Focus on creating value Look Local has installed a new management system

With businesses seeking the most cost-effective ways to maximise their sales in the downturn, Look Local franchisees are offering access to a highly targeted and localised customer base

As other local business directories have come and gone Look Local, established in 1999 and first franchised in 2005, is proud to boast a distribution in excess of 150,000 copies per month helping local businesses serve their local community.

In this difficult economic climate it is even more important that local traders continue to advertise as they realise the only way out of a recession is to sell your way out. At the same time they are only too aware that their means of advertising must be cost effective and with no compromise on distribution. Look Local meets the needs of its customers by offering a magazine dedicated to advertising local businesses in a format that local communities find extremely useful. A business directory designed for the sole purpose of reaching its intended local market and at the same time meeting its objective of creating a recognised national brand.

In April 2008, the Look Local Directors Clive Wheeldon and Matt Shaw approached their existing franchisees and asked them what they needed to help them grow their individual franchise businesses. The response, overwhelmingly, was that the burden of administration and debt collection should be minimised. As a result, a new Look Local franchise package was formulated, based on the existing tried and tested model.

All franchisees can now benefit from not only the original full training on all aspects of the business; the Look Local website, including a franchisees' personal login section; and a comprehensive operating manual; but now the company has also developed a bespoke integrated Customer Relationship Management and Accounting system. The new system has been developed to hold and monitor all of the franchisees' customer data, allowing easy access for managing their sales activity and campaigns, together with an invoicing and accounting package, which relieves the individual franchisee from creating invoicing, chasing payment and managing the bookkeeping.

Thanks to the new system, franchisees will now be able to devote more of their time to focussing on their existing and potential customer base creating growth and value in their own franchise.

The franchise package remains excellent value for money and now comprises:

  • Full training and support
  • Your own exclusive territory
  • Look Local operating manual
  • Your own domain name and hosting
  • Your own Look Local website
  • Initial marketing material including templates
  • Web directory listings for your customers
  • Automatic invoicing and book keeping
  • Fully integrated Customer Relationship Management system
  • Opportunity to purchase additional territories
  • No previous experience required in sales or business management

No other franchise company offers this level of support and management for an initial investment of under £4,000, which generally starts to return a profit after three months. In year two, you can expect to return between £20,000-£30,000 per territory.

Reported by Ray Slater