The Franchise Magazine's competition to win a Sony Vaio laptop computer, run in conjunction with consultancy franchise Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA), has been won by Paul North of Acton, West London. The competition was run in the April/May edition, and was also open to visitors at the ERA stand at the British Franchise Exhibition at Olympia, London in March.
Paul purchased The Franchise Magazine while commuting to his work in London. 'I saw The Franchise Magazine and it struck me that may be there would be opportunities that could give me lower-risk routes into self-employment in the future,' he says. 'I was amazed at the array of businesses that are franchised. I recognised a number of brands that I see in everyday life and had not realised that they operated under franchise.
'I thought The Franchise Magazine was excellent - the articles were informative, it was neat and well presented and many of the franchise opportunities I considered to be possibles for the future. I didn't apply for further information straight away although I did have a browse on a few websites. I don't normally enter competitions, but ERA was a franchise that really grabbed me so I thought 'why not?''
Having previously co-owned a niche business in the film production industry, Paul currently works in a sales role for an IT solutions company. 'I work in a very competitive industry and I would like to develop my own business in a sector that is less hectic and more stable,' he reveals. 'My parents run their own business in promotional products and considered the franchise market themselves about five years ago. When I see them it makes me think about owning my own business again.'
Using unique methodology and the shared resources of ERA's 130-strong franchise network, its franchisees identify and implement cost management solutions through achieving 'best value' from suppliers. ERA Franchise Manager Nick Tubb comments: 'I have been delighted by the response to the competition and by the regular postal entries we have received throughout the campaign, right up to the closing date. Congratulations to Paul, who seems to have a lot of the right characteristics to be a great success in developing his own business. The fact that he has seen first-hand the challenges involved in a conventional business start-up helps to highlight the benefits of franchising.'
Paul concludes: 'It was very interesting meeting Nick and seeing the ERA business - it certainly seemed to provide the depth of training and support that somebody would really benefit from and it highlights the intentions of a business that is developing successfully.
'The international ERA structure was also fascinating to learn about as I hadn't realised the business was also so well established globally. I will certainly keep a close eye on ERA developments over the next year or so and would certainly want to fully investigate the ERA franchise when I am in a position to look seriously at starting a business again.'
'I was amazed at the array of businesses that are franchised'
Published: 11 July 2006
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