The power of 3 as Rosemary welcomes more franchisees

Fiona O'Mahony

Fiona O’Mahony

Coconut Creatives’ client Rosemary Bookkeeping continues to add strength in numbers to its franchise network as three more Franchise Partners complete their training. Chereen McCarthy, Fiona O’Mahony and Jon Lewis all launched their franchises in March and, having come from very different backgrounds, found their pre-launch training extremely useful.

Jon, Franchise Partner in Sutton Coldfield, after being out of civvy street for so long, felt that he would benefit the most out of the three from the training: “After 24 years’ service in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft engineer, I knew that I wanted to get into the business world. The opportunity to be my own boss really excites me. I hope that from humble beginnings I am able to grow a sustainable and successful business and hopefully reap the rewards that come with this.’’

The Rosemary Bookkeeping™ Franchise now has over 20 franchisees nationwide, servicing the SME market of over 4 million businesses in the UK. The franchise is based on a business concept that has been established and refined for over 11 years providing a unique bookkeeping system within a fully supported franchise package. Franchisees obtain huge flexibility with superb work-life balance potential.

Fiona, Franchise Partner in Redditch, is a qualified Accounting Technician and, with two children in full-time education, decided that now was the time to become her own boss: “With my experience and qualifications plus the support of the Rosemary Franchise, I feel confident that my business will flourish.”

The franchise is backed by four successful entrepreneur business women, Claire Watson-Bardot, Joanna Dennis, Sarah Cook and Lisa Curteis who have over 60 years of business and bookkeeping experience between them. As an Associate Member of the bfa Rosemary Bookkeeping has a proven ability to sustain a franchise network successfully. This is something Chereen, Franchise Partner in Chelmsford, was particularly interested in: “If you are looking to buy into a franchise, you need to ensure that you are completely committed to investing time and energy into it. What reassures me is that each of the Rosemary team are experts in their fields and can support me with friendly, professional advice to reach my goals.’’

This press release was featured on a variety of franchise related websites and also generated social media coverage. To find out how Coconut Creatives can help you generate great PR why not contact us!

Franchise expands to help others focus on making money

In any business, support and skills are crucial. Making the absolute most of your key skills and strengths as you start a business is reiterated again and again from Dragon’s Den presenters to Secret Millionaires alike. Stick to what you do best and get help with other vital business functions and you are much better primed for success.

Christina Gray, franchise partner Southampton

Christina Gray, franchise partner Southampton

No franchise understands this better than Rosemary Bookkeeping and this is being recognised by other franchisors that have started outsourcing their bookkeeping services! Around the country, Rosemary franchise partners are helping more and more franchisors (and their franchisees) with their bookkeeping, so that they can stick to doing what they do best: servicing their customers and winning new business for future growth.

Along with the other 4 million SME businesses in the UK that are required to keep bookkeeping records which later are used by an accountant to file for tax and VAT, franchisors and franchisees are no different. Yet, managing these transactions is often the biggest headache to franchised business owners and a task that is left at the bottom of the pile. After all, winning new business and looking after customers must come as a priority.

Keeping accurate financial records for any business owner can be a daunting task. Often, franchisee business owners must provide financial information for their franchise territory and there is often additional reporting required.  Franchisee business owners need a bookkeeping solution that understands this special relationship, which is why many are now turning to Rosemary Bookkeepers for the solution.

Christina Gray, Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise partner based in Southampton, already provides support to several franchisors: “The general reaction I have received working with other franchisors has been very positive. They value a tailor-made professional service th

at takes away the hassle of bookkeeping from their busy schedules.”

Rosemary Bookkeeping’s unique Rosemary System® is built around charging clients per transaction rather than per hour, so the franchisee or business owner can always clearly see what they are being charged for.

To meet demand from the growing number of franchisees and franchisors requesting Rosemary’s bookkeeping services, Rosemary Bookkeeping is now offering a dedicated support service to other franchisors. Lisa Curteis, director at Rosemary Bookkeeping says: “As a franchisor, I can fully appreciate the difficulty other franchisors experience going through the accounting process. With this dedicated service, we are aiming to save franchisors and franchisees time and money, so they can focus on making more money.”

Rosemary Bookkeeping’s franchise network continues to grow to meet demand for their expert services. Over the next few months, Rosemary Bookkeeping’s franchise network will expand to cover the Midlands and North of England as well as the established southern network of franchise partners. The latest to open is the Southport territory; open for business from late September 2012.

The Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise is based on a business concept that has been established and refined since 2002 and a franchise package focused on flexibility for its franchise partners with superb work/life balance potential.

Rosemary Bookkeeping is attending the National Franchise Exhibition on 5th & 6th October at the NEC and the Business Start Up Show 22nd & 23rd November in London. Request a free ticket for either event by emailing: or call 0845 862 0072.

How to Identify a Good Franchisor – Sarah Carlile writes for Making Money Magazine, December 2011

With around 850 franchise packages on offer in the UK alone, there is plenty of choice available. So how do you start your search? Sarah Carlile, Founder of Coconut Creatives, the franchise industry’s leading provider of marketing services for franchise recruitment, explains what you need to look out for.

Among the total packages on offer, around 350 are accredited by the British Franchise Association (bfa). The bfa is an excellent place to begin your search as well as the many online recruitment websites that list both bfa and non-bfa members. If you are at the beginning of your search and just thinking about your next move, websites such as or are a great place to start from the comfort of your own home! At some point you will need to create a shortlist of options and make the leap of faith, this feature will give you some pointers on where to look and what to look for.

There are lots of different places to look for a franchise:

  1. Approx. 30 franchise recruitment websites
  2. National franchise exhibitions
  3. National newspapers
  4. Regular regional exhibitions
  5. Business and franchise magazines

A good franchisor should be active in terms of promotion as this demonstrates a dedication to the continual expansion of the franchise network. More coverage will ultimately benefit you and the franchisee as you can draw from national accounts rather than just local. Clive’s EasyLearn Pop Music Schools and The Athena Network – Business Networking for Women, are two prime examples, both having recently branched out into the worldwide arena!

Start by making a list of what you want in terms of earnings, hours of work, place of work and style of work. You may plan to maximise on your current professional experience and look for a franchise in the industry you already work in or take the opportunity to set up a dream business by expanding on a much-loved hobby. Whatever your reasons or choices, it is vital to be clear with yourself at this stage as you can use your criteria as a measure to find your ideal franchise.

Once you have made contact with a franchisor they will typically send you their Franchise Prospectus. This document should detail all the basic information you need to see if they meet your required criteria, which will then help you to narrow your search. This will be a really interesting time for you as you will start to build relationships with different franchisors through email, phone calls and face-to-face meetings.

Take note on how the franchisor starts to build a relationship with you (are they prompt with their email replies and friendly on the phone?). This gives you a good indication of what it will be like if you join them as a franchisee.

In November 2011, baby swimming franchise Puddle Ducks was awarded Best Overall Franchise 2011 in the Smith & Henderson Best Franchise Awards. The awards were the first of their kind to review and judge franchisors based purely on the opinions and experiences of their own franchisees. There really can be no higher praise than that of your franchisees and Puddle Ducks are now in the enviable position of being confident that should any prospective franchisee talk to any of their network then they will get a positive response! During your research process, ask to speak to existing franchisees about their experiences so far, a good franchisor should always be happy to offer you the opportunity to do so although be prepared for this to be at the convenience of the franchisee and not yourself, after all, they are busy running a successful business.

Yet how do you really assess one franchise from another? With such a variety of franchise fees and different earning potentials on offer, it can be extremely difficult to compare franchise packages like for like. Do not discount franchises that you initially think could be outside your price range as there may be funding or loan structures available which then make it a viable option. Therefore it is best to check them against the following criteria:

  1. Return on investment
  2. Working hours
  3. Office or home-based
  4. Hands-on or management set-up
  5. Length of franchise agreement
  6. Training and support available
  7. Size of the existing franchise network
  8. How established the franchise is

Within this set of criteria, pay particular attention to the level of training and support available. A good franchisor will not only offer a comprehensive, in-depth initial training package, but also deliver continued support through a network of key individuals throughout the franchise period. Originally located primarily in Hemel Hempstead, the Rosemary Bookkeeping Franchise went from strength to strength in 2011 with a record year for both head office and its growing franchise network with consistent, above target growth throughout the UK. This was largely helped by the almost unrivalled training and development package offered to new franchise partners. The franchise has four Directors each specialising in a different, relevant sector for the business – Tax, Marketing, Operations and Training & Support. Franchisees have an initial training period of 10 working days training of which much is tailored to individual needs followed by a regular support and development programme, as well as access to the franchise network as a whole for advice and support.

“Our business has proven itself to our franchise network over the past 2 years and people seriously looking at buying a franchise have realised that our support is unparalleled in the industry,” explains Lisa Curteis, Franchise Recruitment Director for Rosemary Bookkeeping.

As well as the start-up package offered by the franchisor, it is always useful for your decision-making process to know the background and
experience of the key figures within the franchise. A good franchisor will have relevant, proven industry experience. FASTSIGNS, the global leader in the sign and graphics industry with over 540 franchises worldwide has over 25 years’ experience in the sector. Garth Allison, FASTSIGNS’ UK Managing Director, ran the FASTSIGNS Sheffield franchise centre for 9 years with his son Paul before joining head office and you can’t get more relevant experience than that!

Innovation is Key

Never has this been truer than in today’s competitive market. A good franchisor should always strive to bring the latest in technological and intellectual innovations to the table, ideally with a dedicated research and development function within the business. A franchisor who is both prepared to, and has the desire to, continually evolve in their specific sector is far more likely to be successful than those who choose to ignore industry advances. Mac Tools, a highly successful national franchisor based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, pride themselves on continually researching and providing their franchisees with the latest innovative tools, enabling them to offer the latest, most original products to their customers.

Above all, remember that whichever franchise you choose, you are entering into an agreement to work with the franchisor for a number of years. You must like and respect each other, as successful businesses are always underpinned by a trusting and professional working relationship. So spend some time with the franchisor and their head office team to see how the relationship builds and if this will be a mutually-beneficial alliance for your future.


Rosemary Bookkeeping: Success for Father & Daughter Team!

TJ and Steve, father and daughter team at Rosemary Bookkeeping

Coconut Creatives’ client Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise partners are working well as a family team:

TJ Sutherland and Steve Brown have run their Rosemary Bookkeeping franchise since September 2010. Their unusual business partnership has gone from strength to strength showing that family really can work together very successfully.

Last month, TJ and Steve generated £4,800 and they are still in their first year of trading AND both working part-time! They are working closely with Rosemary’s Marketing Director Sarah Cook who writes a specialised marketing plan for every new Franchise Partner that comes on-board.

“People looking for a franchise are mainly concerned about 2 things: how to earn money and win business. We follow the monthly marketing programme that has been written for us which, combined with our weekly marketing calls with Sarah, keeps us on track to earn more money and win more business,” explains Steve.

Established in 2002, this is a proven, solid and reliable bookkeeping business which has been further strengthened due to new Government initiatives. Franchise Partners work in the SME sector, where the Government is making plans to investigate up to 50,000 small businesses with potential £3K fines if they find their books in disorder. This means that small businesses have never been keener to work with a professional bookkeeping service like Rosemary.

  • 50% average net profit margins being achieved
  • Run by yourself or build into a management style business (projected earnings over £200K)
  • 2.16 Million Customers NEED this Service! According to Federation of Small Businesses
  • Tailored training allows delivery within 6 weeks
  • No office premises required – work from home
  • Benefit from 60 years collective industry experience
  • Week-by-week business development support even AFTER 5 days initial trainingNo former bookkeeping qualifications or experience necessary

“A low cost, high profit margin, service business, operated from home. You simply need to follow a system, backed up by Rosemary support,” Lisa Curteis, Rosemary Director.

Come and meet TJ and Steve at a monthly Rosemary Bookkeeping Discovery Day and see if this is a business you could do. The discovery day includes informal seminars in the morning, networking lunch and 1 to 1 workshops in the afternoon led by the Rosemary team: Claire Watson-Bardot, Joanna Dennis, Sarah Cook and Lisa Curteis.

It is a ‘no stone left unturned’ day for you to ask whatever questions you like in an open and informal environment where you’ll get a real taste of the Rosemary Culture and how their unrivalled support in the areas of Bookkeeping, Operations and IT, Training and Marketing will ensure your business success.

For more information email: or call 01442 800147.


Have a Coconut New Year’s Resolution

Make it your 2010 resolution to squeeze all the fabulous benefits out of Coconut Oil that you can!

Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconut harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Throughout the tropical world it has provided the primary source of fat in the diets of millions of people for generations. It has various applications in food, medicine, and industry.

At Coconut Creatives, we use the goodness of Coconuts to benefit businesses!  We have a good start to 2010 with many client successes to boast of:

The buildings insurance claims management company Spettro have just celebrated the launch of ther 30th franchise in Bristol managed by Susan Massey.

“Sally and Sarah from Coconut Creatives have become very much a part of our team and part of our company. They have exceeded our expectations in pushing Spettro forward in so many ways and we are truly delighted with the progress that we have seen. We whole heartedly recommend them, they are not only a delight to work with but extremely professional and knowledgeable in marketing and public relations,” Jenny Smith, Co-director, Spettro Ltd

Innovative children’s entertainment company, Go-Kart Party are also looking back on a successful 2009 as over just the summer months they have had 10 franchise sales across a wide range of regions.  Founded by business entrepeneur Gerry Ussher, Go-Kart Party has plans to continue its national growth to open up access to Go-Karting experiences for children:

“Demand for parties across the UK is growing due to sporting icons like Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button and parents wanting to give their children the best parties and experiences possible.”

Coconut Creatives has also been working with Janine Eaglestone, founder of Woodland Dogs Ltd, to launch the brand new Woodland Dogs franchise operation which allows fellow animal lovers to run a profitable business from home.  She is already welcoming her first franchisee!

Despite the economic unrest over the past 18 months and pressure on retailers, Myakka has proved that doing business ethically pays dividends. In line with increasing sales the furniture and home accessories company has increased the support they give to their suppliers and their community in India. The Directors also opted to support their local community in Somerset by commencing the creation of a £25k community fund through the Somerset Community Foundation. Read more

Rosemary Bookkeeping have taken on their first 2 franchisees just weeks after launching their franchise with the help of Coconut Creatives. They now have 3 (including the pilot) and training scheduled for next week.

“Sarah and the team at Coconut have been extremely helpful to us from the start, they are very knowledgeable in the world of franchise marketing and have supported us tremendously in getting our name out there in the marketplace. I would recommend Coconut to anyone who is looking to boost their marketing efforts.” Lisa Curteis

FitKid launched the LazyTown element to their franchise and have expanded; with many new franchisees, more full-time staff, a brand new online shop and Bournemouth and Poole Lottery funding initiatives, Fitkid has been able to increase its efforts to help combat the frightening statistics on UK childhood obesity.

“FitKid has been working with Coconut Creatives for over four years and the results have been fantastic. We would definitely recommend Coconut Creatives to those companies wanting to take their franchise and business to the next level,” Mrs Nicky Kay, Development Director, FitKid Ltd

For more information about Coconut Creatives, please click here to contact us, or call on 01963 360896