Talented franchisees are the drivers behind the British franchising ecosystem’s continued success. That’s why it’s only right that they’re recognised for their hard work. Fortunately, that’s exactly what the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year award is all about. And the industry association has just announced the business owners who are competing to take home the top gong this year.
The overall UK Franchisee of the Year 2017 will be named from one of five category winners after being voted for by the audience at the awards ceremony on June 28. And the competition is going to be fierce. For instance, the finalists in the Female Franchisee of the Year category are Shweta Jhajharia, franchisee at ActionCOACH, the business-coaching franchise; Judy Wilson-Petch, franchisee at Greensleeves Lawn Care, the lawn-treatment franchise; Germain Ash, franchisee at Mac Tools, the tools franchise; and Tamsin Brewis, franchisee at Water Babies, the kids swimming lesson franchise.
As for franchisees who have gone the extra mile for their customers, they’re being recognised in the Customer Focus category. This year, the finalists are Donald McClymont, franchisee at Driver Hire, the staffing and recruitment franchise; Eliott Ray, franchisee at Dyno, the plumbing and heating franchise; and Olivia and Mel Landin, franchisees at O2, the digital communications franchise.
And given the growth of Britain’s care sector, it’s easy to see why two out of three nominees in the Young Franchisee of the Year category spend their days caring for others. Victoria Webber, franchisee at Bluebird Care, the care franchise, and Hannah Drury, franchisee at Caremark, also a care franchise, will square off against James Rygor, franchisee at Snap-On Tools, the tools franchise.
Franchisees come in all sizes. And recognizing this, the Microbusiness Award, will be given to a franchisee with a turnover below £100,000 The people nominated for this prestigious title are Ruth Morris, franchisee at Creation Station, the arts and crafts franchise; Neil Collis, franchisee at Ed’s Garden Maintenance, the gardening franchise; and John Baldacchino, franchisee at Wilkins Chimney Sweep, the chimney sweeping franchise.
The fifth and final category is the Franchisee Innovation Award, which is all about acknowledging the important role franchisees pay in improving their business. The two innovators nominated this year are Karl Fox, franchisee at Premier Sport, the franchise offering physical activity sessions for kids, and Suzanne and Gary Horton, franchisees at Puddle Ducks, the baby the kids swimming lesson franchise.
With the list of finalists brimming with talent, the judges will have their work cut out for them. “Judging is a hard task at the best of times, which only becomes harder every year when the difference in best in class is paper thin,” said Andrew Brattesani, UK head of franchising for HSBC. “Each highlights how focus and drive, when supplemented by the support of a franchisor, results in the growth of a sustainable and profitable business.”
All finalists will present their case to a panel of expert judges on May 16 and May 17. We wish all involved the best of luck.