With four years of experience running his own Eurodebt franchise Vance Parsons is ideally placed to support new and existing franchisees. Here he tells Rachel Spaul how he draws on his experience to help other franchisees develop their businesses

DEBT-MANAGEMENT franchise €urodebt recognises the value of complementing head office support with hands-on guidance from franchisees at the sharp-end of franchising. After two years as Worcester franchisee Vance Parsons took on the role of Franchisee Support Manager and has been drawing on his experience ever since to help franchisees realise business growth.

As a franchisee Vance understands what motivates people to become franchisees, their fears as they take their first steps as business owners, and their ongoing needs as the business grows. Previously a self-employed business development consultant, he joined €urodebt in search of a flexible white collar franchise offering a good return on his investment.

'€urodebt is one of the largest face-to-face debt management companies in the country providing personal debt management services to customers across the UK,' states Vance. 'With €urodebt I have more flexible working hours and am making a good return on my investment despite only working part-time at the moment.'

Although experienced in sales, business management and meeting clients in their own homes, Vance found the training 'detailed' and says it enabled him to get the business off to a fast start: 'The training was very good and gave me an excellent overview of debt management, which was a new industry to me.'

Working from home, which keeps overheads low, within weeks Vance was seeing his first customers. Four years later and he also has premises, employed advisers and a 'good' lifestyle.

'€urodebt has provided value for money, is very supportive and has given me the opportunity to develop a profitable business,' adds Vance. 'I'm now looking at employing even more advisers and expanding my marketing activities to take advantage of the number of opportunities the debt management market presents.'

As Franchisee Support Manager Vance acts as a mentor and coach to new and existing franchisees. 'With my previous experience within business development and sales and marketing, plus what I'd learned as a €urodebt franchisee, I felt I could help support others,' Vance reasons.

'I meet with franchisees at least once a month and am the first point of call if they have a question or a problem with particular cases. I review their techniques for meeting with clients, business procedures and compliancy, and provide general assistance in developing their businesses. I meet a wide range of people in this role and I find helping franchisees grow their businesses very satisfying.'

Founded in 1997, €urodebt has helped thousands of individuals and families regain financial control through its debt management services. 'Demand for our services is growing everyday and we're looking for people with good communication and organisational skills to join us,' invites €urodebt National Sales Director Graham Dennis. 'There is huge potential for debt management companies in the UK. Latest figures show that an estimated six million people in the UK are struggling with their debt payments.'

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 franchisees with an understanding of every aspect of the business. Additional head office support is provided via telephone, internet, visits and branded presentation materials. Marketing and promotional strategies are all provided to maximise brand awareness and generate business for franchisees.

When franchisees forward applications to head office these are assigned to an account manager and can be monitored via a unique computer system. A legal team, fully committed to helping clients, also support franchisees. In particular cases they have even succeeded in securing full and final settlements for a fraction of the total amount owed to clear the debt.

'Every case earns the franchisee an initial payment of approximately £500, in addition to a monthly residual income,' explains Graham. 'One of our franchisees generated £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.'

Debt is a modern phenomenon, which can bring potentially devastating consequences to individuals and families through stress, repossession and foreclosure. 'More than a business, debt management is a mission,' adds 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 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.' 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.