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Housekeeping franchise hits £1.5m in five years

BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL, the house- keeping franchise, has reached a system- wide annual turnover of £1.5m since it was founded five years ago by Rachel Ray, an accountant and business consultant. The Manchester-based company has 30 franchises employing 130 women and is growing at an average of a franchise a month, which recruits 10-20 employees. In a month, the network vacuums 250,00 sq. ft. of flooring, irons 15,000

Focus on sectors to

develop the business ByDerrick Simpson QFP, Franchise Resales


here aren’t many franchisors who can say that they have not been

adversely affected by the last few years of economic turmoil. We have been through a sudden and prolonged recession and are only now starting to see a little easing of the pressure - though not in all sectors of the industry.

Some of our colleagues have

unfortunately succumbed to the downturn and many franchisors have lost franchisees during this difficult trading period. But enough of the doom and gloom.

We should learn from the past, not live in it. It is a general view we are now starting to trade in a different era.

It seems to me there is a paradigm shift in the way our businesses will have to operate going forward. This shift in the business environment requires us all to think and act differently if we are to be able to continue to grow and develop. It would not be sensible to maintain

● Rachel Ray

items, polishes 23,000 taps and 58,000 sq. metres of glass, and manages 8,000 hours of housekeeping.

The franchisees range from former sales managers to fashion buyers and, like Ray herself, policewomen. Ray (43), who has two daughters,

said: “My vision was always to support and empower women, and we see more and more women, who want a career but are not prepared to sacrifice their family for the sake of their job. “The fact that they can deliver an

impeccable service for our clients, earn a good salary running the franchise, managing their own team of professional housekeepers, and be there for their children after school has really been the secret of our success. “At a time when female unemployment

is at a 23 year high, we are bucking the trend by creating employment opportunities for women across the country.”

i 0845 241 0818

the way businesses have operated in the past if the market is looking for something else. If profits are squeezed through reduced income and rising prices surely action must be taken to operate differently.

Structured for sale I am also finding a shift in the thinking

of prospective franchisees looking at the various franchise offerings on the market today. The general gloomy spin put on business and the economy by the media can create a risk-averse attitude. This aversion to risk will focus potential franchisees interest on resale opportunities that have been structured and prepared for sale to make them an attractive alternate option to opening from scratch - an opportunity to be grasped and developed. Putting these two points together, it is

useful to take a step back from the day-to- day business and franchisors should look in detail at their network. Who are the stars you need to continue,

who are the ones that are becoming debtors and, in the cold light of day, will not or cannot change. Which franchisees “get it” and which don’t - who is the weakest link? It is quite possible to segment

36 April/May 2013

your network, even small networks, into sectors and focus differently on each of them, such as growth planning with a view to a

successful sale in a few years time, cash flow management and credit collection activity or encouraging their sale and exit. All of these actions will have a positive effect on a franchisor’s business. You don’t however have to do this

alone. There is a vast array of helpful and cost-effective experience available through outsourcing services. Many franchise support businesses

have also restructured the way in which they work to facilitate easier access to their services by franchisors. For example, at Franchise Resales we

have moved from the one-size fits all approach of 2007/08 and now offer a basket of ways franchisors are able to work with us. These include one-off resales for franchisees, acting as a retained outsourcing facility for fran- chisors, providing a consultancy service, and exit planning seminars. We have also expanded into a team

of seven delivering the proven and comprehensive end-to-end Franchise Resales process. Rather scarily the combined experience of the team in UK franchising comes to over 100 years, so our service is delivered from a position of knowledge and skill. Making the changes to the

organisations of both franchisors and franchisees that are required by the new business operating environment need not be painful or draconian. Those of us with grey hair, or no hair, have been through the change process before and are here to provide help and advice. Why not call/email us to see how we can

remove the stress, hassle and distraction of resale planning and execution.

i 01562 881 023

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