With the recently revealed winners announced, we pay homage to the incredible achievements of the finalists
The British Franchise Association (bfa) is proud to showcase some of franchising’s best-performing franchise brands in 2022 across multiple areas of business. The past few years have presented our industry with challenges we could only have imagined, but franchising has continued to prove its resilience, allowing many businesses to rise above those challenges and continue to thrive.
Competition in this year’s awards has, as always, been fierce so this year’s finalists truly represent excellence in franchising. Entering an awards programme is not just about the possibility of winning a trophy. It encourages a brand to evaluate its business and gives them a perfect opportunity to reflect on the year’s successes, setbacks and achievements. The rigorous judging process for the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards is one built around the high standards at the heart of the bfa and our influence across the franchising industry. These stories of strength, resilience and triumph are shared here in this booklet so we can celebrate the amazing achievements of our members together!
- Pip Wilkins, CEO
Visit the full Best in Franchising article by following this link: https://tinyurl.com/bestinfranchising
Franchisor of the year finalist
“We’re delighted to be a finalist for the bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year Award. In light of recent events, the ActionCOACH team has come together to support, collaborate and make sure help is at hand. Through initiatives like our Big Friday Finish sponsored by Santander and gifting our 30X for business video series to Vodafone’s 400,000 business customers, over the last year, we’ve continued to help businesses emerge from pandemic challenges and contend with continuing economic trials. It’s an honour to be recognised for the support we give, structures we have in place and future plans for the business and our franchise partners,” - Julie Wagstaff, Managing Director of ActionCOACH UK.
According to ActionCOACH franchise partners, however, the biggest returns are the personal ‘thank you’ they receive from their clients. What’s more, the recognition they get for the difference they make in their local economy is also a massive bonus, as business growth fuels more jobs, time, security and financial freedom for families.
International superbrand winner & franchisee next generation finalist
Autosmart International was established in the Midlands in 1979 and is now the UK’s largest manufacturer of professional vehicle cleaning products to the trade.
They now have 160 showrooms and full coverage in the UK and Ireland and nearly 150 showrooms around the world in our various export markets including France, Sweden, Germany, Holland and Australia.
Chris Ashton – International sales director
“I’m absolutely thrilled that we have won the award for International Superbrand. This is testament to the hard work and continued success of our franchisees and employees, especially during the last few years that have seen Brexit, Covid and the situation in Ukraine put incredible pressures on our supply chain. Receiving this level of recognition from our peers in the Franchise Industry is a real honour.”
Autosmart also had franchisee Josh Jillians, shortlisted for the Next Generation Franchisee Award.
“In 2018 I became Autosmart’s youngest ever franchisee at just 24. I’d saved up some money from my six years in the IT industry to put a deposit down on a house and I used this combined with Autosmart’s Easy Start Loan Scheme to purchase the Maidstone franchise.
Just over four years later I’ve turned around an underperforming business which has helped me to achieve my personal goals including stepping on to the property ladder. I’m now reinvesting in the business with a new warehouse and showroom to drive yet further growth.
I am over the moon to be a bfa Finalist! My Business is growing from strength to strength and I was so surprised to be recognised by such a fantastic award.”
Franchisee community focus finalist
“Being a bfa awards finalist means so much – we are honoured! And, being a finalist in the Community Focus Franchisee Category is the icing on the cake for us and our team. It’s recognition for the work we do outside of our business. As business owners, it’s acknowledgement from the giant that is the bfa, that our vision and our projects are really having an impact on our community. It’s also about our whole team being recognised for the time and effort they put in too. Our team are unquestionably amazing and being finalists is a chance for the light to shine on them.
“We run events like our Memory Café and sponsor the Resource programme because we genuinely and sincerely want to help people improve their lives. Our Memory Cafés are places where those with cognitive impairment can come and enjoy time in their community. We see and hear singing and laughter and we feel the joy in those that attend.” said Emily & Richard Magrath.
Expense Reduction Analysts
International superbrand finalist
For more than two decades we have worked tirelessly to continuously improve the systems and support we provide to franchisees, so to be recognised for these endeavours is both rewarding and humbling.
We entered these awards because we’re passionate about the power of franchising and setting the benchmarks for others to follow. Franchising empowers people to take control of their lives, building a business they are proud to call their own, often to the benefit of local communities.
After opening for business in 1992, ERA has grown through franchising to a network of over 700 cost consultancy business owners across more than 40 countries. Our franchisees are the driving force behind ERA, generating a collegiate atmosphere that helps to push each of us forward together – allowing every franchisee to enjoy the benefits of operating their own business, with high-income potential, as part of an award-winning international brand.
Digital transformation finalist
Pitman Training merges heritage with digital excellence. It is fair to say that due to Pitman Training’s heritage, they are most widely recognised for their original provision of shorthand courses. With 180 years of training experience and its UK-wide provision through its franchise network, over the past 18 months, they have worked tirelessly to transform Pitman into a dynamic 21st-century training provider. So far, the results of its digital transformation have been incredible.
This work has been recognised by making the shortlist for this year’s bfa HSBC Digital Transformation Franchisor of the Year award. Because of the fantastic efforts from Pitman’s head office team, their franchise partners are in the best possible position to deliver exceptional service. Expanding their digital support team, lead-generating digital assets work alongside digital marketing campaigns to drive customers to training centres resulting in franchise partners saying these are the best marketing resources they have ever had.
Franchisor of the year silver winner & franchisee next generation finalist
Driver Hire is delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist for the prestigious bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year award.
Our business has been named a finalist in 14 of the last 17 years; however, this doesn’t mean we’re any less excited this year. It seems clear the quality and range of franchise businesses in the UK is improving, so we know that competition is strong.
Driver Hire regularly enters these awards for perhaps three main reasons:
Firstly, the award recognition helps Driver Hire reach an audience of potential business owners, who might not be aware of our business (helping new franchisees join, and existing franchisees sell). Secondly, it contributes to a feeling of pride across our network – it feels good to be part of an award-winning business. Thirdly, from a commercial perspective, we’re sure this external endorsement helps our network win business, attract candidates, and even help attract new employees.
Emerging franchisor winner & digital transformation finalist
With Tim’s extensive experience building the largest document storage business in Eastern Europe and Nigel’s 35 years in franchising, it was no surprise that the idea was born to create the “go-to brand” for storage back in 2017. This became the perfect opportunity to create the “Gold Standard” in franchising from the ground up. Key to this concept was creating a brand that epitomised low-cost and convenient service - naturally “easy” was the perfect fit.
Having secured the worldwide rights to easyStorage, the business was launched in 2018 in a dusty office in north London with two laptops, a mobile phone, and a kettle. The first customer, Eunice, was a steep learning curve for both Tim and Nigel, which was invaluable in establishing concept. It was clear that customers loved the service, brand and the value for money it represented, and the business started to grow, with each van following the tradition of being named after their first customer.
From the beginning we set ourselves extremely high standards, the British Franchise Association is the pillar that supported our ambition to become the Gold Standard in franchising. To be recognised with an Emerging Franchisor award is a testament to the hard work and dedication that has built the brand to date, putting us one step closer to that goal. The awards motivate our team to continually improve and to reach our ambitions, which is why it was important that we pit ourselves against our peers in the bfa HSBC Franchise Awards.
Guardian Angel Carers
New direction franchisee finalist
Guardian Angel Carers was set up 10 years ago by two-time Olympic sailor, Christina Handasyde Dick MBE, to provide outstanding, compassionate home care in the comfort of your own home.
Our home care services cater for many needs. Options range from assisting with light household duties to more specialised care related to conditions such as dementia, cancer, reduced mobility and frailty. We are a team of highly motivated people united by a desire to be an industry leader in Home Care. Knowledgeable, supportive and dedicated, we turn that vision into successful businesses.
International superbrand finalist
Little Kickers give your children a positive introduction to sport by teaching high-quality football skills in a friendly, pressure-free environment. It’s the perfect way to ignite an enthusiasm for sport that will stay with them for life.
Our focus is very much on fun - we provide a national network of informal yet professionally run training classes where enthusiastic boys and girls are given a helping hand to stand on their own two feet.
We teach the fundamentals of football in a fun learning environment through a series of games using our tried and tested structure. Children receive quarterly badges which highlight the key physical, cognitive and football skills they are exposed to in our programme.
Leadership & culture winner, HSBC best in class franchisee finalist
Home Instead is proud to have been recognised for not one, but two awards at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards. The company stood out in the Franchisor Leadership and Culture category and franchisee Suhail Rehman for the Best in Class Multi-Unit Leader award.
Director of business development at Home Instead, Ruth Brown commented: “We are thrilled to have been recognised in these awards for both our leadership as a franchisor and for an outstanding franchisee, Suhail. The franchise industry is incredibly supportive and we are delighted to be alongside such successful and hardworking franchise peers.
“I also know what we do at Home Instead is life-changing and life-affirming – not only for our clients and their families but for our franchisees too, who are inspired by the positive impact of the service they provide.”
Home Instead provides bespoke, high-quality homecare to older people in their homes. Each office is owned and managed by people who share the company vision and values and have a genuine desire to offer the very best care support for their clients.
Owning a franchise is a hugely rewarding career move and none more so than in the care sector and the opportunities to grow a successful and rewarding franchise with Home Instead are huge.
Franchisor of the year bronze winner, lifestyle franchisee & new direction franchisee finalists
Monkey Music classes first opened in 1993 in London but their popularity and demand across the UK led to the company being franchised in 1998.
Today, nearly 50 franchises operate at over 300 locations across the UK and every week more than 12,000 families attend our classes.
A Monkey Music franchise is an opportunity to work for yourself, whilst being supported by a team of specialists sharing an integrated approach to providing the best franchise support at Head Office – you will find them friendly and approachable too!
“To be a finalist in the bfa awards is a great feeling! For me, personally, as founder and CEO of Monkey Music, it’s recognition that the instinct I had 30 years ago has paid off. At that time, there was a gap in the market for babies and young children to learn through making music so I wrote an original curriculum and established a company that would give young families the opportunity to learn together whilst having fun.” – Angie Coates, founder of Monkey Music.
“I am delighted to be a finalist at this year’s bfa HSBC Franchise Awards. It feels amazing to receive recognition for the hard work, not only myself but my whole team put in to make Monkey Music Vale of Glamorgan & Bridgend and Monkey Music Cardiff a success. I hope it raises awareness of my Monkey Music journey over the past 15 years and inspires others to follow their dreams, work hard and reap the rewards. Dream, believe, achieve as they say!” – Emma Loyns, Monkey Music Franchisee
“I’m thrilled to be nominated for this award. Not only does it feel great to be recognised for my hard work but it also affirms to me that I definitely made the right decision in leaving the corporate world to set up my own business! This has enabled me to run a business about which I am extremely passionate, at the same time as giving me the lifestyle of flexible working and being my own boss that I craved.” – Sally Williamson, Monkey Music Franchisee.
New direction franchisee winner
“Before becoming a McDonald’s franchisee, I was working for global IT organisations – I had a successful career, but with kids came a need for more flexibility. I was still very ambitious, I wanted to develop and inspire people, but felt it was time to take charge of my destiny and spend more time with the boys.
After lots of research, I felt that McDonald’s stood out and I applied. After a rigorous selection process, I was invited to start the training programme to become a franchisee. I acquired my first restaurant in 2017 in Wembley.
Fast forward to now, it’s been an incredible journey so far. The business has grown from one to seven amazing restaurants across Wembley and Harrow in northwest London. Our annual turnover exceeds £25m and we employ 750+ people across the different communities.”
Franchisor of the year finalist
Puddle Ducks was founded in 2002 by Jo Stone and Tracy Townend after spotting a gap in the market for high-quality children’s swimming lessons.
Today we teach over 25,000 babies and children to swim, be safe and develop water confidence right across the country via a network of dedicated franchisees.
We have a very clear mission, vision and set of values that is at the heart of everything we do. Everyone who works with us and for the Puddle Ducks brand has a passion for swimming, an ambition for growth and a commitment to become experts in every aspect of their business.
Lifestyle franchisor of the year & lifestyle franchisee winner
Razzamataz Theatre Schools is a performing arts school franchise focused on excellence in training and creating amazing opportunities. Established in 2000 by Denise Hutton-Gosney, Razzamataz achieved national recognition in 2007 after Denise appeared on BBC’s Dragons’ Den and won investment from Duncan Bannantyne.
Today, Razzamataz is a multi-award-winning franchise with approximately 60 schools. Many of our franchisees run multiple schools and their expansion has enabled them to build a hugely rewarding and financially successful business. The Razzamataz journey can be from birth in our Tiny Tots class through being a successful business owner as a franchisee in your seventies. Razzamataz strives to build strong connections with industry experts in the world of performing arts. We regularly host masterclasses with the stars of stage and screen, bringing the world of show business to children living in the cities, suburbs, and rural locations. Razzamataz continually looks to the future and how to support the next generation of franchisees. Through our newly launched Training Platform, we believe that we are helping to shape the future of the theatre school industry and providing a clear route to business ownership. Denise continues to be instrumental in seeking out new opportunities for Razzamataz and ensuring the current franchisees have full support and access to training and mentorship. But the one thing that makes us unique is that when you join our network, you join our Razz Family. And like all families, we want to make sure everyone is having fun, everyone feels seen, everyone feels supported and everyone reaches their full potential. Being part of Razzamataz means making wonderful memories, whether that is performing at Disneyland Paris, on a West End stage or celebrating with us at one of our unique Conferences, we are immensely proud of what Razzamataz offers our franchisees, students, and local communities.
Leadership & culture franchisor finalist
We are incredibly proud, and very excited to be a finalist for the Leadership and Culture bfa HSBC award this year. The award is so important to us as we are passionate about building a positive culture within both our head office team and within our franchise network.
It’s fantastic for the head office team and the franchisees to be recognised for their hard work in building a positive environment and community to work in.
The well-being and support of our team and franchise partners alike is of fundamental importance to us. We are fully invested in continuing to build and grow a nurturing environment that encourages growth and success. We know that this area of the business will be ever-evolving, and we are committed to build upon our success so far.
Revive! AUto Innovations
Franchisor of the year gold winner and bfa star performer franchisee finalist
The bfa HSBC awards are undoubtedly the Oscars of franchising and we are very proud to have beeen awarded the Franchisor of the Year Gold Award this year, after winning Silver in 2020 and being shortlisted a number of times over the years.
We’ve always had big plans for Revive! although our ambitions seemed far away when we first launched with a handful of vans and staff. We now have 200 skilled technicians in vans, with an extensive national account programme, strong and consistent growth, and top ratings from our customers, franchisees and our staff.
Over the last few years, we have really focused on helping our franchisees through the pandemic, and then back to building their businesses and look after their customers. It has been a challenging time for everyone but we have come through, with our network intact and stronger than ever. Entering these bfa awards was a great opportunity to think about everything we do for our franchisee network, as we don’t always realise what we have achieved. Just writing our awards entry reminded us of all the fantastic things we do for our franchisees and the impact our support has on their businesses.
Leadership & culture franchisor finalist
“We are proud of the efforts and new initiatives we have implemented over the past year,” says Andy Knights, CEO. “Entering the leadership & culture category of the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards is another way of celebrating how we as a Franchise business are recognising and embracing the diverse backgrounds of the people who make up the Stagecoach community and how we all weave our ethos and guiding principles through our work.
“This year, we captured the essence of our business in a publication called “The Stagecoach Way” in collaboration with creative arts educators, Dr Ally Daubney and Alita Mills. This book has enabled us to share the philosophy, ethos and processes that define our work across the performing arts. It was created to ensure every Stagecoach student experiences the same fun and engaging environment wherever they are in the world and to empower our franchisees to run their schools with our shared Stagecoach culture and values.”
HSBC multi-unit leader franchisee winner
Queensway Coffee Houses (a subsidiary of family-run Queensway Group) was born seven years ago when we acquired 13 stores from Starbucks. I left my career in management consulting to join my family business and take on running a business for the first time. Today, I am proud to say that we are a trusted growth partner of Starbucks, operating 23 stores, employing over 300 people, with a strong pipeline to more than double our portfolio in the next two years.
When considering entering this award, I did so on behalf of everyone who has been a part of this journey and Queensway Coffee Houses’ success including my family, colleagues, mentors, suppliers, landlords, HSBC, and Starbucks. It’s not often that we stop to reflect on our achievements and enjoy showcasing them externally, applying for this award felt like a great opportunity to do just that!”
Digital transformation franchisor winner
Becoming a bfa HSBC Franchise Awards winner has been an exciting time for the Swimtime team. We are proud to be recognised for the digital transformation we undertook and it has had a very positive impact on our team.
Swimtime entered the Digital Transformation category to share our story and experience, to encourage other businesses to recognise that change, though painful at times, is necessary to take the business to the next level.
So what is our story? In 2016 Swimtime was an analogue business. The management of thousands of customers was driven by a slow, outdated platform giving customers limited flexibility and choice.
For the business to grow, morale to improve and profit margins to increase, something had to change! The digital transformation of Swimtime began in 2018 with the rollout of Swimcloud, a revolutionary management platform that digitises what was traditionally a labour-intensive business model.
The Purple House Clinic
Community focus franchisee finalist
We entered the bfa HSBC Franchise Awards Community Focus category, as we wished to highlight the meaningful difference we are making in people’s lives in Glasgow and the surrounding areas. Our clinic offers a wide range of services, helping people with mental health difficulties through the provision of specialised therapies and psychiatric services. We also provide expert diagnostic services for developmental disorders, including working in partnership with two NHS boards in Scotland to support these assessments.
Being a finalist means our hard work and dedication to creating an expert-led service is being recognised at a national level. That gives us enormous pride. The experience so far has been very positive, from the social media recognition to the warm panel reception when presenting and being interviewed. All of this has very much felt like a community experience in itself and made the process very enjoyable!
Franchisor of the year finalist
Since our launch in the UK in 2009, we have strived to be the best. Being named a finalist for the bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year Award is great recognition of that - both as a franchisor, but also our franchisees, who pour their hearts and souls into delivering the best-personalised tutoring and impacting the communities they serve.
Franchising, and the opportunities it provides to people from all walks of life, is exceptional. Nowhere else will you find a higher level of community and collaboration for the greater good – brands and individuals champion one another, share knowledge and experience and work tirelessly to achieve the very best results for their networks. This is an industry that, quite literally, changes lives. We are very proud to be a part of this community and members of the bfa, which is why this recognition means so much.
Emerging franchisor and leadership & culture finalist
We are absolutely delighted to be recognised in two categories of this year’s bfa HSBC Franchise Awards. The bfa represents the very best of franchised businesses and it is a huge honour to have been selected as amongst the best of the best. We are actively trying to improve our sector as a whole and franchising has enabled us to do that at scale much quicker and more passionately than we could ever have achieved with a different business structure.
The emerging franchisor finalist award is really important as it underlines the good work that my team have done in laying the foundations for our business. We entered lockdown number one in 2020 with three active franchise locations and we currently have 32 franchisees either live or going live. We have increased our support team from one person in 2020 to six full time franchise support professionals. We have also upgraded our membership from provisional list to associate member. Allowing us to celebrate this progress at the awards is an important chance to reflect on our brief history and plan for our continued growth. The support from the bfa has been essential in our journey so far. Most importantly the big idea that I had when I started the business in 2017 has become a movement for change. Franchisees are choosing to join us because our business model provides them with a commercial advantage.
Because we are a vision led business we have taken a value based approach to franchisee recruitment. Put simply our franchisees don’t join Visiting Angels unless they agree that our culture is the culture that they want to embed in their business. Our strength in our sector is our franchisees who are all seeking to change the care industry. Being recognised in the leadership and culture award is our reward for our franchisees’ faith in following our way of working.