Access4Lofts has been shortlisted for the Emerging Franchisor of the Year Award at the bfa HSBC Franchise Awards, to be held at the Vox, Birmingham, on June 27.
As with all the best ideas, the Access4Lofts business concept is a simple one. They install loft hatches, loft ladders, boarding, lighting and insulation so that customers can utilise their loft space for storage, without the vast expense of a loft conversion.
“We learnt a lot from our pilot operation and we knew some significant improvements were in order. Our original marketing and admin system were not robust enough to cope with the growth we had planned. As we had all been involved in running an Access4Lofts business in the past, we had experienced firsthand the stresses and strains that running your own business brings” said CEO Graham Ormesher.
The company decided to tackle all the ‘pains’ a potential franchisee could face when running their business and implement a solution to each one! “We knew it was key to implement a strong infrastructure at the very start” explained Marketing Director Lindsay Brown.
Tim Brown, Operations Director explained “The most obvious pain to relieve was taking away the day to day stress of running your own business. Keeping on top of office admin and accounts. We had to find a way to ensure our franchisees had an easy to follow system that allowed them to provide a high level of service to their customers (such as sending out a quote within 24 hours of carrying out a survey), order stock, keep on top of accounts etc. There was no system that we could purchase ‘off the shelf’ that would have all the functionality we needed so we had to create our own!”
All three directors were keen to stress in their award nomination, that they were unaware of 2 things when they started working on developing this system 1) how hard it would be to get the system just right and 2) that this new system would become their unique selling point!
The awards evening is the flagship event in the franchising calendar and getting a nomination in itself is a major achievement, proving the business works ethically and in the best interests of franchisees and staff, fighting off many other companies vying for the accolade.
Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchising Association (bfa), congratulated the company:
“Access4Lofts presented an exceptionally strong business model and growth plan, especially when you consider it has only been franchising a few years. This is one of the many reasons why the company has made the shortlist.”
Andrew Brattesani, Head of Franchising, HSBC, said:
“Starting the franchise model in 2017, Access4Lofts has grown considerably and ethically in that time.
“With an array of innovative approaches presented as part of their nomination form, the company fully deserves its place as a nominee for the Emerging Franchisor category.”
They will go face-to-face against two other franchise units in June from sectors in domiciliary care and installations.