2 territories remain for sales entrepreneurs

EC Credit Control's growing UK coverage has now extended into Southern England. Stuart Anderson reports

EC Credit Control is the leading supplier of credit management and debt recovery services throughout the Australian and New Zealand markets. Franchisees not only provide debt collection services but also a comprehensive terms of trade documentation service, which accounts for approximately 1/3 of sales. The franchise is designed for sales-focused entrepreneurs and is attracting high calibre entrepreneurs across the UK to invest in its huge Regional territories. Since the company began its UK franchise development programme a year ago it has established a Regional Franchisee in Northern Ireland, a married couple have taken the Northern Regional Franchise and now the company has announced the signing of another couple as its Southern Regional Franchisees, leaving two territories (Eastern and Western) available.

Northern Ireland Regional Franchisee Ed Ronayne brings with him extensive experience from the hotel management and catering sectors, and was attracted to EC Credit Control as it offered a business-to-business franchise that he could operate on a nine-to-five basis. 'If I were 10 years younger I would be hugely excited about getting my hands on a market the size of the territories available in the UK,' he comments. 'Nevertheless, there's a nucleus of small but profitable companies here, and I'm absolutely convinced it's going to work well for us.'

The size of the opportunity and the potential for building a large sales force to deliver high volumes of business attracted Tom and Vanessa Stein to become EC Credit Control's first Regional Franchisees in the UK. The couple signed up for their territory in March and, having completed the sales of their restaurants and visited Australia and New Zealand for their initial five week training programme, launched their business in September. 'The training covers all aspects of the business and was first class, they looked after us extremely well,' says Tom. 'We have now moved into offices and taken on our first seven sales people to start bringing in business across our region.'

The Southern Region is set to launch in April under the ownership of John and Dima Hackwood (pictured, left), who are returning to the UK after a period living in the Middle East. 'I got fed up of the politics of employment and wanted to run my own show,' reveals John, whose background is in banking. 'We're currently based in Beirut and had been looking at franchise opportunities across the world. We read about EC Credit Control in The Franchise Magazine and liked the scalable aspect of it and the support that is in evidence. Also, the management is young, enthusiastic and very helpful.'

The couple start their training in January and have an extensive business plan covering their first six months of operation. 'My background is marketing, sales campaigns and promotions, so I'll be out on the road with my sales team,' says John. 'My wife Dima will be looking after the office and administration. The financials are pretty set, we have analysed the customer base, the marketplace and the business model, and arising from that analysis we have a set of business goals which we are eager to proceed with.'