Beat the Credit Crunch. Voucher Packs franchisees offer value for consumers and clients

With the credit crunch reducing people's spending, Voucher Packs's distribution of money-off vouchers through the post to boost clients' business is following a soaring trend of consumer interest

As the cost of fuel, utilities and food continue to rise, householders nationwide are put under more financial strain. A survey conducted by Promotions Company Valassis has found that more people are looking for ways to save money with 30 per cent of consumers now actively searching for promotions and 75 per cent of those actively looking blaming the rising cost of living for their saving tactics.

Voucher Packs is helping consumers save with its direct post, DL size, clear wrapped, branded packs that contain leaflets and money off coupons to be redeemed in establishments such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Frankie & Benny's and other local businesses. Established in 2002, Voucher Packs began franchising in 2007. Based on a business concept with a success record spanning 35 years in the USA, Voucher Packs franchisees sell advertising and coupon space in their packs to local businesses.

Seeing the economic situation as an opportunity for growth, Voucher Packs has started expanding nationwide and is looking for franchisees to join its network. Richard Wood of Voucher Packs comments: 'So far the company is in the process of launching four franchises in Southern Ireland, Northern Ireland, Preston and Huddersfield. A fifth franchise is under discussion for Peterborough at the moment.'

Franchisee Bernice Starrs has just completed her training and is due to launch her franchise in Omagh, Northern Ireland this August. Armed with a wealth of experience in the retail industry, Bernice is confident her business will be a success and hopes to generate a turnover of £35,000 in her first year.

'Before I became a Voucher Packs franchisee I ran a chain of discount stores,' explains Bernice. 'Having built up the business over the last nine years I am aware of the growing consumer demand for cheap goods. Voucher Packs appealed because I wanted a less stressful venture with lower overheads that would fit around spending time with my children. With the cost of living increasing I feel there is a niche in my local market for this business.'

Bernice is aware of how hard it is to establish a business from scratch. Franchising was the best option for her because she could use a tried and tested business model and utilise the franchisor's knowledge to build a successful business from day one. With the success of the Voucher Packs business reliant on building long lasting relationships with advertisers, head office takes care of the operational side of the business freeing franchisees to focus on selling.

Bernice intends to continue running two of her discount stores alongside her Voucher Packs franchise. 'The initial training programme is one week long and covers all aspects of the business,' enthuses Bernice. 'Voucher Packs has provided me with a training manual to refer to at a later date if needed. I am excited about the prospect of putting what I have learned into practice and meeting new people.'

Reported by Jess Sturman