Overview of Franchising

Business franchising became really popular in America after the second world war as a method of expanding successful businesses quickly across the States to take advantage of the post-war baby boom and the subsequent surge in demand for branded products and services.

In the late 70s it “crossed the pond” into the UK and following the establishment of The British Franchise Association in 1978 became an increasingly popular business method here as well with some well-known brands such as Wimpy, KFC, Service Master, and Prontaprint.

Franchising is based on a relationship between the original business developer and owner (the franchisor) and the local business owner and operator (the franchisee). The Franchisor develops and maintains a successful way of running a local business using a strong brand and then licenses the rights to operate that business in other geographical areas using the same brand to a network of local business owners known as franchisees. Whilst there is strong interdependency between the two parties, Franchisors and Franchisees are separate legal entities that work closely together during the term of the franchise relationship. The essence of franchising is that after developing the original successful business model the franchisor continues to develop and provide central support services to its network of franchisees enabling the franchisees to focus on delivering great local services to its customers following the business methodology developed by the Franchisor and detailed in the Franchise Operating Manual.

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Find out more about Poppies by downloading our franchise brochure

Poppies Domestic Cleaning Services

Why Franchising Is A Popular Option For Starting Your Own Business

This business relationship is detailed in the franchise agreement – this is the legal agreement entered into between two legally independent parties which gives a person (franchisee) the right to trade in a designated area under the trademark and using the business model developed by the franchisor. The franchisor provides the use of the brand, business systems and business know how plus training and continual support and guidance to the franchisee. The franchisee uses the system developed by the franchisor and receives ongoing business support in exchange for the payment of initial and ongoing franchise fees.

Franchising is now a very popular way to start a business and the UK franchise sector continues to grow and is a major contributor to the UK economy. The 2018 British Franchise Association and NatWest Bank survey identified the following:

  • Total franchise sector turnover – £17.2bn (up £2.1bn since 2015)
  • People employed by the industry – 710,000 (up 89,000 since 2015)
  • Number of franchise units – 48,600 (up 4,400 since 2015)
  • There are 935 franchise systems in operations (and this number is growing)
  • 18% of all franchisees are under 30 years old
  • 93% of all franchisees are profitable (and some that aren’t are new and so still moving towards this)
  • 60% of franchise units have a turnover of over £250,000
  • 37% of all new franchisees are women
  • 30% of franchisees own multiple franchise units
  • 80% of franchise networks are managed by the owner of the franchise model

The BFA survey has shown that a proven franchise massively reduces the risk of business failure with less than 3% of franchisees failing and over 90% profitable. Franchisees of good franchise systems also receive extensive support from the banks who all have specialist franchise units designed to provide finance to franchisees making it much easier to access finance for a new franchisee to start up in business. We’re pleased to say that the Poppies franchise ticks both boxes – after 40 years we’ve got a proven business model and we have strong working relationships with a number of the high street banks franchise units to support our new franchisees if they need finance.

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Why not give us a call to discuss our franchising opportunities

The decision to franchise Poppies was taken in the 1980s by Sue Rorstad – the original founder and business owner. After establishing a successful domestic cleaning business in the north-east of England Sue had the vision to expand the business across the UK and was advised that franchising was the best option to pursue.

The essence of the Poppies franchise is that we work together and our roles complement each other with the franchisor providing the brand and proven model supported by a comprehensive suite of “back office” systems and support services (customer management system, accounts and payroll, HR, digital marketing, central brand development, new service development) plus ongoing franchisee training and business development support to enable the franchisee business owner to focus on providing high quality services within their franchise area to build and operate a successful business and maximise the income and profit potential for themselves and financial security to their families and the families of their members of staff.

Domestic Cleaning Services
Poppies Domestic Cleaning Services

Franchise Business Benefits

You don’t need to have experience in running a business to be a successful Poppies franchisee. The Poppies franchise provides you with all of the tools and support that you need to launch and develop a successful domestic cleaning business which brings real benefits to you as a franchisee business owner including:

Proven Business Model: A Poppies franchise is based upon a proven and successful business model, so the chances of success are much, much higher when you become a Poppies franchisee in comparison to starting your own business from scratch.

Business Systems: Poppies has developed and continues to maintain the central support systems (IT, website, social media, book keeping, marketing, recruitment) required by our franchisees to run the business successfully enabling the franchisees to focus on the implementation of the business at local level.

Training and Support: With a Poppies franchises you don’t need to have a background in the sector as the franchisors training and support structure will enable you to develop the skills and confidence that you need to run a successful franchise.  

Start Up Package: All new Poppies franchisees receive a comprehensive induction training programme covering all aspects of running a Poppies business and including time at our central training centre followed up by a period of practical training in an existing franchise area with an established franchisee.

Ongoing Business Training and Support: All of our franchisees benefit from ongoing training and business support to enable them to develop the skills required to develop and grow their businesses. This includes:

  • Poppies Training Academy (online training resources for franchisees and staff)
  • Franchisee Mentor
  • Specialist Business Skills Training
  • Business Coaching Support
  • Business Planning Support
  • Regional Franchisee Meetings
  • National conference
  • Social Media and Digital Marketing Training

Increased Chance of Business Success: Failure rates for franchises remain very low, with fewer than  1% per year closing due to commercial failure. (Source Nat West BFA Franchise Survey 2018)

Increased Profitability: The Nat West BFA Franchise survey results showed that 93% of franchisees reported that their businesses were profitable with over two-thirds of franchised units that had been running for five years or more reporting being either quite or highly profitable.

Quality Services and Quality Jobs: Because of the dedication and commitment of our franchisees as owners of the local businesses a Poppies franchise delivers high-quality services to its customers and valuable employment opportunities to its staff.

Easier Access to Capital: The Banks like franchising and as a result of the lower failure rates involved have established specialist Franchise Units that work with new franchisees to make access to capital much easier than for most small business start-ups. Poppies has established working relationships with several of the banks franchise units if bank finance is required.

Faster Growth: Franchising is sometimes referred to as an “easier” way to start a business. It’s easier because the proven model will enable you to launch and develop your business at a much faster rate than you could as an independent business owner saving you time and money.

Use of the Brand: As a business that has been operating for over 40 years there is a lot of brand value in the Poppies name benefiting our existing franchisees and new franchise owners.

Marketing Systems: As a Poppies franchisee you don’t need to reinvest the wheel and waste money on marketing and advertising trying ideas that don’t work. Our business model has budgeted amounts for marketing and staff recruitment, and we know the techniques and methods that work to enable you to maximise the commercial opportunity in your franchise area.

Customer Loyalty: Poppies customers really do love the service that our franchisees provide. A recent customer survey carried out by an independent marketing and branding agency came up with the amazing results below:

When asked “On the whole, how satisfied are you with the service you receive from Poppies?” 9 out of 10 Poppies customers are “very satisfied”

9 out of 10 Poppies customers would “recommend us to friends or family”

We are also delighted that from the client base contacted we received a huge response rate of 19% (205 clients) further demonstrating the strength of our relationships Selling your business: Nothing lasts for ever and when your time as a Poppies franchisee reaches an end we can help you either pass the business onto a family member or prepare it for a sale and enable you to benefit from the capital asset that you have worked hard to develop. Several of our franchises are now run by second generation franchisees and a number have sold for a very attractive capital sum.

Source – the above stats are taken from 2018 Nat West/BFA Franchising Survey

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What does the future look like?

The first Poppies franchise was piloted in 1983, launched in 1984 and remains open. Today, the 22-stong franchise network cleans over 6000 homes every month across the length and breadth of the UK and boasts an impressive turnover of more than £5million. As franchisor, Chris is looking to break the mould and support both lifestyle, single and multi-territory ‘empire-builder’ options to meet demand.

Poppies has always had a strong team culture – the business has to work for everyone – franchisees, staff and clients in order to continue to be successful – and in this ever changing world that we live in there’s an increasing use of technology to achieve this. Our business systems have been developed to ensure that our business administration is automated and efficient to enable our franchisees to concentrate on building their business, not doing paperwork. We’ve embraced technology in every area including:

Domestic Cleaning Services
Poppies Domestic Cleaning Services
  • A new ops system provides app-based access for staff to see their schedules, to receive messages from client or office, always to have access to current work instructions as well as to be able to submit confirm their timesheets, mileage and expenses claims and to message the office. This bespoke system is fully GDPR compliant and soon will be able to leverage GPS technology to help improve timing accuracy and enable greater safety of lone working staff.
  • Our ops system will also drive a client app – allowing every Poppies client to view their upcoming schedules, amend those as appropriate, communicate directly with their local franchise office and be confident that all messages and requests are logged and dealt with.

So, the Poppies franchise offers innovative business systems, a customised technology platform and an intricate support infrastructure to benefit new franchisees as they are welcomed into the fold. Poppies have firmly planted themselves in the 21st century with a fresh new look. “We may be approaching our 40th birthday and be the oldest cleaning franchise in the UK, but we’re every inch the modern, professional brand,” says Chris. The refreshed Poppies branding, whilst still instantly recognisable thanks to its vibrant red blooms, now reflects the prestige and heritage of the company. Franchisees old and new also receive the benefits of an updated website, marketing collateral and a social media presence, all of which have been strategically redesigned with target audiences firmly in mind.

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“My aim is to double to size of the network in the next four years; welcoming new franchisees from all walks of life, each with their own individual aspirations, into the business.  We aim to recruit 4-6 ‘next generation’ Poppies franchisees during 2020. Our demographic profiling shows that we’ve got potential for 100 successful franchise areas across the UK. We’re currently operating in 22 so we’ve got plenty of opportunities to establish the business in new areas. Our territories are large as we want our franchisees to have the ability to grow their businesses to a scale where it is very financially rewarding. Many of our franchisees started the business in new territories but we also have several second-generation franchisees who took over from their parents at retirement and others who bought established businesses from retiring franchisees. The Poppies model is designed to support and benefit franchisees at every stage of their franchise lifecycle – we encourage and help franchisees to achieve their ambitions whether that leads to a legacy business, a resale or retirement. Its’ this level of trust, transparency and cooperation that has resulted in our impressive low network turnover and our unprecedented level of franchisee retention and level of service. We’re confident that it will continue to bear fruit in the future for all future stakeholders in the Poppies franchise. Poppies is a truly home-grown business, designed and built in the UK – I’m excited to be the one who is relaunching the opportunity.” One thing’s for sure, with an industry worth £4.7billion in the palms of its hands, Poppies is ready to take 2020 by storm.

Poppies Domestic Cleaning Services

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If you would like to know more about becoming an owner of a Poppies Franchise please fill in the form below, and you will receive our brochure via email.

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    [email protected] 01297 560460