Question and Answer
FDS South East’s Malcolm Porter talks to Peter Richman, Managing Director of Plug And Play
Malcolm Porter: How would you describe Plug And Play franchise opportunity?
Peter Richman: In a word, exciting! The web design, online marketing and cloud hosted business systems market has seen huge growth over the last few years. In line with this, Plug And Play is a really dynamic organisation with an exciting and varied product set. We always aim to be on the cutting edge of new technology, and clients love to work with us. As our business has grown we have really made a success out of delivering websites and online marketing, creating a proposition that is financially sound for a sustainable, profitable, future for all of our franchise owners.
Malcolm Porter: Describe your target market and the potential for your business across the UK.
Peter Richman: Our target market is the mid-level small and medium enterprises (SMEs). These businesses tend to employ five to 50 people and already have a website and systems in place and are looking to make more of them or use them more effectively.
Malcolm Porter: Has the current economic uncertainty affected your business?
Peter Richman: Definitely – for the better. With businesses looking for a tangible return on investment in their marketing spend where can you get better analysis and tracking than online? This is one of the reasons we have seen such growth over the last few years. People are really investing in online marketing with new websites, search engine optimisation (SEO) campaigns and social media, because of the track-ability and accountability. No other marketing method can give such analysis on spend to customer conversion. Online marketing in this manner isn’t considered an expense, but an investment in new business – who wouldn’t spend money on that?
Malcolm Porter: What differentiates Plug And Play from its competition?
Peter Richman: From a franchise prospective Plug And Play is in my opinion the first true ‘business format franchise’ in the web design sector. Sure, there are other web design franchises and I’m sure they offer a great business model. However, the Plug And Play model is pitching at a higher level. Our model enables you to grow your own web design agency, employing staff and generating residual income. We bring strategic, cutting edge technology to the middle to high SME market to low-end corporate sectors, which is something unseen before in franchising. From a website purchasing perspective, we have a very strong and diverse portfolio of work, our own website management systems, eCommerce platforms, CRMs and ERPs. Not to mention our proven track record. With our backing our franchise owners can easily hit the ground running.
Malcolm Porter: What support do you provide?
Peter Richman: We are committed to giving our franchise owners the best in ongoing support. We are only a call or an email away to help them with tactical issues with their business. Not only that but we are continually improving our systems and processes, as well as our marketing materials and strategies.
Malcolm Porter: What are the most important characteristics you look for in potential franchise owners?
Peter Richman: They need to be a problem solver, be personable and have some level of technical awareness and a keen eye for detail. Ideally they will be goal-oriented and have a real desire to succeed. Other than that we don’t specifically look for people who know how to build websites, but that is an added bonus.
Malcolm Porter: What are Plug And Play’s goals for the next 12 months?
Peter Richman: We are looking to grow the franchise network to ideally 20 franchises in the next 12 months as well as bring out our own cloud hosted ERP and CRM solution Xeus, adding yet another bow to our franchise owners’ service offering. It’s this commitment to ongoing research and development of new technologies that really makes Plug And Play a really exciting business to be apart of.