The British Franchise Awards showcased first class examples of what sector excellence looks like
November 30 was a historic date in British Franchise Association history, as the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards streamed live to an audience of almost 1,000 people. If you’re considering becoming a franchisee, I hope some of the winner’s stories will provide the motivation you need to join our vibrant industry.
Focusing on the new blood entering the sector, judges were looking for a relatively young franchisee who had established a profitable franchise, but didn’t necessarily have a business background.
Showing tenacity and strength beyond his years, James Burke of ActionCOACH had an amazing story to share. The judges agreed his personal transformation and determination to have a positive impact on others was inspiring.
HSBC Best in Class Multi-Unit
This was a new award specifically for franchisees trading for a number of years who had built successful franchise empires. The four finalists employ well over 10,000 staff and together turned over more than £120 million for year ending 2019.
Leading with his heart and putting people first, category winner Raja Adil has instilled a family ethos at The Adil Group. This culture has had a trickle down effect and, as a result, all 4,000 employees put their customers and teams first too. This has fuelled robust growth, with individual teams delivering for each of the franchise brands operated by the company.
This award showcases franchisees who have taken over an existing franchise and built on its success. Siva Kugathas from ServiceMaster won this one by successfully taking his business from good to great.
He personally built relationships with customers and staff, meaning the franchise was able to continue to make an impact on people’s lives. Staff retention rates, net promoter scores and customer growth are all exceptional evidence of the transformation.
The award is for franchisees who have improved their work-life balance by investing in a franchise.
Judges were looking for people who demonstrated passion and enthusiasm for their business, while living a fulfilling life away from work.
Catherine Watmough of Monkey Music walked away with this accolade. The judges couldn’t ignore the fact she uses her talent and passion for music to the advantage of her loyal customers.
Highlighting the community heart of franchising, the judges wanted to see more than just bottom line results. The winner had to be a franchisee who understood what it means to be an integral part of their community - and there were some amazing finalists.
Aaron Doherty of Footlights took both the Local Focus and People’s Choice Award. He’s an inspiring entrepreneur who has not let a difficult start in life stop him from improving other people’s lives.
He uses his franchise to achieve social change through drama, provides valuable employment scholarships and has developed numerous ambassador and charity relationships to benefit his local area.
All in all, the evening was a roaring success and both finalists and winners were first class examples of what excellence looks like in UK franchising.
Emily Price is chief operating officer at the British Franchise Association.
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