Leading telecoms network operator O2 has won the HSBC Award for Enterprise in the British Franchise Association’s (bfa) 2008 Franchisor of the Year Awards, illustrating just how effective franchising can be as a solution to many of the challenges faced by
Sponsored by Express Newspapers and HSBC Bank, the awards recognise the UK’s top performing franchisors who are operating in a market sector now worth £12.4 billion a year.
Slough-based O2 UK were presented with their trophy at last month's (May) award ceremony in London. Just three years ago O2 became one of the first major non-food brands to move into the franchise world, developing and launching a franchise opportunity based on a system and structure that allowed franchisee and franchisor to work together in partnership, and significantly, encouraged franchisees to challenge the way that the business is run.Feedback from franchisees is carefully monitored in order to make improvements, and the company also has a retail forum for entrepreneurial spirit.
The productivity and service performance of the O2 franchise channel exceeded all expectations, allowing the company to press ahead with ambitious expansion plans and putting it on track to achieve a target of 110 stores open by the end of 2008.
O2 franchisees enjoy the freedom of marketing their business using O2 approved material. The company spends £100 million per year on advertising and franchisees not only have access to that, but can stamp their own call to action on it.
They are also able to tap into the power of a recognised brand that is positioned among the top one hundred super brands. Naturally this has the effect attracting high calibre franchisee candidates, many of who are successful and seasoned franchisees from other leading brands in search of their next challenge.
In rolling out a well planned franchise programme, one founded on the collaborative efforts of franchisor and franchisees, O2 have overcome many of the obstacles associated with a growing a business, helping to ensure a successful future both the franchisee and the O2 Franchise business.
HSBC’s head of franchising, Cathryn Hayes, said: “O2 is an excellent example of the flexibility of franchising and their success shows how a business can grow and flourish by applying the rules of franchising.”
“The achievements of O2, along with the high standards demonstrated by all the finalists in this year’s awards, underline the strength of the franchise market and encourage us to continue our commitment to this exciting sector.”
Director General of the bfa, Brian Smart, added: “The franchise industry is home to some of the UK’s most well-known brands and we are delighted to present O2 with the Enterprise Award. Their broad vision and ability to make bold decisions demonstrates the success franchising can bring.”
For more information on franchising visit www.dailyexpressfranchise.com or www.thebfa.org.