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23/07/2018 17:00 | Start a business

Consultancy franchises in the UK

If you believe you’ve got what it takes to become a business coach, one of these four franchises may be the perfect opportunity for you. All of our chosen franchises have worked hard to develop their reputation as successful business consultants and fantastic franchise investments. Each offers prospective franchisees something slightly different, and all have the potential to earn you a substantial profit. Here, we take a more in-depth look at what makes them exciting propositions.

Top consultancy franchise opportunities in the UK

Auditel

Founded in 1994 by Chris Allison, Auditel has gone from strength to strength over the last 20 years. It made the leap to franchising in 1997 and, since then, the network has grown to encompass more than 200 franchisees and serve over 4000 clients. It has won numerous awards, including the HSBC ‘Franchisor of the Year’ award in 2012 and the ‘Innovation and Excellence’ award in 2017, and continues to offer high-quality services to customers across the UK and Ireland. It specialises in providing cost management consultancy services to businesses who require advice on how to control their overheads, and its role is to help companies to become more efficient, limit their waste and achieve sustainable profit growth.

To invest in Auditel, franchisees will need to raise a minimum of £40,000. Auditel has partnered with several lenders, including NatWest, HSBC, Lloyds, and RBS, who will help finance up to 70% of this initial investment – if they deem you a suitable franchisee. In return, Auditel allows franchisees to trade under the brand's name and image, and enrol each franchisee (and one other person) on a 12-day residential training course. This programme covers all of the basics necessary to run an Auditel franchise. However, training continues throughout the five-year franchise agreement, and additional support is provided in the form of regional meetings, exhibitions, workshops, personal development seminars, and a national conference.

ActionCOACH

ActionCOACH is the UK’s number one business coaching franchise and the recipient of numerous awards. Established in 1997, the business quickly expanded to become a multi-national organisation with franchises in more than 75 countries. In the UK, the franchise has grown to around 150 business coaches and is always looking for talented recruits to join the organisation. It focuses on coaching business owners, managers, and professionals from a wide range of industries and backgrounds, with an emphasis on increasing profits, developing strong organisational structures, and building your team. ActionCOACH believes that there are simple and effective ways to grow a business and have a great deal of experience in communicating their ideas and teachings.

To join ActionCOACH as a franchisee, it's necessary to raise a minimum initial investment of £27,000. However, the franchise utilises a tiered pricing system. This means that franchisees can invest £39,000 for the ‘Hybrid’ package and £59,000 for the ‘Premium’ package. As you step up your level of investment, royalty payments to the franchisor decrease and additional resources become available. The franchise package is extensive, and ActionCOACH is known for their excellent training programmes and franchisee support systems. The fact that ActionCOACH has received the maximum five-star franchisee satisfaction rating every year, for the last five years, is an indication of just how successful the franchise is.

Expense Reduction Analysts

Expense Reduction Analysts are one of the most profitable franchises in the business coaching industry. Many franchisees report annual profits of over £300,000 and the franchise has won the British Franchising Association’s (bfa) ‘Franchisor of the Year’ award on more than one occasion. Originally established in 1992, Expense Reduction Analysts now encompasses a franchise network of more than 750 units. It specialises in providing consultancy services and strategic advice to small businesses of all types and operates in more than 30 countries around the world.

The minimum investment required for an Expense Reduction Analysts franchise is £39,000. Around 70% of this figure can be borrowed from partner organisations, such as HSBC and Lloyds, though additional working capital and some personal investment are necessary. In return, franchisees will be granted a place on an eight-day introductory course and be assigned a mentor who will guide them through the first six months of business. Franchisees are also enrolled in an 18-month business academy to fine-tune their management skills and receive ongoing support from experienced franchisor advisors. Finally, national conferences are organised on an annual basis, allowing franchisees to network and learn from one another.

Business Doctors

Owning a franchise that helps small and medium-sized enterprises grow, expand, and realise their full potential can be personally rewarding. Business Doctors are a perfect example. Founded by Matthew Levington and Rod Davies in 2004, the franchise earned itself five stars for ‘franchisee satisfaction’ in 2016 and has worked hard to maintain its reputation as a supportive franchise. In the past 15 years, it has expanded internationally, opening units in India, Ireland, and South Africa, as well as other key markets. It aims to provide high quality, affordable business consulting services to companies with a desire to succeed, grow, and increase profits.

To become a Business Doctors franchisee, an initial investment of around £37,000 is required. Additional working capital is also necessary. Business Doctors have partnered with several financial institutions, ensuring that suitable candidates can raise between 50-70% of the investment through borrowing agreements. In return, franchisees receive five days of introductory training, covering the consultancy market, business operations, and franchise systems. After this period, ongoing training is available, allowing franchisees to continue upgrading and updating their skills. The franchisor also retains control of advertising, ensuring the marketing budget is sent efficiently and effectively, while also enabling you to focus on your franchise unit.

Conclusion
Business consultancy franchises benefit from a large target market and low overheads. Many allow you to base operations out of your own home and few require any serious investment in stock, marketing materials, or equipment. This makes them an affordable and attractive proposition to those that have the communication and business skills required to succeed as a business consultant.

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