EuroDebt franchisees have helped thousands of individuals and families reclaim their financial control through its debt management services, discovers Rachel Spaul. Growing demand has prompted further expansion and the company is looking for suitable candidates to grow its network to 100 franchisees by the end of 2005

'Demand for our services is growing every day and we are looking for people with good communication and organisational skills to join us,' invites Graham Dennis, €uroDebt Franchise Executive. 'There is huge potential for debt management companies in the UK.

'Through franchising our aim is to expand our services to new regions. The latest figures show that at least six million people in the UK are struggling with their debt payments and they are all potential customers.' Tempted by credit card, store card and loan offers from banks, shops and even supermarkets, an estimated six million people in the UK have fallen into the debt trap. €uroDebt and its 80-strong network of franchisees provide manageable solutions, understanding and support.

'More than a business, debt management is a mission,' states Graham. 'It is a tool to help people get rid of their burdens. Whatever the problem, we provide understanding and support as well as helping clients to find manageable solutions without the need to borrow more money or put their home at risk. In the short term we release them from creditor pressure and in the long term we save our clients money.' Debt can bring potentially devastating consequences to families through stress, repossession and foreclosure. 'Most of the victims of the credit culture are seeking the support of professional debt management companies like €uroDebt,' comments Graham, 'so franchisees can easily establish themselves in a short time.'

Helping people turn their lives around is 'the best job in the world', asserts Brian Bird from Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire. Previously a self-employed print broker, Brian turned his own life around by becoming a €uroDebt franchisee in October 2003. 'I wanted to do something a bit different with the added security and support of a franchise,' Brian recalls. 'I also really wanted a business where I was helping people - €uroDebt fitted the bill perfectly. I was impressed by the history of the company and their experience in the marketplace.'

The nature of this service means franchisees can run their business from home or a small office, starting part-time or full-time. 'Every case earns the franchisee an initial payment of approximately £500, in addition to a monthly residual income,' adds Graham. 'One of our franchisees received £26,000 in a single month and existing franchisees are earning in excess of £100,000 in their second year. When compared with an initial investment of just £21,950, the earning potential is impressively high.' The work culture at €uroDebt is very easy to emulate and every franchisee will be trained to become a licensed debt adjuster. An initial one-week training programme arms new franchisees with an understanding of every aspect of the business.

This is complemented by a mentoring support system whereby highly experienced staff members assist franchisees with their clients for a month to cement the confidence and knowledge they gained through the training. Branded presentation materials, marketing and promotional strategies are all provided to maximise brand awareness and generate business for franchisees.

Ongoing support is available in the form of a Franchisee Support Team with field and office staff fully supportive in answering client enquiries. When franchisees forward applications to head office these are assigned to an account manager and can be monitored via a unique computer system. More importantly, franchisees are also supported by a legal team fully committed to helping clients. In particular cases they have even succeeded in securing full and final settlements for a fraction of the total amount owed to wipe the debt. 'The initial training was excellent and has been ongoing ever since,' continues Brian. 'I can't fault the support - they provide good head office support in terms of administration, stationery and appointments and a supervisor is always available to make visits or give advice.'

Utilising previous office space and equipment, and with a steady flow of appointments generated by €uroDebt's central telecanvassing team, Brian got his business off to a racing start meeting targets set for month two and earning a return on his investment within five. He now reports having helped around 200 people and is exceeding his business plan with a good profit margin. Brian recently invested in new computers and software and has employed an advisor. He anticipates growing the business further by generating more customers through his own marketing efforts and head office telecanvassing, and employing more advisors.

'This business is suited to personable people,' Brian explains. 'You have to be able to empathise and communicate with people. It does take time and effort to develop a €uroDebt franchise so you have to be prepared to put in the hard work, but it's worth it in the end. This franchise is both financially and personally rewarding.' Debt is a modern phenomenon and people suffer financial difficulties for many reasons. 'Most are victims of circumstance,' reveals Graham. 'Borrowing is unavoidable in certain situations but few are aware of the hidden strings attached to the offerings. Nobody wants to get into a debt trap, but personal tragedies and peer pressure put thousands into it. This trend will continue until our society changes its attitudes towards savings.'

For franchisees, this presents a business opportunity where the rewards are personal as well as financial. €uroDebt is looking for professional, personable people who are prepared to ease their clients' financial burdens.