Alan started his career, straight from University in banking, and spent 7 years working in a high street branch of a well known banking group. This gave him a solid grounding in recruitment, training, mentoring, selling and management. Alan took his first Branch Managers position in 1991 in Huddersfield.
Following that, he managed a branch of a national recruitment company in Sheffield for a year or so, before taking his first venture into franchising back in 1995.
Alan then spent the next 10 years working with various different franchisors, in such diverse sectors as flooring, contract cleaning, parcel delivery and chemical distribution. He held positions ranging from sales executive, to Franchise Recruitment Manager, Franchise General Manager and Managing Director.
Alan has also been a franchisee for two different franchisors; he owned and operated a multi van, depot based courier franchise in Leeds, as well as a single operator, home based sales franchise in Huddersfield.
In 2006, Alan joined The Franchising Centre as a Franchise Consultant. He has worked with businesses throughout the North of England and Scotland, assisting them with the franchising of their businesses. The bulk of Alan’s work is done with businesses that have an established track record, and that want to speed up their growth and expand their business by franchising.
He has worked in diverse market sectors, including children’s activities, healthy living, renewable energy, van based home delivery, accessory retailing, heating, removals, gardening, publication, health and fitness, accounting, security and with local government.
Alan was the second person in the UK to obtain the Diploma in Franchise Management in 2000, and became the first person to also have the Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP) certification from the British Franchise Association in the summer of 2011.
Outside of franchising, Alan is a family man, with a wife and two daughters, who enjoys cycling, and have done several charity events and sportives, including the Brian Robinson Challenge.
Alan is a Governor for his local secondary school, and chair the appraisal committee. In 2009, he was joint chair of a community action group set up to protest against the proposed closure of the school. They fought and won this campaign, and rallied the support of the whole community.
On the back of this, in December 2009, Alan was recognised as a community champion by the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
Dug has specialised in everything to do with franchisee recruitment for the last 18 years and has a passion for helping franchise companies find the right profile of franchise owner, as well as ensuring that potential franchisees go through the right process to ensure they also come to the right decision. Dug has worked with many franchise companies, improving and implementing franchisee recruitment systems to ensure success in this key area of their business.
Countrywide Signs – “Just over a year on from the first Lockdown, we realise how fortunate we are as a business to be coming out the other side, not just surviving, but actually having grown our national franchise network, and with existing franchisees busier than ever! Much thanks must go to Dugan Aylen and Robert Dancy from The Franchising Centre, who have been there as our franchisee recruitment consultants all the way, they’ve helped us develop new processes and methods necessary for virtually meeting and finding franchisees whilst we were not able to have face-to-face meetings with for an extended period of time. These processes have actually helped us streamline our strategies and create better efficiencies and time-savings for the whole team, and will largely stay in place for the future. Special thanks to Rob who is the first point of contact for all franchise enquiries, he does a brilliant job qualifying and evaluating the prospective franchisees, making sure they will be a good fit for us, and us for them.” – Justin Pearce, Director
Access4Lofts – “During the past 12 months, which have been the most challenging the franchise sector has ever faced, The Franchising Centre has helped us adapt and change the way we needed to find and recruit franchisees. Despite all the hurdles, we are exceeding our growth targets and The Franchising Centre have been there throughout. What has really impressed us is the way Steve, from The Franchising Centre, got to know and understand our business right from the start. Their thorough knowledge and understanding has undoubtedly contributed to the successful sales process we have in place.” – Graham Ormesher, Director at Access4Lofts
Secure Locker Rentals – “The Franchising Centre were instrumental in helping us to start our first UK franchise business. Without Steve’s support and knowledge we would have been lost. His calmness and helpful attitude and has led us to selling 11 franchises in 14 months! This is testament to Steve guiding me throughout the entire process. Steve has become part of our team at Secure Locker Rentals and I know this will be a long term relationship with The Franchising Centre. If you are looking to franchise your business the Franchise Centre really should be your first stop…” – Jacqueline Stretch, Franchise & Operations Director at Secure Locker Rentals
JAN-PRO – “I have worked with The Franchising Centre for just under 2 years and ever since connecting with them they have guided and advised me on how best to operate my franchise recruitment strategy. They are professional, reliable and have a broad range of resources to make sure every job is done well. Throughout the last year (20/21) they were able to adapt and accommodate to the challenges faced and we now feel in a strong position to more than achieve our goals for 21/22.” – Ketan Parekh, JAN-PRO UK Managing Director
Granite & TREND Transformations – “We have worked with The Franchising Centre for our franchise recruitment for many years now. Their dedicated and professional team have helped assist us with franchise recruitment over the years. In particular, they were flexible and supportive during the lock-down period and that added support has enabled us to keep our recruitment momentum going. Recently, we have produced some incredible results and we certainly value our long-standing partnership with TFC.” – Danny Hanlon, Chief Operations Officer
Having left school at 15, Shirley had many ‘jobs’ – in offices, retail and hospitality but didn’t really settle down in a role until she joined Yellow Pages in 1983. I worked in Telesales for 5 years then went into the Training department for another 5 years eventually becoming the Training manager. In 1993, Shirley was asked by my former Personnel director to join him as he embarked on a new career as a franchisee for a recruitment company so she joined him as his Business Development Manager for the Midlands and the North West region. Within 3 months, Shirley joined the business as a partner and became a franchisee and continued in that role until 2001.
Taking a year out, she helped a local entrepreneur to launch a new product in the motorcycle industry worldwide before leaving the UK to work in Spain for a year. Coming back to the UK in 2004 I opened an office for a Recruitment company taking that into profit within the first 8 months of trading. I left there to join a franchised Recruitment/Training company who needed help in recruiting and supporting their new franchisees.
Knowing that franchising was a great way to do business I was excited to be asked to join The Franchising Centre as an Executive Recruitment consultant for their Careers Centre in 2006. To date I have helped many people in franchising to find the right career move for them and have worked with franchisors in a variety of sectors. My work with candidates includes helping them to write a good cv suited to the roles they are applying for, to helping them find the best way to get to the interview, including getting them the best price for rail travel and hotels if needed! I also coach them on what to expect at interview and give them an insight into my clients. I am able to do this because I have met most of my clients beforehand so that I fully understand the type of person they are looking for and the experience they should have.
My clients range from newer small franchisors looking for their 1st team member (which can be very daunting for them) to the larger corporate franchisors. No matter how big or small the franchisor is, I always offer them the opportunity for me to facilitate the first interviews with them so all they have to do is turn up and meet my candidates. We do this away from their offices so that everyone meets on neutral ground and it makes it less formal. This helps the candidates too as they meet with me prior to the interview and then afterwards to give me feedback on how it went. At the end of the day I can then sit down with my client to talk about each candidate and their interview and then progress to setting up a 2nd interview programme which my client would conduct at their head office.
In 2010 I became a Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals and in April 2011 I became the first Affiliate member of the British Franchise Association to gain their Qualified Franchise Professional accreditation. In 2013 I was awarded the Encouraging Women in Franchising Service Provider of the Year in recognition for my work in the industry. I have sat on various committees within the BFA and was Chair of the Affiliates group for 3 years from 2012 to the end of 2014.
The Little Gym – “Shirley comes with a wealth of knowledge and contacts within the Franchise industry. Shirley is very personable and professional, she understands your requirements, produces a good list of potential candidates and supports the selection process very well. We will not hesitate to use her again.” – Alexander de Wit, Chairman
Right at Home UK – “We have worked with Shirley Hughes of The Franchising Centre for many years now and have always found her to be very knowledgeable about the franchising industry. Her understanding of our needs to find the right, experienced people to join our team is second to none, supporting our growing network of franchisees. She has always presented good quality candidates, many of whom we have employed, and we will continue to use her services whenever we require new members of staff.” – Lucy Campbell, Chief Operating Officer at Right at Home UK
Originally from Iran and with a French Baccalaureate in Science and a business and marketing BA Honours and MA from Hull University, with British Citizenship and ﬂuency in two European and one Middle Eastern languages, Farrah Rose has been involved in international franchise management since 1984. As European Franchise Manager for Burger King she was responsible for appointing, developing and supporting franchisees throughout Europe.
In 1990 she moved to Arcadia Group- the 2nd largest British Fashion Retailer – as Senior International Development Controller where she prepared master franchise and licence offer packages for a number of brands including Dorothy Perkins, Principles, Evans, Top Shop, Top Man, Racing Green and Debenhams, and appointed franchise partners in Europe,Middle East and Japan, to bring the organisation to the second largest fashion franchise operator after Marks and Spencers in the UK.
Since leaving Arcadia Group in 1997, where her last role was International Home Shopping Development Director, she joined The Franchising Centre, formerly known as Howarth Franchising, as one of the ﬁrm’s founder members operating as a senior international franchise development consultant and shortly after was appointed to the Board as the International Development Director. In this role, Farrah has developed international franchise strategies, pre-drafted legal agreements and operations manuals, identiﬁed franchise partner proﬁles and prepared training programmes and support packages for a number of well-known service, manufacturing and retail brands such as: Unilever, Penna PLC, Soccer Scene, Blooming Marvellous, Whittard of Chelsea, Nestle, Butlers Chocolate, Max Brenner café, Café Jubilee, MFI, Debenhams and House of Fraser Department stores and many more. She has also worked with business-to-business and service franchises such as Boston Clinics, Sollatek, Adbikes, Carewatch Care Services, Energy Fitness, Speedﬂex, Kids Sports, Hoogoven Aluminium Building Systems and Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Lingﬁeld College.
Farrah has also imported franchise businesses from one market to another bypassing the UK, worked with Royal families of several Middle Eastern Countries to promote franchising in the Middle East. She has a tremendous in-depth knowledge of adapting systems to suit local franchise markets.
Farrah is a key international franchise ﬁgure, enjoying the elite status of affiliate membership of British Franchise Association and was given the Qualiﬁed Franchise Practitioner (Q.F.P) title on merit, she continues to be invited to contribute to a number of seminars on International Franchising in the UK, Europe and the US. She has advised politicians and civil servants on the use of international franchising to encourage private business development sectors in Middle East, Guernsey and Malta.
In 2008 Farrah’s three decades’ contribution to international franchise development was recognised by receiving the prestigious invitation to be one of the four judges to assess and select ‘the best British Franchisor and Franchisee of 2008’ for their awards. In 2016 the BFA/ HSBC Best Franchisor of the year award was granted to Farrah’s longstanding client – Water Babies International.
In February 2020 Farrah Rose received the prestigious Global Franchise ‘Life Time Achievement and Contribution to International Franchising’ Award in recognition of her professionalism and skills and expertise in this arena.
Farrah was recently named amongst the top 10 most powerful women in franchising by Business Women Females in Franchising magazine. Farrah was named amongst the top 15 most inﬂuential female experts in international franchising and she has been approved as technical consultant to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, offering international franchising and licensing advice to SMEs and Stake Holders in Kosovo, Moldova, Mongolia and Egypt.
Farrah regularly co-authors series of articles on the subject for Franchise World, the UK’s leading franchise news magazine, and has a regular slot putting each franchise country in the world under the spot light with Global Franchise Magazine with 70,000 high net worth readership. She is regularly asked to speak at high proﬁle and key Franchise Conferences and Conventions and seminars and exhibitions around the World such as IFA Convention, the London Franchise Show, BFA accredited International Franchise Conferences in London, VMG Franchise Exhibition, IFA Symposium, FASA Conference, and runs numerous International Franchise Seminars to train stake holders and SME/PLC companies in franchising in conjunction with high proﬁle international legal Firms, she has trained several international trade advisors from UK Trade and Investment and over 40 representatives of commercial offices of the British Embassies from around the Globe.
Farrah was chosen as the advisor to the Minister of Employment and Commerce in Guernsey advising local professional service providers on promotion of the island to international companies looking to establish their international Head Quarters on the Island. She runs frequent seminars for local tax and legal and ﬁnancial advisors as well as local politicians.
Against ﬁerce global competition, Farrah has also been selected as the Franchise and License Advisor to the Commonwealth Secretariat assisting the Commonwealth to promote and set up the correct structure for development of franchising in Malta.
Farrah is also one of the Founder members and Board Directors of Franchise Pool International – a network of international franchise consultants and brokers with representatives from 46 international countries – she manages a further associate network in 30+ countries making a total of 77 Associates in 103 Countries around the World.