Look Local: A Franchise opportunity worth looking at

Helping local businesses and serving the local community, Look Local is seeking to replicate its success nationwide. Managing Director Clive Wheeldon explains

'Back in 1999 I knew I had the right idea,' says Look Local Founder Matt Shaw. 'I truly believed in it and although it took an amount of nerve and energy to get going, just look at what we have achieved now.'

Matt conceived the idea of creating a local business directory just before the millennium. Primarily wanting to run his own business and be in control of his own destiny, Matt felt that local traders could surely reach their local community in better ways than advertising in the local newspaper or placing a card in a Newsagents window.

'I just looked at the options available to local businesses at that time,' he recalls. 'If you wanted to advertise your product or services where did you go? The local newspapers were great to browse through but they were not something you would ever keep to hand. An option to place a card in the local Newsagents window was all well and good but only a limited number of people stopped to look at it.'

Matt then set about creating a new medium for local traders to reach their local community, one that would not be thrown out at the end of each week and one that left the right impression with the potential customer. A magazine dedicated to supporting local traders, advertising local businesses, and something that people in local communities would find useful. A business directory designed solely for the purpose of reaching its intended market.

'I had a very specific target market in mind with Look Local,' says Matt. 'Of course it was a risk to give up my regular income but I was delighted to see the enthusiasm with which local businesses greeted my idea and what followed was quite amazing.'

The original Look Local now produces books in 10 local communities each month and Matt has a thriving business - but it hasn't stopped there. Over a period of time Matt realised the true potential of the Look Local system and understanding its value to all kinds of businesses decided to take Look Local to communities around the country.

In 2005 Matt was joined by Clive Wheeldon to franchise the successful Look Local system. 'Clearly Clive has extensive business experience and together we have created an exciting environment for all sorts of people to join us,' says Matt. 'Clive has introduced some great technology that helps us support our franchisees totally, and although we believe it is the people that really matter most, these tools enable us to offer a complete franchisee support package at a very affordable price.'

Whether a franchisee has absolutely no knowledge of setting up and running a business or has vast experience, Look Local will appeal. With the knowledge base that the two Look Local owners have built up over the years, franchisees can feel very secure in the knowledge that they will be supported as they build a successful business of their own.

It is quite apparent that both Matt and Clive share a passion for the successful future of Look Local and all it stands for. There can be few franchise packages around that offer such great value for money and with such a low financial risk. Look Local truly represents an excellent opportunity to its franchisees...no wonder Look Local's national ambitions are really taking off.