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Franchise Focus

Plans to expand

After launching five new offices in January and with plans to open 40 more during 2012, Plug and Play is rapidly expanding to become a leading web-design and digital-marketing agency


websites and online business solutions, as well as attracting new franchisees to the business. Peter says: “We’ve spent the last three years planning our strategy, and heavily investing in our technology and infrastructure. When you look at Plug and Play now, it’s an established and mature franchise that can really demonstrate fantastic return on investment for a franchisee and that’s what counts.” Peter continues: “One of the key investments for Plug and Play has been

Bruce Hazelton and Ben Neale, Plug and Play, Woking

director, Peter Richman, says: “We’ve really hit the nail on the head with our offering to mid-size businesses, constantly innovating and producing fantastic marketing and business systems.

A “Rolling out the franchise network is now

extremely easy because we have customers queuing up for a high-end, high-profit, low- cost product, finding new franchisees to help service them has been pretty straightforward – who wouldn’t want to be a part of a business like this?” There are several key reasons why Plug and Play is currently enjoying such huge growth, including end-customers buying

s one of the UK’s leading web-design agencies, Plug and Play has exploded into 2012 launching five new offices in the first five weeks of the year. Managing

“When you look at Plug and Play now, it’s an established and mature franchise that can really demonstrate fantastic return on investment for a franchisee”

developing the system that the whole business operates on – XEUS. The company produced the CRM [Customer Relationship Management] and ERP [Enterprise Resource Planning] product not only to enable Plug and Play to deliver huge operational efficiencies and economies of scale, but also as a product for sale. “It’s clear to see that there is a huge market for a custom web-based CRM in the SME marketplace, not because they don’t already exist, but because we have spent six years getting it right.

“Reviewing the business model it is clear to see that XEUS has been a fantastic product to bring to market, however Plug and Play still enjoys a huge amount of ‘bread-and-butter’ work in delivering mid-sized websites for SMEs. Most of our customers spend between £3,000 and £6,000 on a website, and with no physical

product to produce, the profit margins are extremely healthy.”

Peter says that Plug and Play runs a classic franchise model – centralising the complex, custom and expensive elements of production to achieve economies of scale and operational efficiencies, while at the same time reducing risk for the franchisees. This enables the franchisee to make plenty of profit to grow a business that can operate without them.

“One of the key things we wanted to achieve for the franchisee was building a business that could operate without them”, Peter says. “We have put the foundations in place to help our franchisees grow their businesses to employ graphic designers and account handlers. The reason for this is that only by having employees working for you can you earn profit from their time. Working by yourself, for yourself, isn’t a scalable business, or an asset you could sell – it’s a job, and we’re not selling jobs.” Starting a Plug and Play franchise is made much easier with the extremely comprehensive training provided during the handholding period of the initial start-up. Peter explains: “Most of our franchisees start from home for the first few months while they gain market traction, this keeps the costs low, and enables them to start generating profit much more quickly. “Once established they can then move into offices and start building their business with the help, support and ongoing guidance of Plug and Play centrally. Within a year or two they will be employing their own staff, who also benefit from our support, enabling the franchisee to either continue growing their business, open another Plug and Play franchise, or even take a back seat.” He adds: “The Plug and Play franchise is a fantastic offering that has no comparative competition in the marketplace. The business model itself is ideal for someone ambitious who really wants to achieve something for themselves. You don’t need any specific technical knowledge as our development team look after the complex delivery, so you just need to be outgoing, ambitious and self-motivated. “You’ll need around £20,000 to start a Plug and Play franchise – including buying a laptop, travel, etc – at least £10,000 of which will need to be your own cash investment.” n


WEBSITE: EMAIL: PHONE: 01483 276 699

CLASSIFICATION: Web design/internet/ management

May 2012 | | 43

Investment:Under £10k

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