bfa showcases UK's best-performing franchisors

THE 2006 British Franchise Association (bfa) Franchisor of the Year Awards were announced in May, with entrants nominating themselves in three categories: 'Daily Express Brand Builder of the Year', the 'HSBC Award for Enterprise' and 'bfa Franchisor of the Year', where the theme was 'Planning for Success'.

SUMO Services, the leading brand offering underground utility detection and mapping services to the construction industry, was crowned Brand Builder of the Year. Express Newspapers Business Advertising Manager Yvette Taylor said:

'The judges felt SUMO adopted a highly focused and professional approach to building a brand from the outset, with their success clearly demonstrated by their presence and profile within their chosen marketplace so early on in their development.'

Commercial and domestic cleaning franchise VIP Bin Cleaning scooped the HSBC Award for Enterprise. HSBC's Head of Franchising Cathryn Hayes said: 'The judges felt VIP Bin Cleaning clearly demonstrated an enterprising approach in their drive for expansion both in the UK and overseas. Their commitment to ensuring that the existing franchisees understand and support their actions means that the company's growth plans have a firm foundation.'

The bfa Franchisor of the Year award was presented to Driver Hire, a professional supplier of commercial vehicle drivers. This year's theme for the bfa Franchisor of the Year award was 'Planning for Success' with franchisors having to demonstrate to the judging panel how they are advising, developing and monitoring the role of business planning within their franchise network. Anticipating a change in market demand and new legislation on drivers' hours, the company was able to prepare its franchisees for changes that would impact every aspect of their business.
In fact, it turned a potential problem into a new opportunity - not only demonstrating compliance with the new laws but repositioning the franchise as an industry leader.

Director General of the bfa Brian Smart said: 'Driver Hire stood out among the shortlisted companies due to the significant contribution that business planning has made to their franchisees and the network as a whole.'