And The Nominees Are...

The bfa has announced the finalists for the coveted HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards, supported by The Daily Express, which are designed to recognise the ethical and entrepreneurial achievements of franchise owners across the board.

This year’s revamped awards are the first to have a large group of finalists selected across five separate award categories. The winners of each category compete for the right to be crowned the UK’s overall 2013 Franchisee of the Year Award, which comes with a £10,000 cash prize.

The five award categories to be contested are; Customer Service Franchisee, Female Franchisee of the Year, Long-Serving Franchisee, Micro-Business of the Year and Young Franchisee of the Year. Brian Smart, Director General, bfa, said: “Every year we are excited by the quality of entrants for the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards and this year is no exception. They have shown extraordinary levels of entrepreneurialism, commitment and drive which we were thrilled to hear about and which made this year’s selection process very challenging.”

Brands that have been recognised include DriverHire, ServiceMaster, Caremark and The Zip Yard – Franchise owners of which, have been nominated for their high ethical standards and exceptional business practice. Each category winner will receive £1,000 and a trophy, all courtesy of HSBC. The Zip Yard Altrincham franchise owner, Richard McConnell, has been nominated in the Franchisee of the Year award category. He said: “Seeing the smile on a bride’s face when we have sorted out a dress disaster makes it all worthwhile. There’s nothing our eight trained seamstresses can’t do. Their work is amazing, which is why customers keep coming back time and time again.” His award nomination comes as further recognition for a job well done after winning the ‘Start-up of the Year’ award in his local area.

The finalists will all be interviewed by a select panel of experts, who select the winners from a group of truly deserving individuals with proven achievements in their field. Cathryn Hayes, Head of Franchising for HSBC, said: “At HSBC, we work with some of the UK’s most outstanding franchises to support their appetite for success and it is always a pleasure to see the wide variety of businesses in these awards. Our finalists this year are great role models and I am looking forward to hearing more about their stories when they appear before the judging panel.”

For franchise owners, these annual bfa awards represent recognition by the industry as a whole for their significant achievements. Manjit Singh, owner of Driver Hire’s Enfield office, is a finalist in the 2013 bfa Franchisee of the Year awards. He’s one of four contenders in the Best Customer Service category.

What makes Manjit’s success even more impressive is that he invested in Driver Hire at the beginning of the 2007 economic recession. In challenging economic circumstances, he and his-five person team have gone from strength to strength.

He says: “It’s great to have our efforts recognised by external judges. Our formula for success is clearly working. Right now, we’re the busiest we’ve been for the last five years and heading towards new record turnover figures.”

Representing thriving women in the franchising industry is ActionCOACH franchise owner, Shweta Jhajharia. She has been nominated in the Female Franchisee of the Year Award. After joining the business coaching franchise in 2008, Shweta’s business has achieved impressive turnover figures consistently.

She said: “I am delighted to be a finalist for this award, which provides another platform to recognise the participation, development and achievements of women in the business world. I think it is also important to recognise that, in the business of coaching, helping other businesses is at the core of my own business model and therefore my success is inextricably linked to the success of my clients. My greatest happiness from my business success has been to see my clients grow phenomenally.” The awards, sponsored by Express Newspapers, will be presented at a glamorous awards ceremony on Thursday October 3 at Birmingham’s ICC.

Head of Franchising at Express Newspapers, Sean Hammond concluded: “The bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards provide us with an opportunity to hear about franchise owners advocating excellence across their industry. We have been impressed by the high calibre of the applicants and the results delivered. It has been truly inspirational to hear from this year’s finalists showcasing their successes, having taken the step into franchising.”