BizSmart® is a leading business support provider headquartered in Worcestershire.
Born from the recognition that just 4% of businesses scale beyond 7 figures, BizSmart® was founded to help small and medium-sized ‘owner-managed’ businesses overcome key challenges to growth through its proven system for scaling up and building value.
With an overarching vision to increase the number and success of ScaleUp businesses across the UK, BizSmart® launched its own franchise model in 2020 to strengthen its service offering on a national scale.
Since launch, BizSmart® has gained significant traction in the franchise market, having launched BizSmart® Gloucestershire in 2021, and BizSmart® Birmingham and Solihull in 2022.
With two franchises successfully off the ground, Founder and MD, Kevin Brent, shares insight into the BizSmart® franchise model and discusses how following a proven strategy can help increase franchisee performance and resulting business growth:
Why did you create the BizSmart® franchise model?
‘Having successfully supported the growth of over a thousand Worcestershire-based businesses, I decided to launch the BizSmart® franchise model in 2020, to extend business support to owner-managers across the UK.
BizSmart® has always been committed to helping as many businesses as possible, so it made sense to also provide proven professionals with the opportunity to build and establish their own business support offering under the BizSmart® umbrella.’
What have been some of the highlights of the franchise model?
“In 2021, our first franchise – BizSmart® Gloucestershire – was launched to provide BizSmart® services to SMEs across the Gloucestershire region. Over the last year, BizSmart® Gloucestershire has achieved some great results, assisting many business owners within the Gloucestershire area, and even expanding its own internal team.
Since the launch of our franchise model, we have been gaining industry recognition, most notably after BizSmart® Gloucestershire celebrated its first year in business and following our appearance at the National Franchise Exhibition. Another highlight was becoming a proud member of the British Franchise Association with a commitment to ethical franchising.
In October 2022, we secured our second franchise – BizSmart® Birmingham and Solihull – and we are now on track to expand by a further three within the next six months.”
What sets the BizSmart® franchise model apart?
‘Our system and results speak for themselves. We recently conducted dedicated research, which surveyed business leaders who participate in the BizSmart®’ ‘Flight Academy’ programme, which indicated that despite the challenging climate, participants had increased profits on average by 19% compared with the year before. It also revealed that 100% of business leaders have increased confidence and leadership through our support services and dedicated peer-to-peer program, Smartboards.’
What problems do franchisors have when it comes to consistency in franchise performance?
‘When exhibiting this year at the National Franchise Exhibition, one of the questions that emerged from franchisors was, how can we stabilise and create consistency between franchise-to-franchise performance and raise the overall performance across the network?
The resounding message was that across a franchisee network, typically around 10-20% are performing really well, 10-20% are performing poorly and 60-80% are doing ‘ok’.’
What can franchisors do to ensure performance consistency for all franchises?
‘There are many things that can assist in creating consistency in franchise performance. One of the best ways to ensure business success is to utilise strategies and systems that offer tried and tested results.
By following a proven strategy, which establishes clear leadership roles, core business ideologies and actionable tasks, franchisors can provide their franchises with a framework for success.
Using external resources like The Entrepreneurial Scale-up System [ESUS], franchises gain insight into the key reasons why most organisations don’t scale and how the challenges change as business owners reach different milestones on the ScaleUp Journey. This offers a system for franchises to use to successfully navigate between the milestones, and help them to scale up, sustain growth and enhance performance.’
How can ESUS support franchise performance across the board?
‘ESUS is designed for successful and ambitious business owners perhaps feeling a little stuck and searching for direction. They may be struggling from the typical ‘symptoms’ of time, people, and cash – not having enough hours in the day or feeling that their team are not aligned to the businesses objectives and not behaving quite as they would hope, and perhaps wondering why their growth is not translating into cash in their pocket!
These fears also apply to franchisors looking to build a sustainable franchise model, and searching for ways to improve consistency, clarity in direction and leadership for their franchises. ESUS can be harnessed by franchisors, to follow a proven system for obtaining and sustaining growth and building value.
Often in the beginning, Franchisees can hesitate and find leadership and direction, a hard undertaking. By using ESUS, franchisors can provide their franchisees with a practical guide in how to make the first steps toward business growth, maintaining performance and continue to follow the system as their business and confidence grows.’