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Description: Join Expense Reduction Analysts and become a fully trained procurement consultant with the ability to win business and deliver huge savings to your clients. Opportunities: Franchises available throughout the UK. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Investment: £39,900. Financing Assistance: Yes, through a third party. Training Provided: Yes. Home-based: Yes. BFA Full Member: Yes.

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Expense Reduction Analysts

Expense Reduction Analysts

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BFA Full Member

“I can see that it is going to be an exciting time”

Simon Perkins is one of Expense Reduction Analysts’ newest – and youngest franchisees.

Based in Reigate, Surrey, and one of Expense Reduction Analysts’ younger franchisees, Simon brings with him a wealth of experience, and has started his own Cost, Purchase & Supplier management business, specialising in couriers.

He explains that joining the network was in some ways a natural progression from his previous corporate life: “I had been at UPS for ten years and I didn’t seem to be going anywhere. I was well paid, but I had always wanted to run my own business. At UPS, only about 30% of my time was spent on revenue-generating activities – the rest was reporting. I wanted to make better use of my time and my skills. Joining Expense Reduction Analysts was a great way to build on my strengths – my intimate knowledge of couriers – and to achieve this personal ambition.”

“Raising the finance through HSBC was remarkably straightforward and I started my training in July 2010. The induction course was good, although there are lots of training modules, with some being completed in February this year.”

“From day one, I picked up the phone and talked to people”

“That would be one of my pieces of advice to anyone who is looking at joining a franchise – don’t drag your heels, the moment those cheques stop coming in from your previous employer, the clock is ticking.

Expense Reduction Analysts-1It does take a little while to get known around any franchise network and to start being invited to work on projects with other franchisees. You really need to be outgoing, with a positive approach. From day one, I picked up the phone and started talking to people, and gradually I gained the awareness and trust that is so vital within our business.

“I now send out a quarterly newsletter about my specialisation. I send it out individually to interested parties – it takes time to do, but the good impression that this gives is worth the effort – and that keeps up the contact and keeps me in their mind.

“Going back to the training, I think that it should emphasise the difference in culture between corporate life and running your own small business. At UPS, basically I was told what to do; with Expense Reduction Analysts, it’s up to me – and that’s very different and, at first, rather bizarre and unsettling.

“My biggest challenge - and I didn’t even expect it.”

“Coping with this independence – and the initial isolation – was my biggest challenge. And I didn’t even expect it. I really doubted the decision I had made to join. I asked around and others told me that my reaction was absolutely normal. Now, thankfully, I am through it, and working alongside other franchisees has given me the excitement and social dimension that was lacking.

“Since joining, I have really learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that running your own business magnifies your strengths and your weaknesses. In paid employment, I was protected by the corporate ‘security blanket’ as it were. Now, I just have to get out there and do it. I am also far more prepared to work late or work at weekends, which I would have resented before. But I am now enjoying the freedom, the self-reliance and the decision-making.

“And I am starting to succeed. The snowball has started to roll. I paid myself for the first time in March 2011, and a long-standing business partner of mine is looking to join me in becoming a franchisee, and together I believe that we can really make a difference. He will be more on the Business Development side of the business, whereas I will continue in my role as an Analyst.”

“Having got through the initial doubts and learning curve, even after only about nine months, I can see that it is going to be an exciting time.”

What other consultants are saying about Simon:

“Simon has given the one of my clients a huge grin on his face that is going to take some time to fade.

I asked Simon to do the project because of his professional background, and he has done a fantastic job. His approach has been exemplary, with a very professional approach that has revealed to me not only a thorough understanding of his category, but, much more importantly, a great understanding of how to manage stakeholders and delight clients.

I think we would have made the client very happy with a 20% saving, but the 48% Simon has achieved has left me with one very happy client.”

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