to join the easyStorage team. They will be providing their customers in Glasgow with great customer service and a unique, well-priced storage solution.

“Our investment in technology, franchise support infrastructure, along with a well-known and trusted brand means that a franchise with easyStorage is able to launch from a position of strength.”

Din and Anwar’s easyStorage depot at Glasgow will be able to hold over 500 easyPods and will offer 24-hour security. Commenting on why they chose the franchise the pair said: “We were seeking a business model and brand that would have strong recognition and synergy with a product that would appeal to us and provide customers a great service.

“easyStorage fitted the bill; offering a business model that is stable and resilient, especially in the current climate and we are also delighted that we will be bringing easyStorage to Edinburgh next year.”

The company is looking to expand further and explains that its franchise is designed to offer a relatively low cost entry, with no requirement for franchisees to have their own warehouse initially, as it will provide storage facilities. easyStorage says that franchisees are given comprehensive training in business management and smart technology and have the chance to shadow existing franchisees.

Source: Franchise World

Pink Spaghetti celebrates first decade in business

November 25, 2019

A virtual PA business set up in Hartford and now based at Winnington Hall in Northwich has celebrated its tenth year in business.

Pink Spaghetti PA Services was established by friends Caroline Gowing and Vicky Matthews in 2009. The duo wanted to create a business that would allow them to achieve a better work-life balance.

 
Such was the popularity of their business which supported small business owners with secretarial, organisational and other tasks, such as social media, that the pair decided to franchise the business.

Speaking about this, Caroline said, “Our services were very much in demand in the local area and we felt that by following a franchise model we could extend the reach of what we were offering across the UK.”

The first franchise was sold in 2012, in Hampshire, and there are now 40 Pink Spaghettis in operation.

Picking up the story, Vicky said, “Both Caroline and I had corporate careers demanding long hours and business travel. It just didn’t fit with family life and so we set up Pink Spaghetti to allow us to take back control.

Related: Professional Services Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We knew that there would be many women who were caught in the same corporate trap; professionals who wanted a career but wanted it on their terms and who wanted to build their own business.

“A franchise business gives people the best of both worlds – independence but with the support of a proven business model and a network of like-minded individuals who become your work colleagues – without working in the same office!”

The business has collected a number of awards and are the only PA services company to feature in the Elite Franchise Top 100, a listing of the country’s leading franchise businesses. They were also named as winner of the Working Mums Franchise Award for Innovation 2018.

By Charlotte Gribbin

Source: BDaily

First Vehicle Finance Report Growth in new cars driven by move to eco-friendly vehicles

October 25, 2019

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that 343,255 new passenger cars were registered in September, the first month of the new ‘69’ number plates. Although the plate change usually means September is a strong month for sales, that figure represents a 1.3-percent increase on the previous September, which saw a little under 339,000 new cars registered.

 
Much of that increase was down to rising sales of petrol, electric and hybrid cars, although diesel sales continued to slump. Last month saw sales of diesel vehicles fall by more than 20 percent compared with the same month in 2018.

Related: Professional Services Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

It’s sales of electric cars that continue to grow rapidly. More than 7,700 electric vehicles were registered last month – more than twice as many as hit the roads last September. It’s impressive growth. Demand for electrified cars has surged in the past four years, with registrations increasing from around 3500 in 2013 to almost 160,000 by the end of 2018.

Electric vehicles still account for a tiny proportion of car sales, but that could soon change, because these upcoming models push the boundaries of performance, range and desirability…..

First Vehicle Finance can also report the same findings with growth in requests for electric car quotes, with a strong increase in the number of quotes requested for electric, hybrid and PHEV models. The Tesla 3 was the third most ordered model during August in the UK, which reflects the growing interest in this new market area and this has been reflected in the types of vehicles quoted on in the last quarter.

Richard Mayle, outlines ‘’The incentives that have been put in place by the Government in terms of Benefit in Kind rates for cars with zero and low emissions has certainly focused the minds of drivers and fleet managers alike.’’

The LCV [Light Commercial Vehicle] market is set to join this trend as new models are now being released in this field. Whether you like it or not, electric vehicles are going to play an increasingly important role in the UK van market as it evolves over the next few years. More and more van makers will be introducing e-vans as a result.

Related: First Vehicle Finance Franchise

Electric vans sales represent a tiny fraction of overall sales right now, but as concern about environmental pollution grows – especially in city centres – businesses and private buyers will come under increasing pressure to adopt e-mobility solutions. But don’t fret too much – electric vans are getting better all the time, and while there are compromises, there are also benefits, too.

As this new market sector develops, First Vehicle Finance are well set to take advantage with their strong range of finance facilities available, such as Business Contract Hire, Finance Lease, Hire Purchase etc and access to full fleet discounts across the manufacturers.

Contact them today to found out more about how you can start a business with First Vehicle Finance and be part of this growing market.

Pink Spaghetti Chester and North Wales wins national award

October 17, 2019

Michelle Collins, owner of Pink Spaghetti PA Services Chester and North Wales, has returned from the Approved Franchise Association Awards night triumphant, as the proud winner of the Franchisee of the Year award.

The AFA was set up in 2012 to support the rapidly growing UK Franchise Industry.

 
Their aim is to help grow and support the franchise industry in the UK by providing accreditation and membership to franchises of every size, and this year marked the inaugural annual conference and awards.

Michelle was thrilled to find out in July that she had been nominated for the Franchisee of the Year award, and travelled to Milton Keynes on Thursday, September 19 for the awards ceremony.

Michelle said: “I have been running Pink Spaghetti Chester & North Wales for the past five years, and have many happy customers who needed the 25th hour in the day my team and I provide.

“Providing an efficient service to satisfied customers is, of course, its own reward, but it’s always nice to be recognised for what you do, so I’m thrilled to be coming home with this award.”

Related: Professional Services Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Michelle is going to have to make a space in her trophy cabinet as she is no stranger to winning industry awards. She is a Small Business Saturday #SmallBiz100 Alumni, and is the current Pink Spaghetti Franchisee of the Year. She has also won the Pink Spaghetti ‘People’s Choice’ award, as she is always willing to share her expertise, and is highly regarded within the nationwide Pink Spaghetti network.

Michelle understands her strengths, and is a capable businesswoman who regularly seeks opportunities to develop both her own skills as well as those of her team.

These are some of the strengths which won her the award. A spokesman for the AFA said: “The standard of application was so high and many awards so close.”

By Sallie Ehlen

Source: Cheshire Live

Tony Harris gets off to a flying start

September 27, 2019

Before launching his Lockfit franchise in South Birmingham, Tony worked in telecoms, making long commutes every day around the country.

He first considered investing in a business in the locksmith industry after researching the locksmith industry.

“I’d spent practically all of my career working in telecoms but I’d grown increasingly tired of living the same day, every day. I decided to leave my job after finding out more about the locksmith industry. I wanted to start a business, but I was hesitant about some of the risks that were involved when going at it alone, so franchising seemed like a very good option.”

After researching franchising opportunities in the locksmith sector, Tony considered various providers.

Related: Home Services Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Home Service Franchises?

He was intrigued by the level of expertise in the Lockfit network and their professional and transparent approach to the market.

“I met with the lockfit team in Solihull and was very impressed by the founder, Kevin Russell, his ethos and his beliefs. I also met with two of the other directors Andy Moore and Eddy Ankrett and that really reinforced my belief that Lockfit was a brand that I wanted to be associated with.

“I launched Lockfit (Birmingham South) in May and my experience, so far, has been extremely positive. Buying a franchise has enabled me to achieve a better quality of life – I now spend a lot less time commuting! and more time with my family.

Related: Professional Services Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

In only 6 short months, Tony has established himself as one of the most well-respected locksmith providers in his area, and is looking at expanding into a second territory.

“It’s a real pleasure to work with people, like Kevin, who have a passion for the industry. With a growing national network and a reputation for excellence, Lockfit franchisees are leading providers of locksmith services.

We support every member of our growing network to build their own success and bring positive change to their local community.

If you are dreaming of owning your own business and being in charge of your own destiny, join our network of like-minded individuals.

Related: Lockfit Franchise

Fraser Brown promotes key member of franchising and commercial team

October 18, 2018

Nottingham-based law firm Fraser Brown Solicitors has announced the promotion of Fiona Boswell to partner.

Fiona, who is a BFA (British Franchise Association) qualified franchise professional and recommended lawyer for franchising in legal directories, joined Fraser Brown in 2015 and has more than 20 years’ experience in the industry.

As the head of franchising and commercial services at Fraser Brown, Fiona co-ordinates the franchise team and advises businesses on all legal aspects concerning franchising, including contracts, disputes, mediation, resales, international franchising, brand issues and more.

Fiona said: “It’s a privilege to be recognised by the firm for my commitment to our clients and the Fraser Brown team and I’m very much looking forward to continuing to develop the firm’s portfolio as a partner.

Related: Fraser Brown Head wins national franchise accolade

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with new and long-standing clients over the last few years on many varied cases, no two days are the same here and it is a fantastic company to work for. The knowledgeable team, growing company and clients create a very inspirational working environment.”

The announcement of Fiona’s promotion comes just four months after Fiona took home the service provider of the year award at the annual Encouraging Women into Franchising (EWIF) Awards.

Patrick Wood, managing partner at Fraser Brown, said: “Fiona is extremely passionate about franchising and has provided valuable support to many of our clients since she joined us in 2015. She is a great advocate for women in the franchising industry and a valuable asset to our team.

“This promotion is testament to her hard work and commitment to both the firm and our clients. I know she will thrive in her new role and I look forward to continuing to work with her in the future.”

Source: East Midlands Business LInk