€urodebt: Rewarding franchise in financial services

Your own business providing valuable debt management services to the public is the unique proposition offered by €urodebt. Rachel Spaul profiles this white collar opportunity

'Helping people manage their debt is very satisfying,' reflects John Mills, €uroDebt National Franchise Coordinator. 'Franchisees not only earn a good living, but also find enjoyment in genuinely being able to help others.'

€uroDebt is one of the country's largest face-to-face debt management companies providing personal debt management services to customers within the comfort of their homes. With 59 franchisees already established, the company is searching for key individuals to fill a limited number of remaining territories.

According to recent figures from the Bank of England, the total amount of debt outstanding in the UK currently stands at £1.148 trillion, having topped the £1 trillion mark in 2004. John says debt is very much a 'growth problem' that requires personable, empathic and professional people with good interpersonal skills, to provide the solution. Debt can bring potentially devastating consequences to families and individuals through stress, repossession and foreclosure, and so debt management is a highly sensitive subject. €uroDebt has over 10 years of experience, five years in franchising, providing debt solutions to victims of the modern credit culture.

Graham Dennis, €uroDebt National Sales Director, divulges: 'Demand for our services is growing everyday. 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 our clients from creditor pressure and in the long-term we save them money.'

Experience of working within debt management or finance is not a pre-requisite for becoming a €urodebt franchisee. As part of the package, franchisees are trained on every aspect of managing their €urodebt business and are supported by a three-pronged support system. During the first month, new franchisees are assigned a mentor to cement the confidence and knowledge they gained through the training.

Franchisee Development Manager Vance Parsons provides mentoring support to franchisees. As a franchisee himself (he owns the €urodebt Worcester franchise), he 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.

'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 other franchisees,' he reasons. 'I meet with franchisees at least once a month to 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 and develop their businesses very satisfying.'

While Vance provides hands-on support on the ground, John Mills primarily provides telephone support for franchisees, which could include reiterating aspects covered by the training, providing motivational and moral support, or marketing advice. He has over 30 years of experience working in financial services and substantial marketing experience.

Franchisees are also supported by a call centre, which generates their initial leads, and a team of account managers and legal advisors, who in some cases have 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. Compared with an initial investment of just £21,950, the earning potential for this business is impressively high.'

Former Independent Financial Advisor Craig Bullock earned more in his first year as a €urodebt franchisee than he did as a Senior IFA working for a national company at the top of his trade. 'My business is performing better than expected,' he reports.

'According to other franchisees, the first year is spent establishing the business and the second is more lucrative with more referred clients as the name becomes better known. I'm already 20 per cent up on this time last year.'

Craig likens the franchise to his previous job as an IFA: '€urodebt is a white-collar business that's not very different from working as an IFA. The role also involves interviewing clients and solving problems, the only difference is the product and the fact that I now work for myself.'

A €urodebt franchise can be run from home with low overheads or dedicated office space and is potentially both financially and personally fulfilling. John furthers: 'You will need good interpersonal skills and must be determined. People with the desire to succeed will succeed in this business.'

For Craig, the rewards are three-fold: 'A €urodebt franchise is financially rewarding, I gain satisfaction from running my own business and it gives me plenty of free time to spend with my family.'