Card Connection is the only organisation with finalists named in more than one category for the awards which recognise franchisees who have demonstrated exceptional business practice in their area of expertise.
“These awards see a completely revamped format this year with five new national categories replacing the previous regional set-up,” explains Michael Johnson, managing director, Card Connection. “It is a great achievement to reach the national shortlist of just two candidates for the Micro-Business of the Year Award and it is testament to Ron and Shirley’s hard work and dedication over the past 18 years during which they have been Card Connection franchisees. Martin Rolfe’s contribution of 20 years to the network has also been recognised as he is a finalist for the Long Serving Franchisee Award which is wonderful.”
As well as the national categories, the BFA will name an overall winner for the BFA HSBC Franchisee of the Year, chosen from the winners of the five categories, who will receive £10,000 courtesy of HSBC. Each of the category winners will receive a trophy and £1,000 from HSBC.
Ron and Shirley Maynard, who have just signed a further five year franchise contract with Card Connection, supply greeting cards and accessories in retail outlets on a ‘consignment’ basis. They also supply the display equipment free on loan, minimising the retailers’ costs and maximising their profits. This is one step beyond ‘sale or return’ as our retail customers don’t have to buy the stock initially; they only pay for what they sell.
“We run our micro-franchise business from home, distributing the greeting cards from a specially designed, built and double glazed cabin we have dubbed: ‘Shirley’s bungalow’, explains Ron Maynard. “Shirley who is partially sighted ‘picks and packs’ the greeting cards ready for me to deliver and merchandise in the retail outlets we supply. We started out supplying Card Connection’s greeting cards to just 80 retail stores. These days we work with almost 200 outlets! It is a great honour that Card Connection suggested we enter this award and to be recognised for our effort and successes over the past 18 years.”
“Although I am Card Connection’s longest standing franchisee, I do not run the largest geographical territory, yet mine is one of the most successful in the network,” confirms Martin Rolfe, franchisee for Norwich and Norfolk. “I have worked hard over the years to nurture relationships with retail customers and have built a solid franchise business over the long term. To be named as a national finalist for such a prestigious award is fantastic!”
The winners of the HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner held at the ICC in Birmingham on Thursday 3rd October.
Card Connection is part of UK Greetings, which is a subsidiary of the largest publicly owned greeting card publisher in the world and has limited vacancies for franchisees that are keen to run an expanding business. Suitable candidates would ideally have some management experience as, once established, and depending on the size of the territory, they could be expected to employ a small team, operate a small warehouse and have several liveried vans on the road.
Since the franchise network in the UK is complete, the available opportunities now consist of acquiring an already established territory from an existing franchisee. These vary in price according to their level of development, but start at £7k + Stock + Card Connection fee with earnings potential in excess of £50k per annum.
Territories currently available include: Southend-on-Sea, Plymouth, Nottingham/Grantham, Manchester, Cardiff, Southport/Wigan, Macclesfield/Buxton and Dundee/Kirkcaldy.
Photo: Martin Rolfe pictured left with van, and Ron and Shirley Maynard right