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Auditel has not only stood the test of time, but during a tough economy it really comes into its own. Why? Because Auditel helps organisations of all shapes and sizes by delivering profit-boosting, cost-saving solutions, that really make a difference, especially in these difficult times.
Auditel is a collaborative network of around 100 franchise partners who have come from varied backgrounds but usually at senior-management or director level. By playing to their strengths, franchisees can form project teams to deliver procurement, supply chain management and business transformation solutions to organisations of wide-ranging industry sectors and sizes. Since 1994, over 3,000 UK clients have benefitted from Auditel franchised consultants unlocking hidden profits.
Auditel franchisees boost cash-flow within their client’s business by saving money through better procurement, process improvement or identifying how technology can play a greater part in their business. Auditel can make a huge positive difference to their clients, and with an ethos based around sustainability, Auditel seeks to also make a positive impact on the planet too.
Auditel can suit people from all industry sectors and areas of expertise. You do not need to be an accountant or a procurement specialist! Auditel offers a broad array of ‘pathways’ to suit your skills, experience and business objectives. This means that if you enjoy client management and business development you can focus your business on these areas and utilise the expertise of franchisees who can deliver the project management aspects.
Equally, if you have experience and knowledge in certain areas, for example, Logistics, Packaging or Waste Management, you can develop this expertise with Auditel and over time, undertake projects for other affiliates alongside your own client activities.
So, you can play to your strengths in Auditel, though every franchisee is thoroughly trained and supported ongoing in all aspects of the business.
“I’ve got a stable, profitable business with a great team behind me, and financially I am in a better position than I would be if I was still in full time employment. I was fortunate and very grateful to be able to build our dream home for my family and I last year. I wouldn’t have been able to start my property journey without the income from Auditel and I wouldn’t have been able to build the house if I didn’t have the time – so the flexibility of the franchise has played a pivotal role.”
David Kendall – Auditel Practice
Auditel help you identify, target, and win clients with a comprehensive marketing and client acquisition programme that includes multiple methods of direct and indirect routes to developing your client base.
By carefully targeting your clients, it’s possible to build a six-figure income business from around 6-12 clients and where clients are retained for many years. Some clients have benefitted from Auditel’s procurement solutions for over 20 years!
Nationwide, our franchisees enjoy the benefits of a trusted, proven brand whilst being supported by a team of experts in all essential business disciplines.
Working with key decision makers across small, medium and large organisations, you will be building new relationships through calls, direct marketing and networking events. With the need for managers and business owners to understand your strategic cost management service first-hand, you will need to balance your client- and prospect-facing time with the essential management of your business.
When his wife had a baby earlier this year, Stephen Sowerby had already established the ideal solution for him to be able to balance his work around his new family.
Based on Auditel’s proven business formula, Stephen Sowerby has proven he has been able to build the business he wants, the way he wanted. “I can be flexible with how I structure my time, to focus on what is most important to me. So, if I need to do something during the day, I can schedule work around my life; rather than organising my life around work.”
This level of flexibility has been exactly what Stephen has most benefitted from as his young family has grown, alongside his successfully growing business. “Earlier this year, we welcomed our daughter into the world. Having the freedom and time to enjoy these early stages of her life has been exactly why I wanted to avoid commuting into the City. I’ve worked hard to reach this point, by following the Auditel model. Having the ongoing support of both Head Office, and the network, has been exactly what I needed to help me be at this point of my life.”
As a twenty-something qualified accountant, with five years’ experience in a ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm under his belt, Stephen made the decision to ‘seize the day’ while he was still young enough to be able to enjoy it. “My dream goal was to be self-employed.” he says. “I hated commuting into the City each day; I don’t know how people do it for so long!”
Founded in 1994, Auditel help UK companies make effective and informed procurement decisions. Auditel’s business management specialists, work alongside FDs, CEOs, and business owners throughout the UK, delivering new insights to drive change and increase profitability, competitiveness and growth. Their proven, award-winning business model, has been successfully replicated by over 160 franchisees, nationwide. “As soon as I had made my decision to join Auditel, it wasn’t difficult to make the move,” Stephen says. “In fact, the transition was relatively easy, especially with their training, systems and support.”
As Stephen’s business grows, the Auditel network will be able to guide him as he adjusts to working his business around his new family. Having the flexibility of running your own business means you can choose the hours you work, even if your new baby decides to entertain you in the early hours.
To find out more about how Auditel can help you enjoy more time with your family, please contact Fiona Steels on: 01962 893068 or: Fiona.Steels@auditel.co.uk
Chris Baker joined Auditel in 1998 and works from his home-based office in South East Wales. Chris has reached his personal goal of achieving a billing figure of fifteen thousand pounds per month.
"Hard work, persistence and determination" are just a few of the qualities that Chris highlights as essential for someone considering an Auditel franchise as a method to successful self-employment. He attributes his continued success to his belief, faith and confidence that he would reach his personal goals.
An important client to Chris is Aardman Animations who are famous for creating the Wallace and Grommit characters. Chris has been working with them to reduce their business overheads for just over two years. Tony Prescott, Facilities Manager for Aardman, recalls their initial meetings, "My colleagues and I were very aware that we wanted to maintain high levels of service, while simultaneously cutting costs. The portfolio of clients Auditel worked with really impressed us".
Chris continues: "Aardman had already carried out an in-house review of their expenditure which had proved successful in reducing their overheads. Most companies believe they have their costs under control, but Aardman was one of the few I have worked with who really did run a tight ship. I was impressed with the level of savings they had achieved, but I was still able to recommend significant cost reductions in a number of areas."
Auditel franchisees have always had the benefit of an incredibly detailed personal development programme and Chris attributes much of his success to this. He concludes that good selling is not about telling but more about building relationships and rapport with others and says you have to believe that you can achieve.
Chris has committed himself to reaching his goals and is using the tools and support that the Auditel franchise network has empowered him with. He enthuses: "The ability to run your own business with minimal interference and prescriptive guidelines is especially appealing, but also having the back-up support if I need it. I love the freedom of being able to be close to my wife and two young children and avoiding the commute!"
East Anglia-based Daryn Dodge has been an Auditel consultant since 2001. He has never regretted his decision to give up a top job with a US software company and buy an Auditel franchise. Daryn was an IT programme manager with BT when he was headhunted by a Colorado-based software giant to run its European operation, but the glamour soon began to fade.
“The money was incredible and I loved the responsibility but my personal life didn’t figure anywhere,” he remembers. “I had three young daughters but never seemed to see them and it didn’t take long to realise there’s more to life than just collecting Air Miles. There were problems at work too. The final straw was when we lost a multi-million pound contract because we couldn’t agree over bringing in a designer.”
At this point, Daryn decided it was time to take charge of his life and leave the corporate world behind - not that he took the decision lightly. “Giving up a very lucrative job when you have a young family is a big decision and I knew I had to get it right. So, I sat down and made two lists. The first was of personal goals, such as wanting a change of lifestyle, wanting to take control of my own destiny and to spend more time with my family and so on. I still look at these from time to time, just to make sure I don’t lose sight of why I’m doing what I do. The second list was of 20 criteria that my business would have to meet; including the long-term, the ability to operate from home, flexible hours and compatibility with a social life!”
Bearing all this in mind, it was clear that a franchise would offer Daryn and his family more security and a greater chance of success than starting a stand-alone business. So, armed with his data, Daryn went to the bfa membership list and painstakingly analysed each of the opportunities.“
The only one that met all these factors was Auditel and I’ve never regretted my decision to join the network. In fact, if I had the chance to wind back the clock, I’d make the same decision again because Auditel has exceeded all my expectations. That’s not to say there haven’t been challenges along the way. Nobody should be under any illusion that buying a franchise is a substitute for hard work and commitment but there is a lot of support available from the Head Office. The network also helps you over the bumps. The financial and personal rewards are worth all the effort.”
Has being a franchisee given him the stability and security he wanted?
Daryn answered: “Friends who still work for big firms ask me whether I ever feel worried about working for myself. I can honestly tell them that I’ve never felt more secure than I do now. My future is within my control. Because I receive 50% of the savings and refunds implemented for my clients over a fixed period, I can calculate my minimum income for two or three years ahead. My business plan for the next five years is very simple. I can build on the client relationships I’ve already developed and broaden the range of the expenditure categories I manage.”
Gill Gibbon became an Auditel franchisee 15 years ago, after stepping out of corporate business and away from the stress and time demands often associated with the corporate world.
Investing in a franchise followed redundancy. Gill had initially looked at setting up on her own, as well as at other companies. But as the main earner of her household, with two young children, Gill says, “I was in a bit of a panic about needing to generate enough income to keep the family afloat. In the end, understanding the risk factor kicked in, and I decided franchising offered a more structured format for me and my family.”
Gill explored a number of franchises before settling on Auditel, “As I looked at my options, I felt my previous business experience was best suited to Auditel..” Auditel has become the UK’s leading strategic cost management franchise, since it was founded in 1994. Their award-winning business model has been successfully replicated by over 160 franchisees serving more than 3,000 clients in almost every sector of the economy. “Choosing Auditel allowed me to reduce the risk of starting my new journey and enjoy the support of an established Brand as my business developed.”
Growing the business, and looking after her family, was a balancing act which Gill admits she didn’t always get right but it worked for her in ways working for a corporate company never could. “Working for a corporate company meant I had no control over my working day. Auditel gave me back control over my diary – if I had to work at weekends, to be there for my children mid- week, I was in control and had the freedom to do that, while still growing my Auditel business.” For other franchisees the flexibility may be needed for other reasons but this freedom is an essential element of regaining control.
Nationwide, Auditel franchisees enjoy the benefits of a trusted, proven brand whilst being supported by a team of experts in all essential business disciplines. This has certainly worked for Gill, who made the most of joint venturing with other Auditel franchisees. “I started to outsource to make the most of my time. I quickly realised I couldn’t do everything, so I used the Auditel network to partner with colleagues who were most suitable to my projects. This freed me to focus on bigger businesses, bigger projects, and I could choose to work with senior partners, so, it’s produced some great results for the 50:50 partnerships. I have some clients who I still have twelve, fourteen years on. My clients’ satisfaction is evident in the longevity of our working relationships.”
Working with Auditel is about managing your time. It’s also about making the most of your skills and time, rather than being caught up in unessential areas of the business. Gill explains, “I’m in control of the sales pipeline, and managing my clients’ projects, working with my fellow franchisees who are experts in their fields. This allows me to focus on what I really enjoy: Client projects, finding new clients, and growing my business.”
Now her children are at university hasn’t led to Gill slowing down! She remains in control of her time, “I continue to be driven to make a success of my business, and continue to grow with new clients each year.”
Jane Campbell is an extremely successful businesswoman. Having worked in banking for 15 years and owning a business, Jane knew that she would be well suited to building and running her own Auditel franchise. She knew that with the right people, tools, knowledge and processes, she could build a successful business for the future.
Jane said: “Having run a business before, I understand that some of the disciplines required are very different to being employed. I grew my client base from scratch and I’m extremely pleased with the way my business has developed.
“Franchising is a great way to get into business because there’s a network and infrastructure in place for you to utilise. Franchising offers you a tried and tested process so there’s a much stronger chance of survival than if you decided to go it alone. Not only that, the knowledge of individuals becomes a whole network that we all have access to for advice and support. I haven’t had one question that hasn’t been answered.”
One of the benefits of becoming an Auditel franchisee is the ability to call on the expertise and knowledge of over 200 consultants in the Auditel network. Not only is Jane actively involved in offering her own advice to the network, she’s also heavily involved in joint venturing which allows franchisees to utilise each other’s expertise to improve their own services and offering.
“I involve other franchisees in my business when I need to offer a particular specialism, by utilising their expertise, I can provide a more comprehensive service. My own specialism is in fleet and transport cost areas and I have helped develop and grow this within Auditel. As an accredited category expert in fuel, I work on projects in this area and regularly joint venture with other members of the network to help them offer fuel as a cost area in their businesses.”
All new Auditel franchisees are enrolled on a 5-year mentoring programme with a vast and experienced support team offering over 78 days of training per year, all accessible within the franchise fee.
Jane commented: “The Auditel training is structured so that you receive an induction pack before you even start. You receive extensive training around understanding the business concept and how to sell it to your potential clients. After the initial stage you start working within your business and progress towards signing a few clients before returning with live projects to review. In addition, you receive ongoing category training as your client base grows so you can specify particular categories to learn more about.
“In terms of support, we have monthly and annual reviews and there is always support over the phone if you need it. Every time I’ve asked for help I’ve always been supported.
“In terms of how my business in running at the moment, we’re in the process of recruiting a full-time analyst. This will assist with the next phase of business which is growth as it will free more of my time which I can then use to find more business. We’ve already achieved so much with the business including winning Auditel’s ‘Rising Star Award’ and ‘Team Builder of the Year Award’ at Auditel’s 2013 and 2014 National Conference and, more recently, ‘Consultants Consultant’ in 2015 – and there’s so much more we’d like to achieve!”
Mike Andrews trained in 2005 and is now into his second franchise term with Auditel. Mike is meeting his targets and achieving his lifestyle ambitions.
He says: “I’ve always wanted to work for myself but was never comfortable with the idea of going it completely alone. I’ve got a good grounding in the general management of a business, coupled with business development skills, so I knew that if I could find the right franchise model, there would be no reason why I couldn’t succeed.
“A couple of years prior to purchasing my Auditel franchise I explored the possibility of starting a food franchise with a friend, but it just wasn’t the right model for me so I kept looking until I found Auditel.“
One of the main reasons Mike dismissed the first business he considered was that it just didn’t offer him the work/life balance he wanted for him and his family. Auditel, on the other hand, did, as he explains: “I got married three months after my initial Auditel training and it was really important to me that my new business afforded me a certain lifestyle as well as good income-earning potential.
“I’m not afraid of hard work but I did want more choice over when and how I worked. Having spoken to lots of Auditel consultants during my research I felt confident I’d found a franchise model with enough flexibility to accommodate this objective.”
Mike appreciated that the start-up phase of any new business was bound to be very intensive but he worked hard and has reaped the benefits. He put his core skill to good use, developing client relationships and partnering with other affiliates who are happier doing research and analysis. In this manner Mike has built up his franchise and has now not only achieved his lifestyle goals, but is well on his way to achieving his ambitious financial targets.
“I can’t believe the majority of the goals I was setting, a little wishfully, in my first few days of training are actually being met,” he says. “I initially joined Auditel to develop a better work/life balance for the future and the income goals were somewhat secondary – that being said, I set some pretty ambitious targets which have predominantly all been achieved or are well on the way.
“This is certainly, in no small amount, thanks to the excellent training and support provided in the early stages of my business. Listening to and following the guidance and training provided by Auditel at each stage of my business has been key to ensuring the goals I set for my business were met.”
Salisbury-based Steve Ray was formerly production director of the UK arm of an Italian-based engineering company and joined Auditel in September 2007. He says: "To make a transition into running my own business as smooth as possible, I chose franchising. This provided immediate access to a proven business model and an industry knowledge base. When I was looking, some franchisors impressed me more than others. Auditel impressed me most of all. The enthusiasm to build and support their network was hugely influential in my choice."
Steve commented on the initial start-up programme: "In my opinion the training and support from Auditel is superb and has just the right balance. There is as much as you need or want, without it being forced upon you. It is evident that great effort is given to keeping everything updated and fresh."
There has been good progress since 2007. Clients have been obtained in various industry sectors including leisure, education, charity, and manufacturing. He reveals: "The challenges encountered so far are many and varied. However, they have all been made easier to overcome by tapping into the support offered by head office and my fellow franchisees. I plan to grow the business in various industries to prevent reliance on any one sector or client profile, and develop strong, professional and friendly relationships."
Last year, Steve invited Claire Power-Browne to join him as a partner, as part of his planned growth of the business. She had just spent four years as the overseas programme manager for a UK-based charity with wide-ranging responsibilities where, she says, "every day was different and during that time I gained a diverse skill set...so if you need a goat milking, I'm your woman!'"
Claire continues: "I particularly liked the values of Auditel and the choices it offered me." She also thought the initial start-up programmes were excellent: "They were great. I left feeling confident that I could actually deliver what I had been taught. There are inevitably times when you think 'I can't do this', but the support system in place is excellent. There is always someone who is willing, and able, to help. Obviously, I have been incredibly fortunate to enter into partnership with Steve who was already running a successful franchise. His help and advice has been invaluable to me in progressing some of the projects undertaken and in how to manage clients. I have also benefited from many other affiliates, who have generously shared their experience.
"Steve and I work separately. Geographically there are 150 miles between us, so we have had to ensure that our CRM systems were able to synchronise remotely, and that we make time to discuss clients. Initially progress was slow, but things are now really starting to take shape. It's really motivating to see that the Auditel model does work and to realise that I can do this! The professional development training I have received has been fantastic and has really allowed me to 'skill up' with a view to growing and developing the business.
"I aim to sign a further 12-15 clients in the next twelve months and use my previous experiences to bring greater benefit to clients, particularly charity or third sector organisations. I also intend to carry on enjoying what I do and who I work with!"
Laurence Fitch was the general manager of a family company importing ceramic tiles throughout the south east. He left early in 2008 due to the downturn in the economic climate. His wife, Ruth, had spent the last 10 years working for an international investment bank in the City, and had the opportunity to take redundancy from the bank in August 2008.
Laurence recalls: “Both Ruth and I knew that we wanted to run our own business but could not decide what we wanted to do. We felt that franchising gave us the ideal balance of choosing our own business with the support of an established organisation. I visited the British and International Franchise Exhibition at Olympia while Ruth was abroad and found that having a full range of franchises under one roof was extremely beneficial. I came across Auditel and was immediately impressed with their business model and how well it suited the current economic situation. Having spent several months researching, we joined their network in September 2008.”
Ruth adds: ”I do not recall experiencing a recruitment 'process’ with Auditel. My experience was a two-way, open exploration of the business opportunity – open, honest, professional and caring. The values, principles and culture of the organisation were strongly evident. I felt confident that the decision was mine and it was the right path for us.”
They both agreed that the training was outstanding, quickly allowing them to develop their skills so that they could push their business forward. Laurence comments: ”The benefits we have received from having the support of our mentors and the Auditel network of over 200 consultants has been outstanding – even the most obscure problem we have faced has been explained quickly by somebody who has experienced something similar.”
Laurence and Ruth have become well-established within the marketplace of cost management. They have succeeded in growing a comprehensive client base, many of whom offer glowing testimonials. Their growing reputation, both in the business community and the Auditel network has been fully recognised: Laurence and Ruth were the ‘Rising Stars of the Year’ in 2009 and ‘Franchise of the Year’ in 2010. Ruth has become a member of the Auditel Franchise Advisory Council and Laurence, a Regional Principal for the NW London group.
Franchising has evidently been very good for Laurence and Ruth. They declare: “This end result is from one of the best business decisions of our lives.”