Sponsor, HSBC, have been fantastically represented by long-time judge and supporter, UK Head of Franchising, Andrew Brattesani. As a passionate advocate for ethical franchising, Andy has been part of the judging panel for many years. “Each year judging gets harder and harder as the quality and strength of entries becomes even stronger”, says Andy.
We took a moment to chat to Andy about his experience as a judge of the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards:
As a long-term sponsor of the Awards, how have you seen the franchise landscape change over the years?
Such a potential long answer! In my six years in the role the landscape has been overwhelmingly positive. The pandemic has only endorsed that feeling with the vast majority of franchisors, franchisees and suppliers working hand in hand to survive and be ready to thrive. I have seen big brands sell corporate sites to franchisees, new niche brands succeed and established brands now start to franchise. I always say national brand / local ownership will be a winning combination, assuming you recruit correctly.
How do you predict businesses will cope once furlough ends and inflation increases? What plans do you have in place to continue with your support to both established and fledgling franchises?
Different sectors will have different challenges; my fingers are crossed that those who come off furlough are geographically aligned to vacancies. I think there is over 1M vacancies and a similar amount coming off furlough. In normal times we had inflation, the good thing is that means salary rises, the not so good is price rises. Price rises are a waste of time if supply chains are broken, that is a concern.
We have no extra plans in place because we are not going to change our stance. Over 900 new franchise clients in 2020 and on track to repeat that with increased lending in 2021, need I say more? The team understand our responsibility.
You are passionate about encouraging the younger generation into self-employment through franchising, how can we as an industry do more to encourage younger entrepreneurs into the sector?
Less is more in my books. This is a real acorns and trees scenario where you maximise on those role models that have succeeded and use them as your beacons. The awards are one thing but we need to not be afraid to ask the finalists whether we can use them as endorsers etc. The younger generation will listen to them more than me, I am a Father so I know how that works J Get it right and you will cause a snowball…. I believe this.
Why has supporting the bfa British Franchise Awards been so important to you over the years?
When I first started the role six years ago I just thought this was part of the job. As you get emotionally involved with franchising you just get it. HSBC has all the same virtues that the bfa stands for so it is a marriage in that sense but I also feel the responsibility of being involved which has made it even more important for me and the brand I represent. Banking is about having the ability to help make dreams come true, sounds corny but I can quote so many examples. Franchising does the same, again I can quote so many examples. I also love the glamour of the evening!!!
In your eyes, why are business awards so important to organisations and why should they apply?
Pride, recognition of team as well as leaders, justification, wow moments, realising your worth, learning from best in class, generating that buzz and positivity. Even if you don’t get sifted or win the whole process will always generate an idea, because you are actually reviewing your business without knowing it. I know this as my team is the current HSBC UK Bank Team of the Year and won Moneyfacts for the 3rd year running (the biggest external award we can win). You can’t put a price on what that does for the team…and it is all about the team.
What does being a judge for the British Franchise Awards mean to you?
Sleepless nights…. I love it and hate it in equal measures. Basically I want everyone to win, I don’t want to upset anyone but that isn’t the name of the game. I genuinely don’t enjoy it, but love and am in awe of the stories that always come out. I could listen for hours; in fact, I do. It’s the one thing I am glad I won’t be doing next year. That’s me personally, so for HSBC UK it is one of the highest profile awards we sponsor each year. We have increased the number of internal attendees each year and I am sure our internal ticket allocation for this year’s awards night could be used over and over as (trust me) demand exceeds supply.
You can celebrate with this year’s winners at the prestigious awards ceremony held on 30th November at the Vox, Birmingham. Tickets are limited, but you can secure yours here.