A day in the life of an Expense Reduction Analysts franchise owner

Expense Reduction Analysts operates as a family-owned, independent organisation, which since 1992 has built a formidable team of more than 150 franchise owners. Expense Reduction Analysts is the trusted adviser to over 800 organisations across the UK and Ireland.

Paul Maes joined Expense Reduction Analysts in May 2005 after a successful career within the construction industry.

6:00am I usually wake up early and, after some breakfast, I will check the weather to see if it is suitable for me to cycle the short distance to to my office.

7:30am When I arrive at the office, I make a pot of coffee and get into ‘work mode’. I initially worked from my home, but I find it much easier in a rented office, as it provides me with an additional focus when making phone calls to suppliers.

A lot of my fellow Expense Reduction Analysts consultants work from home efficiently, but I find it more effective for me to rent an office, as there are no distractions.

8:30am As it is the start of the week, I meet my business partner and we conduct a full review of all the projects that we currently have on, establishing and prioritising the tasks for each. We use a simple whiteboard to organise the actions and set deadlines for specific tasks such as chasing suppliers, updating other franchise owners on joint venture projects, as well as submitting audit reports and raising those all important invoices.

9:30am Now that we understand what are the most important actions for the next week, it has become apparent that there is capacity for some new clients. As a result, my business partner and I spend some time implementing a marketing campaign to reach potential clients. This is made much easier with the marketing support we receive from the franchisor.

Marketing and client acquisition is a big part of our business, which is why it is so high on our list of priorities. Client acquisition is much more than just making phone calls – you need to make sure that the organisation is of the right turnover size, that no other franchise owners are actively marketing to them, and that we have the right up-to-date information.

12:00pm This morning has been really productive; I have made lots of self-generated appointments, which have resulted in some first meetings with potential new clients.

When it comes to winning new clients, a lot of our franchise network follows the self-generated appointments route. This means they can create open dialogue with the organisation rather than relying on telemarketing, which can be really damaging.

Many new franchise owners are nervous about making their own appointments, but the training and support they receive in the first 12 months really does prove that it is just a state of mind that can be overcome through perseverance.

After making all my phone calls, and following up on some outstanding items, I nip back home for lunch, before heading to Group Office in Southampton.

1:45pm When I arrive at Group Office, I spend some time talking to the business support and marketing teams about some experiences I have had in the last month. They are really receptive to my ideas, and it is a great feeling knowing that my feedback is valued.

2:00pm The meeting this afternoon is to do with my involvement with the Advisory Board, which is made up of 10 franchise owners, as well as the main Board of Directors. I think the biggest benefit of the Board is that it gives franchise owners not only a voice, but also enables them to shape the Expense Reduction Analysts five-year strategy framework that we all need for our collective success.

My main role on the Advisory Board is to mentor two specific strategy projects, as well as being the board representative for the Southern region.

5:00pm Following a really successful meeting, I drive home to my wife and three young children.