Thriving cities such as Birmingham and Manchester have become Meccas forbartering according to Bartercard Plc, which opened its first franchise inBirmingham in March 2003. The system gives businesses of all types a hugeamount of new business, benefiting the wider regional economy as a whole.Jobs that are created as a result of new franchises include administrativepositions, trading consultants, sales representatives and account managers.
Bartercard operates a business exchange system that allows member businessesto buy and sell goods and services without using cash to pay for them. Acompletely self-contained economy that operates alongside the cash economy,Bartercard UK has its own currency, Trade Pounds (T£). Recognised legally byboth the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise, the Trade pound holds theequivalent value to the pound sterling.
Bartercard UK currently has 16 franchise offices stretching across Englandfrom York to Cornwall. But it is the Midlands and the North where it seesthe biggest opportunity for growth to meet these aims, and the company willtarget the thousands of small and medium sized businesses through 10 newfranchise offices across England.
'The number of businesses that have embraced this system of modern-daybartering is staggering and is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit ofthe cities outside of London,' said Ian Jones, managing director ofBartercard UK.
'We are delighted to be in a position to open further franchises to keep upwith the UK's demand for business trading. Expansion through franchisingwill enable us to quickly increase our presence across the midlands andnorth, and we are currently in the process of identifying suitable areasthat will complement the reach of existing offices, bringing bartering - one of the world's oldest business concepts- to a whole new audience.'
Set up in UK in 1996 Bartercard UK is part of the Bartercard InternationalPlc network - which operates in 18 countries worldwide, with more than72,000 members and an annual turnover approaching US$2 billion. Currentlywith 4,000 members in the UK, the company has ambitious expansion plans and aims to increase its monthly trading volumes to £10 million by the end of2005, as well as increase member recruitment by 50% per month.
Bartercard will be on stand G70 at The British Franchise Exhibition on 7thand 8th October at The National Exhibition Centre, Birmingam.
- Linh Vo, current owner of the Bartercard Birmingham North East, hasenjoyed an extremely fast rate of growth since opening two years ago: 'In myfirst year of taking on the franchise, my turnover doubled each month for awhole 12 months. It didn't take long for local small and medium sized businesses to see the huge benefits that this type of trading can bring and, quite naturally, they want to be part of it.
With the support network that Bartercard offers, anyone with a head for business can grow as quickly as I have. Bartercard has allowed me to inject any saved cash into other business opportunities which has enabled me to go consistently from strength tostrength.'
- Brian Whitford, current owner of Bartercard Central Counties North,recently bought his franchise following many successful years in sales andmanagement.
'What initially attracted me to Bartercard was the concept; I see modern day bartering as a vehicle for the future,' explains Brian. 'Bartercard is the largest and most sophisticated organization of its kind in the world and therefore carries the most credibility. I believe the offer to the client is good and fair and the benefits are real - all of this is important ingiving me the belief to invest and work hard to develop the business.'
'The main benefit since becoming a Bartercard franchisee has been theopportunity to run my own business again while still having help and advicefrom a large organization. I have found excellent levels of support both athead office and through fellow franchisees, which has helped me moveeffortlessly into the industry and start adding my own skills. After my first two months of owning the franchise, I was delighted to see trading levels improve along with ten new clients to add to the network. Challenges and success are what I love and I wouldn't trade Bartercard for anything.'
Published: 19 September 2005
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