FDS South East open for business

Offering franchise consultancy, access to online and print publications and additional training expertise, Malcolm Porter tells the story of how he came to become an FDS franchisee and profiles the services he will be offering franchisors

I have always been keen to own and operate my own business and for a number of years have investigated many different opportunities. I first became aware of the FDS opportunity through The Franchise Magazine, reading an article by FDS'Midlands Consultant Ken Young about how he had moved from a similar senior management position to become the Regional Franchise Director for the Midlands.

I had investigated several other business-to-business and training franchises, but felt that FDS offered the best opportunity to utilise my existing skills in a growing industry that I had some experience of. It was vital that the business opportunity offered both a challenge and financial rewards.

I felt that my experience would meet the criteria FDS had set for its franchisees, so I had several meetings with FDS'co-Founders Roy and Judy Seaman (pictured, with me as I signed my franchise agreement) who fully explained the opportunity and the role of the FDS'Regional Directors. I was very impressed with the team at head office and was also very fortunate to meet up with all of the Regional Directors: Gordon Patterson, Ken Young, Tony Urwin and Gary Rigby, who fully explained the pros and con's of FDS. I spent time with Tony and his team at the British Franchise Exhibition in Manchester to sit in with their conversations with existing and potential franchisors.

Having worked for a leading publishing company with the number one internet offering I was looking for a company that would offer the same. This made my reasons for joining FDS quite simple:

  • Industry-leading consultancy company internationally recognised for providing outstanding advice.
  • Vastly experienced team - Roy and Judy formed FDS back in 1981 and Gordon has been with FDS for over 20 years.
  • Number one magazine offering comprehensive advice to potential franchisees and representing the best value for money for franchisors to advertise their businesses to potential franchisees
  • Number one internet sites: www.theukfranchisedirectory.net and www.thefranchisemagazine.net.
  • Professional and credible company as born out by everyone that I met and a full member of the British Franchise Association.

The best thing was that I didn't need FDS to tell me this - my extensive research proved all of the above to be true and I realised that FDS is going from strength to strength. From registering my interest in May 2007, I had completed my analysis and worked through the franchise agreement with Nicola Broadhurst from Mundays by February. I am really delighted to join FDS and look forward to meeting everyone at the British &'International Franchise Exhibition in London at the beginning of April.

My objective is to work with the franchisors in the South East by first gaining a real understanding of their business and priorities for the year ahead, then formulating a plan focusing on how FDS can help their businesses go from strength to strength. I will be offering a wide range of services to existing and new franchisors based in Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

FDS has built an unrivalled one-stop shop of packages to assist the franchisor in strengthening its operations and achieving its franchise development goals. I will offer multifaceted services which consistently deliver full brand development and market penetration solutions incorporating related management infrastructure, sales, marketing and implementation.

We publish a portfolio of franchise magazines which offer franchisors an opportunity to maximise the impact of their franchisee recruitment marketing strategies. The readership of The Franchise Magazine consists of the most serious prospective franchisees in the UK, people who have spent money to follow up their interest in investing in a franchise, and are educated in what to expect from a franchise opportunity.

FDS also maintains online a selection of prime franchisee recruitment tools, including www.theukfranchisedirectory.net, which will enable franchisors to maximise the cost-efficiency of their franchisee recruitment marketing.

I will also be offering FranMatch, our professional lead management service which assists franchisors right the way through the franchisee recruitment process, from lead generation through to the signing of the franchise agreement.

In addition, I will be able to offer training services to franchisors and their franchisees on a wide range of topics, including sales skills, coaching, management skills, personal development, achieving peak performance and many more.

My vision is to become the leading franchise development company in the South East of England, providing comprehensive expert advice and innovative solutions to all existing and potential franchisors utilising FDS's detailed knowledge of the franchise industry. I am really looking forward to meeting and establishing good quality relationships with the franchisors in the South East. Watch this column for updates and news of my progress.

Text: Malcolm Porter