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bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards

Supported by Express Newspapers

Tina (centre) with (L-R) Cathryn Hayes, Lord Grade, Sean Hammond and Steph McGovernTina Young, Northumberland franchisee of dog boarding business Barking Mad, was crowned winner of the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards 2014. The awards, supported by Express Newspapers, also saw Tina win the Microbusiness Franchisee of the Year award – a category for businesses with less than £100,000 turnover – and then triumph over five other category winners, including global brands.

Tina looks to husband Brian as her name is read outCommenting on her success, Tina said: “It’s unbelievable to be recognised for all the hard work that has gone into running my successful franchise. Barking Mad has allowed me to balance having children and running a successful business. My staff have contributed hugely to this success, which can be seen in our excellence in customer service which drives 50% of business coming from referrals. This award is for all of us and I can’t believe I won!”

Cathryn Hayes, head of franchising at HSBC, commented: “Tina impressed the judges by turning her Barking Mad franchise into a management franchise, changing her business model to allow her take on staff– the first in the Barking Mad network to do so. At HSBC, we are very privileged that we get to work with some of the country’s most exciting and forward thinking franchisees and Tina epitomises just this.”

Following a rigorous judging process, the awards took place during a black-tie ceremony in Birmingham Town Hall, hosted by Steph McGovern. Recognised for their exceptional contributions to franchising in the UK, six category winners each received £1,000 for their efforts, while Tina collected £10,000 for taking home the top prize, all courtesy of HSBC.

The winners of this year’s bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year awards are:

Franchisee of the Year & Microbusiness Franchisee of the Year: Tina Young, Barking Mad Northumberland

Customer Service Franchisee of the Year: Joggy Dhillon, Domino’s Coleraine & Omagh 

Young Franchisee of the Year: Aaron Stewart, Marston’s Sheffield & Mansfield

Female Franchisee of the Year: Rachel Shaw, Subway Thornton Heath & West Wickham

Olderpreneur Franchisee of the Year: Terry Lucking, Belvoir Peterborough & Cambridge

B2B Franchisee of the Year: Frank Sutherland, Autosmart Aberdeen

Commenting on the awards, Brian Smart, director general of the bfa, said: “We’ve now been recognising the country’s most exceptional franchisees for a quarter of a century, and each year the bar is raised higher and higher. It’s fitting that the 25th anniversary of these awards gave us a cross-section of finalists that showcase the inclusivity of the sector for anyone, anywhere aspiring to self-employment, with these 19 outstanding business owners demonstrating the achievements that are possible.”

Cathryn Hayes added: “This year has given us so many diverse and inspirational stories that should motivate others to create their own success. It was very difficult indeed to pick out our winners because of the high standards of all 19 finalists. We are delighted to be able to celebrate their achievements and recognise some exceptional business owners that are at the forefront of the vibrant and growing franchise sector.”

Seán Hammond, head of franchising at Express Newspapers, said: “These awards throw light on the fantastic successes that span the breadth of the franchising industry, paving the way for others to follow suit. We’re delighted to be able to celebrate and reward the lengths these businesspeople go to in order to push their businesses forward.”

The bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year 2014 finalists, judges and presentersDetails on the winners:

Tina Young, Barking Mad, Northumberland

Tina has provided a great example to other entrepreneurs of how you can turn your lifestyle into a business opportunity. When she realised she was spending a lot more time with her dog and organising his social life with other dogs, Tina saw a business opportunity. The support and flexibility offered by Barking Mad meant that Tina was also able to pursue one of her other goals which was to start a family. In 2009 she adopted her first child and now has two children, crediting her franchisor for their support in adapting the Barking Mad model to allow her to take on staff, a first for the network. She now professes to having an excellent work-life balance combining her roles of business owner and mother. Tina is also recognised as an influential figure within the Barking Mad franchise network, and is regularly called on to deliver presentations on motivation, social media and customer service. A rigorous staff selection process also contributes to her success, and ensures that all staff know how important customer service is to the business.

Joggy Dhillon, Domino’s, Coleraine & Omagh

Joggy illustrated how important he feels his customers are to his business by taking them into consideration during his potential store refurbishment. With customers front of mind, he wants to make the store more open plan to allow children to walk around the store counters to see how their pizzas are made. Even in the most unusual circumstances, Joggy’s dedication to excellent customer service shines through; when a car seat in a customer’s car caught fire outside his shop, Joggy and his team extinguished the fire, while other members of staff taught the children how to make pizzas, ensuring they had something tasty to take away from a nasty experience. Joggy also has fantastic community spirit, regularly getting the business involved in local events such as Tidy Northern Ireland’s One Big Shine Up, Comic Relief and ensuring Domino’s was the main sponsor of an Anti-Litter Summit. On top of this, he’s an astute businessman: consistently in the top five stores for the entire Domino’s Group for order count and sales growth. He has also doubled his stores’ sales in three years.

Aaron Stewart, Marston’s, Sheffield & Mansfield

Aaron’s win is in recognition of his dedication to quality standards, attention to detail and his fantastic business results all achieved at the young age of 29. Aaron doubled the turnover in his first pub and has replicated that success in his second pub. His first site, The Fairway Inn in Sheffield is Marston’s highest turnover franchised pub, with his second pub already the second highest. He has also made a name for his franchised pubs as popular wedding venues, and was even approached by the BBC for their wedding programme, due to air in November. He is very much an advocate of staff rewards, so much so that all managers in his pubs are taken to Tenerife twice a year, in return for their full commitment to the business.

Rachel Shaw, Subway, West Wickham & Thornton Heath

Rachel’s innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit have combined to see her succeed in this category this year. Having worked in the fast food industry for many years, Rachel decided to pursue a career as a Subway franchisee. Rachel makes it her business to be up-to-date with what her customers need. She spends time on the shop floor during peak service to get to know her customers and 70% of her sales come from repeat business. Rachel spotted an opportunity during the recession and decided to create Subway Gift Platters, distributing them to offices, schools and organisations in and around her local community. This innovative idea proved that there was an appetite for the product, and spurred on her sales. She was the pioneer of the Subway delivery idea, delivering lunches to local businesses, an idea which has been replicated in many of the other Subway stores.

Terry Lucking, Belvoir, Peterborough

Terry’s success in this new category is attributed to his hugely impressive local, national and franchise-specific, innovations over the years.  He is regularly asked to chair local housing strategy forums and has the community at the heart of his operation, offering small local workshops to impart his knowledge on the locals and he also sits on a number of local committees. Terry considers his staff as his most valuable asset and focuses on staff development as a result, with rewards and retention schemes a key focus. In the next five years, four of his senior staff will be able to get up to 5% equity in the business through meeting performance targets. At 58, Terry has amassed years of experience in the industry. He has this experience and expertise to influence the future of the Belvoir franchise model.

Frank Sutherland, Autosmart, Aberdeen

Frank has achieved success in one of this year’s new categories with incredible performance and turnover with his Autosmart franchise, selling professional vehicle cleaning products. He has reached £500,000 in sales per year, with just him in the business, and is still growing by 15%. He knows that every small improvement to the business adds up to make a big difference. Frank pans with military precision, placing storage units in strategic locations to access stock when needed by customers, and ensuring that his busy schedule still allows tome for regular breaks.

Watch highlights of the 2013 awards ceremony:

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