The race is now on to find the UK’s best franchise brands. The British Franchise Association (bfa) has just launched the 2016 bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year awards.
The awards are the highest honours available to any franchised business and they have been around for the past 27 years. They recognise established, as well as new, franchisors for their standards, commitment to ethics and positive impact on their franchisees’ businesses.
What are the benefits of winning? Finalists and winners get high-profile media coverage of their success and obviously are recognised throughout the sector for their business model.
Last year Agency Express took home top honours and the company’s managing director, Stephen Watson, commented: “To be named Franchisor of the Year in 2015 was an incredibly proud moment for the business and for me personally. Being able to share that honour among our small head office team and franchisees, the very people who made our award possible, has been truly special and we’re still benefitting from the promotional opportunities now.”
Accolades are available in five different categories:
bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year
Gold Silver and Bronze awards will be given to three brands that can demonstrate the highest standards of ethical franchising. Winners will showcase an engaged and productive network and an environment in which franchisees are excelling in their business performance.
Emerging Franchisor of the Year
Open to brands that took on their first franchisee within the last five years, this award recognises commitment to excellence from the earliest stages and how the planning, strategy and support structures they’ve put in place have set the business and its franchisees up for success.
Award for Innovation
Franchisors are known for continually evolving and improving their business and this category highlights those that have made a big difference to their network or even their model, whether through technology, systems or brilliant new strategies.
Franchisee Recruitment Award
Rewarding franchisors that can evidence impeccable standards in lead generation, franchisee selection and launch – and the franchisee performance to prove that they’re getting their recruitment right.
Award for Customer Focus
For those businesses that are obsessed with providing the highest levels of service, this category asks franchisors to show how their culture, systems, strategies and brand ethos result in franchisees that share their passion for going the extra mile for their clients.
Cathryn Hayes, bfa head of business support and a judge on the awards for many years, said: “We all know franchising is a diverse and vibrant sector and the awards offer one of the best opportunities to showcase that. Promoting ethical franchising is at the heart of the bfa’s work and highlighting the impressive feats of our finalists and winners is the perfect way to do just that.”
Andrew Brattesani, UK head of franchising for HSBC, commented: “Last year was my first Franchisor of the Year awards and pride was the biggest emotion experienced, both on the night and throughout the judging process – pride from the applicants but equally, pride in being involved as a judge and for HSBC being long-term supporters of these awards. I can’t wait to go through this rollercoaster again!”
Entries close on 22 February, with finalists named shortly after. Winners will be announced at a black-tie dinner on 23 June at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.
Full details on how to enter can be found on the bfa website: https://www.thebfa.org/franchise-awards/franchisor-awards.
Best of luck everybody!