Smith & Henderson announces 2014 Best Franchise Awards winners

In November, consultant Smith and Henderson announced the winners of its 2014 Best Franchise Awards at the fourth outing of its successful ‘Best Franchise Conference’, where Gary Rigby, Regional Director of FDS Southern, served as a judge for the third successive year.

The Best Franchise Awards are unique in the industry, in that they are based on feedback from thousands of actual franchise owners, and franchisors that achieve outstanding results in the company’s Benchmark Satisfaction Survey are automatically entered into the awards.

The survey asks franchise owners to anonymously score their franchisor on everything from training and support to shared goals and how the reality compared with their expectations. The results are then compiled into a report, giving the franchisor a detailed insight into franchisee satisfaction and areas for improvement. The winners therefore represent an elite group of franchisors and some of the best franchise opportunities in the UK. Of the 21 winners honoured across five categories, names included TaxAssist Accountants, which took home the award for ‘Best Franchise’ with investment over £75,000; entertainment exchange CeX, Mac Tools and Home Instead Senior Care in the new ‘Continuous Improvement Award’; and Right at Home, children’s swimming instructor Puddle Ducks, and Rugby Tots in the ‘5 Star Franchisee Satisfaction Award’.

The judges attended the event sponsor RBS’s Offices in Aldgate, where the shortlisted candidates presented their franchise proposition, together with their support to new and ongoing franchise owners. The hosts were Steve Frost, Director of Smith & Henderson, and David Williams, Director of Franchising for RBS.

Frost said: “Another great day in the Smith & Henderson Best Franchise Awards calendar. Our awards are based on what really counts: the experience of thousands of actual franchisees, which means all our finalists already feel like winners because they know how highly rated they are by their franchisees, something every good franchisor strives for. The winners today all demonstrated good training, support, communication skills, support and an active network necessary to build a great franchise operation and we are proud and delighted to be recognising them today.”

Representing sponsors RBS, David Williams, Director of Franchising at RBS England & Wales, said: “The Best Franchise Awards bring together some of the UK’s finest franchisors and celebrates their success and the opportunities available for franchisees. With increasing numbers of new business start-ups, following the franchise route it is vital for franchisors to make their business model stands out and sets high standards for the implementation of the franchise. RBS is delighted to be supporting the Best Franchise Programme and I would like to congratulate the winners of the awards which have all set themselves apart from the competition.”

Winners

  • Best Franchise: Less than £25k investment - Puddle Ducks
  • Best Franchise: £25k - £75k investment - ActionCOACH
  • Best Franchis : £75k plus investment - TaxAssist Accountants

New for 2014 was the Continuous Improvement Award, designed to recognise franchisors that have improved their Franchise Satisfaction Survey results for at least two years running. Winners in this category were:

  • ActionCOACH
  • Business Doctors
  • CeX
  • Home Instead Senior Care
  • Mac Tools
  • Premier Sport
  • Puddle Ducks
  • TaxAssist Accountants

The 5 Star Franchisee Satisfaction Award was given to an elite group of franchisors who were rated as ‘above average’ by their franchise owners across every key area that the benchmarking programme measures, such as training and support for franchise owners and the quality of their relationships. The winners in this category were:

  • ActionCOACH
  • Business Doctors
  • Diddi dance
  • Home Instead Senior Care
  • Magic Bugs
  • Puddle Ducks
  • Right At Home
  • Rugby Tots
  • Tatty Bumpkin
  • TaxAssist Accountants

Judge, Gary Rigby: “The standards were extremely high; the awards themselves recognise the feedback from thousands of franchise owners, the winners themselves represent franchisors who have actively taken on board the comments from the network and strive to improve their business through this beneficial knowledge. The franchisors present were from a variety of franchise sectors all competing for this prestigious award.”

TaxAssist Accountants: “This is another great vote of confidence from our national network,” said Jody Fiveash, UK Recruitment Manager with TaxAssist Accountants. “We not only maintained the 5-Star rating we were awarded in the inaugural awards last year, we increased our score. The survey asks our franchisees to rate our franchise system, the training and support we provide, our culture and relationship with them, stewardship and leadership and general satisfaction. We’re delighted with the result and will continue to work hard to maintain and improve that level of satisfaction.”

Director Steven Frost: “Our awards are based on what really counts, the experience of thousands of actual franchise owners which means all our finalists already feel like winners because they know how highly rated they are by their franchisees, something every good franchisor strives for. The winners today all demonstrated good training, support, communication skills, support and an active network necessary to build a great franchise operation and we are proud and delighted to be recognising them today.”