TVSAS: Tune into franchise success

With the approach of the great switchover to digital television in the UK, TVSAS is launching a franchise opportunity that will enable business builders to supply the growing demand for digital compliance. Stuart Anderson reports

Just as colour TV replaced black and white, digital TV is the future in the UK. In fact, in the build up to the switchover from analogue to digital, which takes place between 2008 and 2012, all UK households will need to ensure their aerials and distribution systems are digital compliant.

With 38 per cent of homes in the UK not yet equipped with digital viewing technology (according to the Confederation of Aerial Industries, 2006), and 3 million of the 7.4 million set top aerials in use in the UK in need of changing during the switchover in order to cure poor reception quality and limited services, TVSAS is launching its franchise opportunity to develop a reliable nationwide network providing TV aerial and satellite installation services for homeowners and businesses that are either experiencing TV reception problems or looking to upgrade their systems.

TVSAS has been operating in the UK industry for five years and its company-owned operation expects to report a £1.4 million turnover for 2006. It is this phenomenal potential that has led the company's founders to seek to replicate its operations nationwide through franchising. 'This is an opportunity for business builders who want to create a growing business in this highly exciting field,' says co-Founder Nigel Simpson. 'The head office operation has expanded out of Reading to cover eight territories. We have 11 engineers on staff, plus an office manager, and serve the domestic, retail and commercial markets with some 90 per cent of turnover being generated from domestic sales. Of those domestic sales, 90 per cent is generated from the installation of TV aerials and satellites.'

The company launched a pilot operation in November 2005 based in Northwest London to prepare its franchise concept. With two engineers operating, the business reports a consistent turnover in excess of £25,000 per month. 'The market opportunity is enormous and a TV is now seen as a necessity in every home, regardless of household income levels,' says co-Founder Phil Wilkins.

'Some people will be able to use their existing TV aerials to receive digital signals, though most will need to have new aerials installed to ensure high reception quality and to receive all the services.

TVSAS franchisees will operate in what is currently a high growth market. As no premises are required to operate the business the costs are very low and the margins high, making this a very exciting opportunity.'

With five franchisees signed and preparing to launch - Glasgow North, Glasgow South, Swindon, Bristol and Stoke - TVSAS is seeking self-starters to own and operate their own installation service companies, with a focus on customer service the primary selection criterion. 'Our promise to our customers is that we'll guarantee a solution for any TV reception problem,' says fellow Director Craig Barker. 'We provide free reception diagnosis over the phone, we won't try to sell extra equipment that isn't needed and at the end of each job we leave the customer's home and TV clean and ready to use.'