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Q&A with franchising expert Nigel Toplis

on Thursday, 01 October 2020. Posted in Interviews

In this frank interview with Elite Franchise magazine, Nigel discusses the past, present and future of The Bardon Group.

Q&A with franchising expert Nigel Toplis

In this frank interview with Elite Franchise magazine, Nigel discusses the past, present and future of The Bardon Group.

There are few more experienced franchisors around than Nigel Toplis. A fellow of Lancaster University, Nigel is managing director of The Bardon Group, which run four franchise businesses – Recognition Express, Kall Kwik, Techclean and ComputerXplorers.

He is a former chairman of the British Franchise Association (BFA) and has written three books on the subject.

These are: Fifty Shades of Franchising; 60 Minute Guide to Franchising and Making sense of the 'F' word: A guide to buying your own franchise.

EF – Why did you pick the franchising business model and what are its benefits?

NT The Bardon Group runs four businesses. Since the days when I was managing director of Kall Kwik, many years ago, I have been an advocate of the franchise model. It is an exceptional way to grow a brand, create new businesses and to develop capital wealth for all involved.

EF – Not including Covid-19, what do you consider are the biggest challenges of franchising a business?

NT Without a doubt, you must recruit the right quality and right quantity of franchisees. To build a successful franchise business, you have to select people who are a good fit for the model. Not everybody is suited to running their own business. Some do not like following a system, some miss corporate life, while many simply don't appreciate the level of work required. People looking to take on a franchise with us should expect a rigorous interview process, because getting it wrong can prove very costly for everyone involved.

EF – How much will a franchise set me back?

NT Depending on the brand, the total cost varies from £19,500 to £50,000, plus VAT. However, with our high street brand Kall Kwik, franchisees will also need to pay for the shop fit.

EF – What will franchisees get for their money?

NT Most importantly franchisees will receive and benefit from the experience of the franchisor, together with its head office team. They get a proven business system with ongoing support that covers all the key business areas. These include marketing, sales, procurement, technical – where it is appropriate – and finance. And, of course, they get a licence to use and promote the brand.

EF – What about training and support?

NT In all of our brands we give training and provide on-going support. We are continually investing to ensure all the business systems are regularly updated. New collateral is added while innovative marketing programmes are frequently being developed, while others are revised and modernised. All of our franchisees have access to ongoing training, as required, and our head office business support team is always on hand to advise them on any aspect of running their business.

EF – What is your vision for the future of the franchise?

NT Two of our franchise brands have been going for 39 years, while Techclean is the ‘baby’ of the group at just over a year. However, as a brand, Techclean has been in existence since 1983. In all cases, we see the brands continuing to grow both in the number of franchisees and in their trading performance.

EF – What has been your proudest moment in business?

NT I’m very fortunate to have been associated with two major brands – Recognition Express and Kall Kwik. Both have won the coveted BFA Franchisor of the Year award. To win this prestigious award is testimony to two great brands, as well as the teams associated with them. I am very proud to lead them both.

This article comes courtesy of The Bardon Groupwhich run four franchise businesses – Recognition ExpressKall KwikTechclean and ComputerXplorers.

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