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Turning great businesses into great franchises

Turning great businesses into great franchises

Platinum Wave offers expert consultancy, marketing and recruitment to strengthen your franchise. Find out more about the talented core team and how you’ll benefit from working with their combined expertise

Platinum Wave’s story began 10 years ago with a boozy lunch in a noisy pub on Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile… no wait, let’s back up a bit further. 20 (ish) years ago (in a different bar), two recent university graduates, while mulling over uninspiring job offers, decided they would one day combine forces and work for themselves with no one telling them what to do.

Soon after, Suzie McCafferty set up her own business selling refillable ink cartridges, subsequently turning it into a network of 70 franchised stores in six countries, while Andy McCarroll went to work in music publishing and tried to become a rock star at the weekends.

A lot happened over the next 10 years. Suzie exited her business, bought a Porsche, and took the helm of a large national recruitment agency franchise. Corporate life certainly had its perks after the gruelling 18-hour days as an international franchisor, but it didn’t bring Suzie the same sense of satisfaction, so she sold up again and launched Platinum Wave to help others follow in her footsteps turning great businesses into great franchises.

Andy, meanwhile, having long since decided that Radio 1’s loss was to be marketing’s gain, was very successfully putting his creative skills to better use helping hundreds of small independent retailers take on the big boys with clever campaigns and smart emerging technologies. The catch up at the aforementioned boozy lunch led the two friends to realise there were now quite a lot of synergies between their working lives. Perhaps the time had come to team up?

That was 2010. Today, Platinum Wave is a team of nine with a cabinet full of awards and an impressive client list. Suzie is CEO and principal consultant. Andy heads up the marketing team, and Steve (former banking high-flyer and successful property entrepreneur) leads the dynamite franchise and executive recruitment team. Platinum Wave’s USP, as a franchise consultancy firm, is that no matter what clients want help with, they get the benefit of the whole team’s experience. And we’ve all heard it said that teamwork makes the dream work…

What does platinum wave do?

In short, the team helps businesses successfully transition from an independent company to a national franchise. It’s where the answers are found, in order, to these crucially important questions: Can you franchise your business? Should you franchise your business? And, how do you franchise your business?

The client work starts with a feasibility study. The Platinum Wave team recommends how the franchise proposition should be structured, helps clients identify potential competitors (for both franchisees and customers), determines appropriate franchise fee structures, highlights the key legal and operational documents, processes and systems required to franchise, and produces franchisor projection models. This helps clients to structure their franchise start up packages. The consultancy also provides advice on brand protection, franchisee training and support programmes, operational processes, systems, supply chains, franchise territory mapping and franchisee profiling – and that’s by no means an exhaustive list! As Suzie likes to say: “Fail to plan, plan to fail”. The team also assists in producing an operation manual and franchise agreement (and yes, it really must be written by a British Franchise Associationaccredited solicitor!).

Franchise recruitment

There are some serious advantages to having Platinum Wave as a third-party recruitment resource. First, they are experts in both recruitment and marketing – two skills that are expensive to have on your payroll, especially in the early days. Second, recruitment is time-consuming – and since time is the most valuable resource, they save businesses a tonne of it. Third, they do this every day for lots of brands across different sectors and they see the broader picture of the industry as a whole – meaning they understand what prospective franchisees are looking for, where they look for it, and what they ultimately invest in.

Platinum Wave knows that not every potential franchisee has franchising on their radar, so some won’t be on portals or searching for opportunities on Google. So, the team helps clients to get creative and thinking about headhunting, advertising campaigns, PR and having some incredible marketing collateral that tells their business story and the amazing ways it can change people’s lives.

Steve has two dedicated head-hunters with decades of commercial recruitment experience on his team. This team is trusted by the likes of international mega-brands – Wendy’s, Ben & Jerry’s and German Doner Kebab – to find them the very best candidates, whether it’s master franchisees, area developers, multi-unit operators or even internal recruits for their franchise teams.

“We found Platinum Wave at just the right time,” says Fiona Creswell, head of franchise development at Anytime Fitness. “They created a bespoke solution to provide additional support and resource to our franchise recruitment and lead handling process. They are incredibly professional, diligent and a pleasure to deal with – I can highly recommend involving them at any stage of your franchise growth plans.”

The extras

Building franchises and recruiting franchisees is the mainstay of what Platinum Wave excels at, but it’s not all it does. Suzie is in hot demand as a business mentor – not surprising when you consider she’s been in the industry for over 20 years. In addition to Platinum Wave, she sits as a non-executive director on the board of Right at Home UK, is on-boarding director at HERO Brands (owners of German Doner Kebab and Island Poke), chaired the bfa’s regional forum in Scotland for over 10 years and is now regional chair for EWiF. Whether it’s in helping clients navigate international expansion, or getting the best from franchisees with individual or group training programs, Suzie has a wealth of knowledge and credibility that’s hard to match.

The future

COVID brought its own fair share of challenges, as it did for everyone, but Platinum Wave has never taken its foot off the gas, continuing to sell franchises, work on a steady stream of consultancy projects and placing people into new roles in franchising throughout the pandemic.

In 2022, Platinum Wave plans to expand in every division to increase capacity for more client work. The team will also look for ways to grow the Franchise Advisory Board initiative, which helped lots of people through tough times in the last year and a half. Other ambitions involve working to continue to strengthen relationships with people, brands and organisations like the bfa, EWiF and What Franchise, all of whom fly the flag every day for ethical franchising and help keep the UK franchise industry punching above its weight.

At a glance

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