Scottish Franchise Week 2014

Designed to promote the viability and profitability of franchising to Scottish businesses, Scottish Franchise Week has become one of the most significant periods in the diary of any Scottish businessperson. Here, the bfa’s Paul Stafford previews this year’s exciting itinerary.

From Monday April 28 to Friday May 2, Scotland will become the epicentre of UK franchise activity. The country plays host to many of the UK’s most renowned franchising professionals and they’ll be joining the British Franchise Association (bfa) for the eleventh annual Scottish Franchise Week. Supported by Platinum Wave and HSBC, Scottish Franchise Week sees business opportunities and seminars combined with social events, with the aim to celebrate and raise awareness of the thriving franchise sector and its £700m contribution to the Scottish economy.

The flagship event is the Scottish Business Breakfast on Thursday May 1 (Radisson Blu Glasgow), which regularly attracts more than 250 people from within franchising and from the wider business community. This year’s theme is ‘Driving Franchising Forward’ and three exceptional speakers will be leading the morning.

The keynote speaker is Gordon Shedden, the 2012 British Touring Car champion who knows exactly what success feels like, having features in the final standings top three for the past four championship seasons. He’s sure to have some inspiring and exciting stories to share about life in the fast lane. Another speaker comes in the form of franchising heavyweight, Trevor Brocklebank, CEO of Home Instead Senior Care, the 2013 bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year. Trevor is much in demand for his expertise on franchising and his standing within the care sector, which sees him contribute to Westminster discussions and appear regularly in the media. His business, Home Instead, enjoyed a fantastic 2013, scooping a number of industry accolades in the process.

The line-up is completed by Lisa Tobias, the outstanding Domino’s pizza franchise owner with a number of stores across Glasgow and Ayrshire. She had six stores before she was 30 years old and has won a plethora of awards. Her anecdotes and advice is eagerly awaited as the most successful female Domino’s franchise owner in the UK.

Comprehensive seminars are taking place for those considering buying a franchise (May 2, Glasgow) and those thinking about expanding their own business via franchising (April 29, Edinburgh). Both days feature impartial advice from senior bfa managers and renowned local franchise experts, best of all, both are free to Scottish residents. Come along to find out if franchising is right for you.

Director General of the bfa, Brian Smart, confirms the importance of Scottish franchising: “Scotland is a market where there are serious opportunities for serious brands. The UK franchise sector is a maturing one, and that means that a greater number of growing businesses are looking to expand further across the entire UK.”

However, it’s not all work, work, work – the week includes a couple of great social events too on April 30. By day, enjoy a round of golf at the stunning Kilmarnock Barassie course; and later on, the ever-popular social evening returns once again to Hummingbird in Glasgow. Both are a lot of fun and show off the friendly and supportive side of the franchise community, so make sure you don’t miss out on the lighter side of the week too.

Scottish Franchise Week is organised by the bfa’s head of operations, Pip Wilkins, who has been an integral part of its success since the very first incarnation. She says there’s a lot to enjoy and get involved in: “The week is always a perfect mix of business and pleasure, a chance to make new contacts and new friends. There’s such a rich history of franchising expertise in the region and it’s only right that the bfa plays its part in raising awareness of that.

“The Business Breakfast in particular is attended by a good combination of both franchising and independent companies, as well as local business groups, raising the standing of the sector in the wider Scottish economic landscape.

“Making as many events as possible during the week free for local residents is our way of encouraging as much involvement as we can. If you’re based in Scotland and have any connection to franchising, there’s really no excuse not to come along.”