This family-run business has been an integral part of the UK garden leisure sector since 1984.
Offering a one-stop shop service, it retails outdoor products such as hot tubs, swim spas, fitness pools, saunas, gazebos, garden buildings and wood-fired pizza ovens. Customers also benefit from the company’s 30 years’ experience in garden design and landscaping.
Award Leisure opened its first retail store - now the company’s flagship showroom - in Warwickshire in 1999. Two more outlets were subsequently opened in Hertfordshire and Lincoln.
Due to the increasing demand for its products and services (Award Leisure quotes 30 per cent growth year-on-year and around 6,000 customers from across the UK), the company decided to franchise its business in 2017.
Award Leisure has had Which? Trusted Trader status since 2011. In 2016, it won the Highest Business Growth prize at the Coast Spas Awards.
Award Leisure provides franchisees with a business blueprint based on the success it’s enjoyed in this particular retail sector for nearly four decades.
The company describes its franchise as a ‘turnkey operation’, meaning it provides franchisees with all the systems, processes and documentation required to start and grow a successful Award Leisure business.
This is a management franchise operating in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer sectors. You’ll be employing staff to undertake the day-to-day business tasks, such as servicing customers and installations.
Franchisees work out of high profile showrooms that are fitted out to the franchisor’s brand specification, providing an attractive space for Award Leisure’s range of products to be displayed. All franchisees benefit from a protected territory in which to trade.
As well as product sales, franchisees can earn an income from service contracts, the installation and maintenance of products sold and chemical and aromatherapy sales. Bricks and mortar and online sales are possible. Pricing of all products and services is set by the franchisor.
Award Leisure plans to award 50 UK franchises by the end of 2021.
What other costs are there to take into consideration?
Award Leisure charges a management fee of two per cent and a marketing fee of one per cent of a franchisee’s turnover.
Do I need any experience to become an Award Leisure franchisee?
No, as full initial and ongoing training is provided. However, management or sales experience is an advantage.
Franchisees must be able to demonstrate drive and a passion for running their own business. They should also have the ability to develop long-term business relationships.
Is an Award Leisure franchise a good investment?
Signs are positive for this franchise concept. Franchisees operate in a large, growing market that offers repeat business potential.
According to Award Leisure, the average value of a sale in 2016 was a not insignificant £10,000, and profit margins are around 40 per cent, as are conversion rates when it comes to upselling customers.
The company says franchisees can recoup the capital invested in their businesses in between 18 and 24 months.
It’s estimated that established franchise businesses can make pre-tax trading profits of over £100,000-per-annum.
Can a franchisee get help from Award Leisure with funding?
Yes, as the company has positive relationships with a number of banks and other sources of finance. Funds of up to 70 per cent of the start-ups costs are available to franchisees, subject to status.
Where in the UK is the Award Leisure franchise based?
The company’s head office is in Dordon, Warwickshire.
What training and support do Award Leisure franchisees receive?
A franchisee’s initial training takes place at Award Leisure’s UK headquarters and consists of a combination of one-to-one instruction and field-based, on the job training.
Initial training covers the company’s technical systems, retail strategy, sales, product range, software, admin, and accounts. Ongoing training is also provided, as is staff training in products, sales and customer service.
Franchisee support includes assistance with writing a business plan and raising funding; help with site selection and showroom fit-out; a comprehensive range of promotional materials; web presence; a franchise operations manual, which is a reference guide to how to run the business successfully; a showroom launch marketing campaign; identification and sourcing of new products; annual franchisee review; and site visits to maximise the profit potential of the showroom.
Also part of the franchise package is the rights to trade using the Award Leisure brand name and trademarks and access to the company’s full range of products.
What are the Award Leisure franchise’s terms of agreement and renewal?
The initial term of the franchise agreement is five years. Franchisees who wish to renew the agreement after this period can do so for no extra charge.
How in demand are the services provided by Award Leisure?
Very - the company launched its franchise model specifically so it could satisfy the increasing demand for its products and services.
As summers in the UK get warmer and dryer, and winters become milder, hot tubs, pizza ovens, barbeque areas and summer houses are becoming increasingly popular additions to many people’s gardens, which means the UK home leisure market is worth in the region of £950m a year, according to AMA Research.
The building and construction market research specialist has forecast that the sector will grow by three-to-four per cent annually.
How can I get started on setting up my own Award Leisure franchise?
Most franchisees attend an Award Leisure discovery day at the company’s head office and showroom.
These events are designed to give you as much information as possible about the company and the market within which it operates in order for you and the franchisor to decide if you could be good business partners.
An Award Leisure discovery day will provide you with an insight into what it’s like to be a franchisee, as well as an opportunity to meet head office staff and view the product range.
The next stage is to arrange a meeting with Award Leisure, where details of finances, financial models and territories are discussed.
Prospective franchisees then have to produce a business plan. Once approved, Award Leisure will make a formal offer to the candidate, who will be required to pay a deposit.
Once a site for the franchisee’s showroom is found and approved, the franchise agreement is signed and initial training commences. Once training is completed, it’s time to open for business.
To find out more or to request further information on franchising with Award Leisure, click the ‘Send Enquiry’ button now.
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