The Franchising Centre’s award-winning ‘next generation’ of advisers

From left: Dugan Aylen, Alan Wilkinson, Laura Harvey-Smith and Farrah Rose.

Brian Duckett, chairman of The Franchising Centre, Europe’s leading firm of franchise consultants and recruiters introduces the award-winning company’s new look and its ‘next generation’ of franchise advisers.

A few months ago I was about to write about awards, not just within the franchising community but business in general. My point was to be that there were just too many of them now, largely developed as a spurious PR exercise for some promotional medium or other.

There’s often very little formal judging and the very number of them is devaluing the whole idea, although they do provide excuses for some good nights out. It’s getting like school sports day, where everyone has to win something.

Then along came the inaugural BFA Affiliate and Supplier Awards. Created by a respected trade association and judged by people with long experience in the sector, this looked like something credible and worth winning so The Franchising Centre (TFC) decided to enter the Team of the Year award category.

The opportunity came at a timely moment because the last 18-months for TFC has been spent managing the transition to a new look, a new way of doing business and a new management team.

We took our own medicine and used the same Value Builder process, which we use with our franchisor clients when they are planning to grow to the next level or even preparing for exit.

The credit for the outcome, including winning the BFA Affiliate and Supplier Team of the Year Award, goes to our ‘next generation’ management team of Qualified Franchise Professionals, Alan Wilkinson, Dugan Aylen, Farrah Rose and Laura Harvey-Smith.

They have been through their own facilitated team development programme, involving DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance) profiling supported by individual and group coaching sessions, which has resulted in greatly improved communication and co-operation throughout the business.

TFC’s wider team of 15 UK-based franchise practitioners, all of whom are experts in their respective fields, not a random collection of jack-of-all-trades, has a combined experience of more than 300 years of practical franchise management.

They have taken part in regular CPD (Continuing Professional Development) meetings and contributed to our Engagement Multiplier initiative in order to ensure that we all “Visibly enjoy the process of working together whilst enabling our clients and ourselves to create and continually develop increasingly valuable businesses.”

Brand refresh
One of the biggest challenges in the last six months has been to modernise and refresh the TFC brand, the results of which were unveiled at the BFA conference, which received countless unsolicited comments of congratulation.

Our designer, Katie Snelling, explained the thinking behind the new logo: “We felt this was a great time to create a fresh, modern look that would meet the expectations of our potential and practising franchisor client base.

“The modernity in our new branding is reflective of the use of advanced technology, which now supports the work of our entire team. For years we’ve been referred to as TFC so, not wanting to be the cause of thumb-cramp in this digital world, we have embraced the abbreviation and even included it in the logo”.

Clients now experience a team-based approach to the lifetime development of their franchised networks, including the essential engagement of franchisees. Whilst each client has a ‘lead consultant’ that consultant is now more likely to introduce a specialist colleague at the appropriate time.

For example, Alan might be the development consultant but will introduce the franchisor to Dugan for franchisee recruitment, Farrah for international growth, or Laura when support team development becomes the priority.

When the time comes to take a franchise network to another country, we involve our local associates in more than 60 countries to find the appropriate master franchisee or developer.

I’ve always believed that a facilitated and inclusive team approach to managing change is the right way to achieve success. Not only have we done it for ourselves but TFC stands ready to enable developing, emerging, maturing or exiting franchisors to do the same.

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