2 New Faces Serve up Cafe2U Coffee

The growth of the coffee business in the UK is showing no signs of decline as loyal and new customers queue up for their daily cup. Tony Unstead and Donna Morris are the latest two franchise partners to launch their Cafe2U franchises.

Donna Morris & Jon Skinner barista trainer

Donna Morris & Jon Skinner barista trainer

Cafe2U delivers fresh espresso coffee, hot chocolate and a range of snacks to non-traditional locations in over 50 franchise territories across the UK. Recognising a gap in the market with big growth potential coupled with longevity, these locations are mainly work places, business parks and industrial estates situated away from the high-street.

As with all Cafe2U franchise partners, Tony Unstead will run his exclusive High Wycombe and Marlow territory from August 2012. With a background in sales and construction, easing into the world of barista skills has been a surprisingly seamless transition for Tony.  Tony says: “It is a friendly, quality conscious and driven team dedicated to bringing one of the good things in life to as many people as possible.”

Cafe2U provide an industry-leading training model using their unique Acceleration Launch Programme, which accelerates your new business to higher turnover levels quickly. Within the Cafe2U network there are successful lifestyle franchise partners and high earners. You can choose to take a single van whilst some have now expanded into multi-van franchises across multi-territories.

Cafe2U hold awards for their franchise business model, as well as their excellent service levels and most recently won the Express Newspapers Brand Builder of the Year in the bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year 2012 awards.

Developing her territory in Motherwell, Donna Morris who recently vacated her role volunteering as a development service manager took the first step on the road to a new adventure and financial security by becoming a Cafe2U franchise partner. She cites that the “feeling of being part of larger team” was a key reason for joining the growing franchise.

A BBC feature reported in March 2012 that there are 70-million cups of coffee being sold each day and 1 in 10 adults visit a coffee outlet at least once every day as this sector continues to grow despite the economic climate. Cafe2U are capturing the mobile coffee market as coffee continues to be a key part of the British lifestyle.

To enquire about joining this exciting and growing franchise, please phone 0845 6444708 or visit www.cafe2u.co.uk to request more information.

Finding your perfect franchisees – Sally Anne Butters writes for The Franchise Magazine, April 2012

Many franchisors jump in allocating their franchise recruitment marketing budget without taking the time to really understand their ideal franchisee profile. Whether you have a brand new franchise opportunity or you have a 100-strong network, taking time out of your everyday workload to research and compile an accurate profile of what your perfect franchisees are like and how they behave during the franchise purchase journey is absolutely invaluable.

Build at least 3 perfect franchisee profiles for your franchise brand

There is never one simple perfect franchisee profile for any franchise brand so whilst a franchisor might think they know what they are looking for in a franchisee, these are likely to be general ideas rather than built on strong research and proof.

If you already have franchisees, select your top 10 performing franchisees and undertake some research to find out more about them; their skills, expectations, background, personal interests, media consumption and their journeys to purchasing your franchise.

If you don’t have any franchisees yet or if you think you don’t have enough to obtain an educated set of results, you can also extend your research to some of your hottest prospects who have been through a substantial amount of your recruitment process.

You will then be able to create at least 3 profiles of what your perfect franchisees look like.

What to do when you know who you are looking for

These profiles are not set in stone and some elements from profile 3 could be found with attributes from profile 2 (and so on) but getting them down on paper will give your franchise recruitment marketing strategy a focus. They can help to navigate around where to advertise and with what messages to make your franchise most attractive to people you already know could have great success in partnership with you.

If you uncover some similar traits then act on them within your recruitment process. Here are just a couple of examples:

Tailor your Discovery Days – if you have lots of franchisees who play golf then host a Discover Day at a golf club in a region where you wish to recruit;

Integrate case studies – prepare a bank of case studies of current franchisees so you have at least one that each of your perfect franchisee prospects can relate to.

Play to your strengths

There will also be some attributes that you know your franchisees must have to just get their franchise off the ground, some key elements that can’t be learnt and may not be found during a 1-1 meeting. Rosemary Bookkeeping is one business where franchisees must be good at networking to start building their client base; they must have the confidence to stand up and introduce themselves at a networking meeting or Chamber of Commerce breakfast club. Rosemary take the opportunity at their Discovery Days to run a mock networking exercise where they can see if the attendees have the basic skills and confidence that will stand them in good stead for business development. Think of what similar qualifying tests you could devise to help you identify if a prospect is perfect for you!

Many people may think that they are your perfect prospects and, for some mature brands such as O2 and McDonald’s, it may be a case of ruling out prospects, rather than qualifying them in, at the beginning of the recruitment process. They may request that prospects provide an evidence-based report on their suitability to be a franchisee and they can rule out those who cannot complete this task.

It’s up to you

The time you take in getting the basics right will pay dividends. Taking a couple of days to assess your perfect franchisee profiles every six months will end up saving you and your franchise recruitment team several hours each week in dealing with unsuitable candidates and give you reliable information on where to target your recruitment budget and with what primary messages.

Are you buying a business or a brand? – Sally Anne Butters writes for Making Money Magazine, January 2012

A brand is so much more than just a name and logo, for many people it’s a personality, a feeling that they get whenever they come across, purchase or interact with that company, product or service. That is why a strong brand is essential for anyone buying a franchise; any new business is a risk but the comfort of knowing what you are really getting into will set aside some of those start-up nerves.

Ask your Franchisor about how they manage their brand; all franchise opportunities should have brand guidelines to help with promotional literature, point of sale displays and so on but it is important that there is at least one person at head office assigned as a Brand Guardian.

In the best businesses, you can go to any branch of the company and get the same positive experience and this is where the brand buy-in is so strong that there isn’t just one Brand Guardian but every single member of staff takes on this role. This is so comforting to a prospective franchisee that it can prompt a decision to purchase and David Baker who purchased Driver Hire Kingston couldn’t agree more:

“Driver Hire seemed to be a rock steady brand and a well-established big business and that really gave me confidence. I also liked the idea of buying a business that was already up and running and part of network of around 100 offices. Everyone in the head office team was really enthusiastic and from this point on, Driver Hire were the only franchise in the running.”

Franchising gives companies the option to build their brand on a global level. Franchises such as The Athena Network, Cafe2U and FASTSIGNS are all global leaders in their marketplace. The Athena Network launched in Singapore this year after a strong few years in the UK whilst Cafe2U’s successful 10 years in Australia and 5 years in the UK prompted a launch in the USA this Summer as Australia’s Cafe2U MD, Derek Black explains:

“Consumers have been very welcoming of the mobile Cafe2U concept with one of our new American customers quoting: It’s even better than Starbucks!”

There is no doubt that Starbucks is a hugely successful and recognisable brand across the globe so how does a mobile coffee franchise like Cafe2U compete? They set themselves apart and make themselves memorable with brand differentiators – new locations, barista qualities, and an airhorn on their van playing the tune from the Godfather!

So what should you be looking for in a franchise when it comes to buying a brand that is well-established and support you to success or a younger franchise that has the potential to develop into a strong brand?

No.1 on your list is that you must be able to 100% agree with and emanate the company’s brand and ethos and the best way that you can get a feel for this is to spend some time with other franchisees and the head office team; a great way to do this is on a discovery day if the franchisor offers these.

Brands are also built on trust and just as a business’s customers need to trust them, so must someone buying a franchise. Trust fosters loyalty and a franchisor should always be open, communicative and ready to provide the information you require; being transparent starts off a strong relationship and will bring the right franchisees into the business which means you get off to the best start with your franchise and your franchisor.

In general, consumers value brands more than they are influenced by price because of the trust they have in the quality or standard of service so you should consider what is offered by the franchise opportunities that you are looking at in terms of their products and/or services. You can easily find out what their consumers think by searching online for Facebook pages, conversations on blogs or on trade websites.

Consumers are risk-averse and, of course, franchise searchers are too! Consumers will look for recommendations from friends, work colleagues or even strangers online before engaging with a new brand and you should do the same when researching a franchise purchase. There are also experts such as MatchPoint who can help match you to a franchise brand that most suits your skills and attributes if you want a free helping hand.

Finally, it is really important that you choose a brand that is ready to innovate as the marketplace changes and new technology comes along. Not all franchises will suit internet sales but all will benefit from an online presence for communicating with potential customers. Some will naturally have new product lines constantly in development like Mac Tools and others will have occasional updates as new design software makes work processes easier like the printing process at a FASTSIGNS franchise. What is imperative is that a franchisor can demonstrate to you that they have the flexibility to adapt and the skills to innovate to keep the business fresh, the turnover growing and the brand strong.


Care with a capital K – Kare Plus has their priorities right

This is a really exciting time for the healthcare industry. Established in 1989, Kare Plus is a recruitment agency that works within the healthcare market worth £Billions each year. Kare Plus franchisees manage the recruitment and placement of their workforce with the support of a head office team.

Kare Plus is committed to excellent customer service. Their franchisees employ a diverse team to help to provide the best possible care for people from all walks of life with various needs. “This is, and always will be, our main aim,” explains Steve Welsh, Managing Director at Kare Plus.

“The healthcare industry is estimated to be worth in excess of £27 Billion and is going through a series of ground-breaking changes. Government reforms mean that the market we work within has opened up hugely and the opportunities for our franchisees are brilliant as our business model operates across public, private, institutional and home healthcare services. With shocking new statistics from the Patients Association hailing only 1 in 7 care homes provide enough food and water for their residents, we are finding the demand for our home healthcare services is even stronger than ever.”

Kare Plus enables its franchisees to work across public and private sectors by maintaining the standards required for the major quality assurance associations and committees:

  • The Buying Solutions NHS framework enabling them to provide staffing solutions to NHS and private hospitals, Primary Care Trusts and clinics
  • The Care Quality Commission who regulate care provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations
  • The Recruitment & Employment Confederation are committed to raising standards and highlighting excellence throughout the recruitment industry and all REC Members must abide by the REC Code of Professional Practice
  • United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd (UKHCA) is the professional association of home care providers promoting high standards of care and providing representation with national and regional policy-makers and regulators.

The head office at Kare Plus lives and breaths a determination to provide the best quality care and customer service at every point of contact. This conviction spreads out through their network of franchisees and is why Kare Plus is getting a name for themselves in the market. “Our aim is to be the leading private healthcare provider in the UK,” explains Steve, “Our head office has already secured national contracts and has a proven process for council tendering. We have the know-how, the experience and the opportunities – all we need now is to grow with the right franchisees.”

“We currently have a network of 8 franchisees who all have some things in common, they are strong communicators and organisers who have great people management skills and are motivated to make a success of their businesses. Our training supports our franchisees in every aspect of the business but these core attributes are what we know will be a sound starting point.”

More and more private healthcare providers like Kare Plus are in demand and you could build your future with a Kare Plus franchise, enjoying excellent financial rewards and a high level of personal satisfaction, by providing a valuable service in your area. For more information visit: www.kareplus.com or call 0845 094 9288.

FASTSIGNS: Much More Than Signs and Graphics

FASTSIGNS® is the global leader in the sign and graphics industry with over 540 franchises worldwide. For years they have been known for producing eye-catching signage and graphics of the highest quality at sensible prices but the UK and US Franchisors are not prepared to leave it there!

FASTSIGNS Franchise Partners can now benefit from additional revenue streams as they can now offer the full visual communication solution for any business. They have always been able to provide a great range of external signage, vehicle graphics as well as exhibition and point of sales displays but now they can also provide a huge range of promotional gifts and small format printing.

FASTSIGNS have always enjoyed high retention rates on their customer database because they not only provide a quality product range but, more importantly, they provide expert consultation so that clients get a product that actually serves its purpose effectively. These new products and printing formats are an opportunity for up-selling to existing clients and open the door for a new raft of customers.

Franchise Partners also benefit from an unparalleled training and operating system  built on 25 years of experience in the signs and graphics sector. Training begins with a trip to the USA where Franchise Partners are first introduced to the FASTSIGNS proven sales model which combines national and local company contracts using a high sales volume and profit maximising planning. Knowing they have a sound financial model to follow and the backing on an internationally recognised brand gives the Franchise Partners the confidence to build their own successful business and the independence to make their mark on a local level.

UK Managing Director Garth Allison explains why FASTSIGNS continues to develop the business product and service portfolio: “We want to continue to be global leaders in this sector and that will never be achieved if we just rest on our laurels. Our research had shown that as customers gain trust in our visual communications solutions, they would prefer to continue this service with some of the smaller promotional products and literature delivered with our same quality at competitive prices.”

“The UK signage and graphics market is now worth in excess of £3billion and it is a great time to expand our UK franchise network to meet demand so we are looking for individuals who want to manage a team of staff, secure new business and have the skills and ambition to build a successful business.”

To find out more about the FASTSIGNS franchise or to book a place on one of our discovery days email garth.allison@fastsigns.com or call 0808 168 0145.