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Gemma points to a number of improvements made to the franchise during 2006, including creating a second training room, and the launch of new training courses, promotional and training DVDs, and national marketing materials.

'We are having a busy year,' she says. 'We have become FSA registered, which means we can also sell insurance, and teamed up with the Mortgage Advice Bureau - the UK's largest mortgage franchise. In addition, we've begun making in-roads into the M25 area, which is a vast market for us, and several of our franchisees are planning to open second branches.'

Northwood boasts a 100 per cent success rate having not had to close a franchise office through failure. Gemma attributes this to the company's comprehensive screening programme, which ensures that only the highest calibre people with the attributes and determination to be successful are considered to become franchisees. By adopting this philosophy, the long-term growth, stability and profitability of the company as a whole is ensured.


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