Godfrey Lancashire talks about London House International

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We are the UK's leading investigation company, we work in the commercial and financial market and our major clients are the major banks, a lot of the panel lawyers, we work for insurance companies and large corporates, and we trade in information. We are very good at providing information, which enables all our clients to make the best business decisions.

We are looking for franchisees with a professional background, they don't have to come from a related sector, so they don't have to be police or investigators, we give them tremendous training - it's two week residential training. But we are looking for people with very good interpersonal skills and obviously, like a lot of franchises,we are very keen that they have an enthusiasm to build their own business.

They don't need direct technical experience but it's helpful if they have some understanding of finance, have a little bit of street sense and common sense, but our training is a very professional programme - we give them all the technical help that they need.

I think one of the advantages and fun bits of London House is no two days are the same and there's instant and constant variety, so this is not a nine to five office job, it suits somebody who wants to be out and about meeting people and conducting enquires. But, for example, in the course of a day they may be required to interview somebody at their place of business or in their home to understand their latest financial circumstances. They maybe required to work with the legal community to serve legal process. Maybe asked to take a witness statement. Maybe asked to find somebody who perhaps doesn't want to be found. They maybe asked to discover an asset, maybe some property in the south of France that nobody knows about, and of course everything is legal we are data protection compliant have our own consumer credit licence licenced by the office of fair trading. So everything is legal but it is actually quite fun and it suits somebody who wants to be out and about.

A short term benefit for a London House franchisee is that there is an excellent business building potential and of course they can hit the ground running. We have been in business for 15 years, we are a true business format franchise, we are one of the few white collar franchises, and our reputation and branding is very strong not just in the franchise marketplace but our reputation amongst all our clients, blue chip clients and national clients, is very very strong so from day one our franchisees can hit the ground running. Our contract are five years they will have an excellent business over a five year term. For the future we can renew their contract in further five year terms. We have a track record of helping franchisees sell their businesses at a profit, and as a company we are going from strength to strength.

For the future for London House as a company we now are getting more involved in the international marketplace. We are starting to investigate more cases that our clients require oversees not just in Europe but further afield and equally because of our branding we have a lot of clients now from oversees who require investigations conducted in the UK marketplace. So we are seeing a much bigger flow of business both overseas and into the UK from overseas markets and we see that's where our future lies.