Get your teeth into a truly national business

The benefits of a maturing network are now being realised by London House franchisees as they experience growth in their national account work. Stuart Anderson interviews Business Development Director Mark Blaber

With a network of 40 franchised offices nationwide, financial and commercial investigation franchise London House is capitalising upon its countrywide reach by signing up a growing number of national accounts. Business Development Director Mark Blaber has been instrumental in bringing network-wide business in from a number of sources over the last 12 months, which has contributed to London House's annual turnover growth of 20 per cent.

'We've always worked for blue chip companies, but we are further developing our relationships with the head offices as a result of being able to service them everywhere in the UK,' Mark reveals. 'This is leading to the transfer of their business to London House where they hadn't previously used us. For example, we have just reached a national arrangement with a major firm of solicitors for whom our franchisees will be undertaking process serving, such as orders to attend court, statutory demands or winding up petitions.'

London House franchisees are also currently providing services for 14 of the 34 Official Receivers Offices in the UK, with negotiations to win business from the remainder ongoing. 'This is often dealing with bankruptcies - making discreet inquiries into lifestyles, process serving, and trace enquiries,' says Mark. 'We've also recently entered into an agreement with a major debt buyer, which will use our debt recovery and trace enquiry services and provide hundreds of new instructions every month for our franchisees as we roll the agreement out nationwide.

'Winning these national accounts has a long lead time, perhaps 12 months. As more come to fruition, we're expecting to grow sales by a further 30 per cent this year. We're also enhancing our fee structures to benefit our franchisees. The amount of varied, complex and detailed work out there for our franchisees to get their teeth into makes it an exciting time for London House, as we continue to grow and bring new franchisees on board.'

Suited to your investment level ...
London House

"The work itself is intriguing. We enjoy the information gathering, meeting people and performing a practical service." Stewart & Adam, Oxford franchisees

Stewart's story: "We both served in the marines together, including a stint in Afghanistan, and when I began looking for a new career and discovered London House in The Franchise Magazine it was natural to go into it in partnership with Adam. Our first impression is that this is a very professional franchise which provides lots of support and backup for the franchisees, who are able to work together and compete for big contracts. The training was informative, thorough and we felt well prepared to launch our business in September.

"The directors, the marketing consultant and the business development director helped us to put together our business plan. We're going to be targeting the local press, attending networking groups and contacting small businesses in the area. Every business is potentially a client of ours and we plan to specialise in commercial business debt recovery, surveillance, tracing, discreet enquiries and information gathering. In the next 12 months we want to cover our initial outlay, establish a good reputation and client base, and move into an office. As we build up our Oxford territory we will then look to expand by taking on some other areas as and when they become available.

"We're not only going to be benefiting from the national accounts being earned by London House, but also contributing - there's plenty of head offices among the 16,000 companies operating in Oxford."

Get Results ... as a Professional Investigator
A specialist in financial and commercial investigation, London House was established 12 years ago and now spans a network of 39 franchised offices nationwide. Franchisees provide a range of specialist services to blue chip clients such as Barclays Bank, HSBC Group and Dixons Stores Group, including: - Asset tracing -Status reports -Company searches - Pre-employment screening for drugs & alcohol -Witness statements

The Franchise Package:
London House has developed a turnkey franchise package which includes: - Comprehensive training - Ongoing support and backup - Franchisee Help Desk - Full marketing launch programme including press releases, local market research, articles & mailshots - Introductions to known clients - Recommendations on local networking events - Exclusive territory Standard or Premium

Standard or Premium?
London House is opening up new territories across the UK with the introduction of two investment levels:

Standard: £9,500
Town sized population centres such as Plymouth, Gloucester, Stoke or Aberdeen.

Premium: From £17,500
Regional territories combining a number of population centres.

Both packages provide the same level of training, launch and ongoing support to ensure you maximise the business potential of your investment.