Autosmart is Shortlisted for Prestigious National Business Award

19 June, 2018

Autosmart, a privately owned British manufacturer and franchisor that distributes their products via a network of 119 franchisees both in the UK and worldwide, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Franchisor of the Year category in the prestigious annual bfa HSBC Franchise Awards 2018.

Sarah M

Run by the British Franchise Association (bfa), these widely-respected awards recognise both franchisors and franchisees who have demonstrated outstanding business acumen, innovation and achievement.  Franchising is the granting of a licence by one person (the franchisor) to another (the franchisee), which entitles the franchisee to trade under the brand, taking advantage of the systems and support offered by the franchisor.

Autosmart joins five others on the shortlist for The Franchisor of the Year category, which celebrates and recognises franchisors demonstrating excellence in franchising – providing a strong infrastructure and support for its network, ensuring franchisees have the best environment to succeed and reach their full potential.

Autosmart has a mature network in the UK, with partnerships with 2/3 of the network for over 5 years and half of the network for over ten years. This maturity and experience has given Autosmart the time and opportunity to identify the challenges of each stage of the franchisee lifecycle, and to implement a tailored support package to ensure continued growth and success for all franchisees at every stage of their business.

A team of highly skilled and experienced Regional Business Managers (RBM), help identify the business opportunities and challenges that franchisees face on their business journey. They work with franchisees to establish clear objectives to help them meet their individual business and personal goals and set milestones to help them evaluate their progress. Each franchisee is at the centre of a bespoke support package, and the guidance, skills development and coaching that each franchisee receives is tailored to their own ambitions and business growth plans.

New franchisees are invited to regional meetings and to attend a franchisee finance course, run specifically for Autosmart by the team at Franchise Finance, so they are building their knowledge even before they begin their official induction training.  A key advantage of getting new franchisees involved in the activities of their region so early on, is that they begin to put down solid roots, building effective working relationships and sharing knowledge with their more experienced neighbouring franchisees and a strong relationship with their RBM as their trusted business advisor.

By the time a new franchisee starts trading, they are deeply embedded in the local Autosmart community, with a support plan tailored to their needs and circumstances, key milestones in place to help them measure success and ongoing coaching, so that they can evaluate progress along the way.

Additionally, in 2017, Autosmart launched Future Fit – helping franchisees plan an exit strategy for a future which includes the retirement they deserve.  They also launched SmartFit, a new tool that provides up to the minute tracking of how franchisees are progressing against their goals.  SmartFit monitors key performance indicators for the network, such as sales against plan, average order value and gross profit margin, so that at all times, franchisees have their fingers on the pulse of their business.

On being shortlisted, Martin Jeffers, UK Sales Director for Autosmart said,Autosmart are thrilled to be finalists in the prestigious Franchisor of the Year category.  Being shortlisted is an achievement in itself and is testament to the hard work of both staff and franchisees.”

Pip Wilkins, CEO of the bfa, said, “It’s over forty years since the bfa was launched specifically to develop ethical franchising in the UK, and I am proud of the way the sector has grown in that time, with the industry’s turnover exceeding £15bn – that’s 1% of the UK’s GDP!

“I am particularly delighted to see such a strong field of businesses in the Franchisor of the Year category as it demonstrates the breadth and depth of franchising in the country and the opportunities that exist for those wishing to start their own business, but within the safety and security of a recognised brand.  I would like to congratulate all six shortlisted finalists in this category and wish them the best of luck at the Awards ceremony at the ICC Birmingham on 28th of June!”

Andrew Brattesani, UK Head of Franchising for award sponsor HSBC, said, “HSBC is delighted to be once again supporting these franchise awards. Franchise businesses are often the hidden engine of business growth in the UK and it is essential to highlight the important contribution both large and small businesses make to our economy. It is also important to showcase to people that they can run their own businesses and if you don’t want to go it alone, or haven’t got a strong business idea of your own, you can still be successful and become your own boss.”

All the bfa HSBC Franchise Award category winners will be named at an exclusive black-tie ceremony held between day one and two of the bfa Annual Conference, on 28thJune 2018 at the ICC in Birmingham.

The six finalists for the Franchisor of the Year are:

  • Agency Express – a leading ‘For Sale’ board company, offering a daily service to over 50% of all UK estate agencies via a network of 114 franchisee operations
  • Autosmart – a privately owned British manufacturer and franchisor that distributes their products via a network of 119 franchisees both in the UK and worldwide.
  • Costa Coffee – the high street coffee chain with 67 franchisees
  • Driver Hire Nationwide – a national specialist provider of temporary and permanent transport and logistics staff, with a total of 102 offices, from Inverness to Plymouth
  • McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd – the fast food restaurant chain with 167 franchisees
  • TaxAssist Accountants – through 201 franchised locations in the UK it provides a wide range of services to its clients who are mainly small businesses.

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