Conference to shine a light on the potential of multi-unit franchising
Tracy and Simon Vardy
The UK’s first Multi-unit Franchise Conference will launch at Birmingham’s NEC on 13 October, offering ambitious entrepreneurs specialist insights into the world of multi-unit franchising.
Struggling to find a good cup of coffee in the market town of Altrincham back in 2004, Simon Vardy began to investigate the coffee market. At the time, Costa Coffee was in the process of launching its UK franchise operation. After several meetings with the banks and Costa, Simon took his first step into the franchise sector.
Forming the company Sim Trava Holdings with his wife Tracy in 2004, the family firm’s first Costa store opened in Northwich, Cheshire, in autumn 2005. Jump forward to the present and Simon and Tracy are aiming to have their 34th store open by the end of the year, and Sim Trava has expanded into other franchise brands.
Simon and Tracy’s story is not uncommon, as some 29 per cent of franchisees now operate multiple franchise units. For many, the significant financial return that investment in multiple franchises can offer feeds the goal of multi-unit ownership from the outset, while others experience success with one or two franchises and decide to re-invest in more units based on their initial achievements. The Multi-unit Franchise Conference will serve both these audiences.
Sponsored by HSBC, the conference is exclusively for those aspiring to build their franchise portfolio beyond one or two holdings. Existing franchisees and those with the liquid capital to invest in multiple units from day one will have the opportunity to hear from industry experts and gather inspiration from successful multi-unit and multi-brand franchisees, including Simon of Sim Trava.
The conference programme will cover topics spanning the entire lifecycle of multi-unit franchising, including how to find and secure premises, managing the complexities of multi-unit finances, and planning an exit strategy.
Several experienced franchise portfolio owners will take part in a panel session to discuss how to build and grow a multi-unit and multi-brand collection of businesses.
Among the franchise veterans on the panel will be Raja Adil, managing director of The Adil Group. Raja employs in excess of 3,000 people across his 120 franchises spanning the entire UK and he will bring insights from over a decade of being a multi-franchisee of brands including KFC, Burger King and Costa.
Joining Raja and three other panel members, Safwan Adam is a young franchisee who now runs a multi-unit company across multiple brands. Recognised for his business acumen, he is a regular speaker at British Franchise Association (BFA) events where he aims to inspire budding entrepreneurs.
Bringing a further valuable perspective to the panel will be Euan Fraser, a managing consultant at AMO Consulting with over 20 years’ experience in the franchise industry.
Euan comments: “Multi-unit franchising allows franchisees to scale their operations efficiently across multiple sites with one or more brands, while franchisors benefit from building particularly strong partnerships with their multi-franchisees. It’s a win-win for both parties but, alongside the increased opportunity multi-unit franchising presents, there are some specific challenges to building a portfolio, which I look forward to exploring with the panel.”
Closing the conference programme is Andrew Brattesani, UK head of franchising at HSBC. Andrew comments: “We look forward to being part of a conference which will present real-world examples of the potential offered by multi-unit franchising, combined with sound advice from industry professionals. The number of multi-unit franchisees is growing as the business owner looks to expand their enterprise and capitalise on the success of the proven business model that sits behind the brand.”
Tracy Shah, director at Venture Marketing Group, organisers of the conference, summarises: “Attending the Multi-unit Franchise Conference will be time well-spent for anyone with their eye on the larger-prize that multi-unit franchising can offer. Delegates will benefit from insights from experienced and successful multi-unit and multi-brand franchisees, as well as receiving targeted advice from the professionals who facilitate this lucrative approach to business.”
Unmissable for those with aspirations for business growth, places are limited at this exclusive conference. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to book by 5th October to secure a seat and to take advantage of the early bird reduced ticket price of £35 plus VAT (thereafter £115).