I really love and enjoy my work with BCR Associates

When his previous job as a mortgage broker took a serious blow during the start of the recession, Nigel Collins not only discovered that becoming a BCR Associates franchise owner was a profitable way to become his own boss but also an enjoyable one.

Three years ago, Nigel Collins had been in the mortgage industry when the housing market plummeted resulting in him losing his income overnight.

"My wife Pip and I had lost everything including our home but it was while I was dealing with an accounting and business services company that I heard about BCR Associates," explains Nigel.

Eager to discover more about the franchise, Nigel set up a meeting with the company's Director Richard Dormer and was so impressed with what he heard about the business model, he said there and then that he wanted to be a franchise owner in the Exeter area, where he lives.

"The BCR Associates business model is so simple and strong - it saves its customers money without costing them anything," explains Nigel, who runs his BCR Associates franchise with his wife Pip, who looks after the administration side, while Nigel deals directly with clients.

Nigel and the BCR Associates network specialise in making savings from their clients' essential running costs across energy, telecoms, insurance, water, staff, finance, vehicles, business rates and green services.

"How it works is that BCR Associates receives copies of the bills from clients, analyses their current situation on their behalf, delivers a review and recommendations and then puts their new contracts out to tender across our wide network of supply chain partners," says Nigel.

"We can get some of the best rates and tariffs available and nine times out of 10 we find savings for our clients".

"For example, one of my clients, a national chain of high street opticians, asked me to look at ways of saving money on their electricity bill for a local branch and after the tendering process, I managed to cut their annual energy bill from £17,000 to £7,000! Another recent good news story was a local school, for which I managed to secure an annual saving of £45,000 off their cost base. In both cases I earned good levels of income from these contracts.

"Often the savings include changing supplier, which we organise on the client's behalf, though sometimes the current supplier re-tenders more competitively as they don't want to lose business. If we can make savings the new suppliers will pay us. If we can't find any savings, we don't charge the customer a penny either way."

As Nigel had no experience in the cost reduction industry, he found his initial and ongoing training at BCR Associates' head office provides him with a thorough understanding of all the services which BCR Associates consults on.

"As a franchise owner, I have found the back-up from head office cannot be faulted," says Nigel. "I know there are always specialists in all areas to speak to should I need any expert advice."

"I really love and enjoy my work as there is nothing more satisfying than saving our customers thousands of pounds off their cost bases and earning good levels of income at the same time. More often than not, they are so pleased with our results, they then ask us to look at other areas to find even further ways to reduce their costs."

Reported by Fraser McKay