The future of the franchise


Over 120 industries currently have franchised companies available to purchase. Usually, the franchisee will receive help with their site selection and development support, operating manuals, brand standards, quality control, training and business advisory support from the franchisor.

The whole point of franchises is that they can pop up everywhere. Here, we delve into some of the UK’s top franchises and discover how they got to where they are today and what lessons can be learned from them.



The Wetherspoon’s chain was initially named Martin’s Free House, with the first Wetherspoon opened from a former bookmakers’ store in 1979 in North London in 1979. It then changed its name to Wetherspoon the following year, with the company’s chains initially only expanded in North London. The company opened its first pub which had a no-smoking bar in 1991 in North Finchley, before moving more into Central London, with their first pub in Liverpool Street Station. The following year, the first airport pub was opened in Heathrow and in the same year they were also named J D Wetherspoon plc, opening their 50th pub.

Following that, business began to swiftly progress. Wetherspoon moved out of London in 1993 and opened pubs in Bracknell and Norwich. By 1994, the chain had reached an impressive 100 pubs and ventured as far north as the Midlands. The business kept expanding and moving into new territory throughout the 90s, with further establishments opened in Manchester, Wales and Scotland. 1998 saw the 300th pub open and its rapid expansion saw them reach 500 pubs being open by 2001. The 600-mark was reached in 2002 as the breakfast revolution got underway as all pubs opened six days a week to serve the first meal of the day.

The company proved it was adaptable to change following the introduction of free Wi-Fi to their pubs. Then, in 2007, the first wedding was held. The 700th pub was launched in 2008, with the 800th following in 2011 and 900th in 2013. Nowadays, the company employs over 35,000 staff, and owns 948 pubs and hotels.

What can businesses learn from Wetherspoon?

It’s noticeable that location is significant, and people adore offers. Wetherspoon’s have succeeded most by being flexible and adapting to their environment.

Key business features

Key travel locations: The chain is positioned in busy travel locations, including train stations and airports. You can currently find them in Aberdeen, Birmingham International, Doncaster, Edinburgh, Liverpool John Lennon, Heathrow, Gatwick, Glasgow and Stansted airports, and near train stations around London, Leeds, Liverpool and Glasgow.

Festival spirit: Wetherspoon always embrace a festival-like spirit. They currently are involved in a biannual beer festival with 60 beers on tap.

Meal deals: Wetherspoon have some of the most popular meal nights in the pub industry. They include the initial Curry Club and Steak Club, Chicken Club, Fish Friday and Sunday Brunch and offer a drink alongside them.

Lookers Group


The automobile company was founded in 1908 by John Looker. By 1910, the Manchester-based business had forged with a garage owner in the centre of Manchester. Primarily a Ford dealer until the First World War, the company was thriving so much that the garage had to be rebuilt in 1911 to accommodate all the business that it had generated.

It was then appointed a distributor of Austin motor vehicles in 1918 and its growth continued when they acquired a number of garages in Lancashire and Cheshire. John Looker retired in 1929, but the business didn’t falter. During the Second World War the Austin factory was committed to the war effort as the country fought. Fast forward a few decades and the business’s first major acquisition took place in the 60s when the Group moved into Yorkshire. By 1973, their headquarters had moved from Hardman Street to Chester Road – their current base today. At the same time, the company became a listed company on the London Stock Exchange.

Currently, Lookers sits in the top three motor vehicle retailers in the UK, becoming a key motability dealers, representing 32 manufacturers and selling car types at 150 franchised dealerships.

Key business features

Value your people: The Group received top employer UK 2017 and 2018 accreditations and recognises that you must look after your own to be a success.  By acquiring several local businesses, including Benfield, the Group understood the need to keep the local feel of the businesses while softly implementing their own touch.


Key business features

Keep it local: Greggs have almost 1,700 shops currently across the nation, but are still rooted in their local communities. That means that, while there is the popular national range, regional favourites can be found in their stores depending on where you are.


John Gregg’s delivery service was created in the 1930s. He delivered eggs and yeast on his pushbike to families in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was after having this delivery service that helped local families bake their own bread for over 10 years that John Gregg opened a small bakery on Gosforth High Street in 1951. It was a single shop with a bakery at the rear. This allowed Greggs to begin baking quality bread with flour that was milled from specially selected wheat for that distinctive Greggs taste and texture.

Following the passing of his father, Ian Gregg took control of the family business in 1964. Under Ian’s leadership, Greggs developed a good reputation for selling products which were quality and of great value. The company also started to grow in size by buying regional bakery retailers across the United Kingdom and, by the 1970s, they had shops in Scotland, Yorkshire and the North West.

By 1984, the company’s expansion was well underway. There were more than 260 shops in four areas of the country at this point. For the first time ever, Greggs was on the Stock Exchange and they continued to expand, opening shops in the Midlands, Wales and North London.

The company invested in a large Technical Centre, so they could focus on producing an array of new recipes while improving old favourites. This highlights that Greggs continued its rapid growth during the noughties.

It’s clear that by providing you with a ready-made business model, you may feel as though you have a greater chance of success. This means the franchise world is going to continue growing, regardless of the industry you choose. So, budding business owners out there, make sure you research any possible franchises that could be of interest to you before jumping in feet first with your idea!

The 2018 HR & Training Awards Press Release


Corporate Vision Unveils the HR & Training Awards 2018 Winners

United Kingdom, 2018– Corporate Vision Magazine has announced the winners of the HR & Training Awards 2018.

Corporate Vision annually shines a light on the very best companies, individuals and teams across the spectrum of fields involved in human resource management and training.

At the heart of every successful business, lies a dedicated and committed staff ensuring vacancies are filled with the best candidates, whilst maintaining a happy, motivated, healthy workforce, trained to perform their duties to the best of their capabilities. Frequently outsourced and working behind the scenes as they do, the heroes of human capital rarely get the recognition they deserve, despite the significance of your work to the wider business or enterprise. Therefore, it is our honour to identify and pay homage to you tireless professionals and the valuable work you undertake.

Discussing the success of their winners, Steve Simpson, Awards Coordinator commented: “I am truly honoured to be able to showcase the very best of the best in the HR and Training market through this awards programme. I would like to wish my winners a hearty congratulations and the best of luck as they look to the future.”  

To learn more about these illustrious winners, and to find out the secrets behind their success, please visit



About Corporate Vision Magazine

Created by a highly experienced and passionate team of business experts, advisors and insiders, Corporate Vision provides discerning readers worldwide with a wealth of news, features and comment on the corporate issues of the day.

How social media is changing how we eat and drink


We love food, we love drink and, nowadays, we love social media. There’s no doubt that technology is changing the way we go about our everyday lives.  At the beginning of the year, research found that 83% of the UK’s adult population are active on social media. While we are using this platform to stay in contact with each other, we are also posting snaps of our days in a way to ‘boast’ about our activities, whether this is regarding our latest adventure, or most recent choice of food.

Here, with plastic glasses suppliers, Inn Supplies, we discuss how social media is indeed changing our eating and drinking habits.

Meal portions
A study has shown that highly active social media users are actually eating smaller portions. This is due to the fact they aren’t willing to part with enough time to eat a large meal. Whether this is the case or not, it’s concerning to think that people are putting their social media addiction ahead of gaining the nutrients needed to fulfil a balanced diet.

Food envy
With cameras often snapping meals all over the world, it’s a phenomenon we simply can’t avoid. Stats found that in America, half of the population take pictures of their food, with food they’ve cooked being the most photographed meal. As well as this, over one in five US residents share images of the food they’ve received at a party or wedding.

Often, this can provide us (the viewer) with a sense of food envy. We appreciate a good thing when we see it, and often, due to social media, we can get cravings for certain food and drink. After all, nowadays it’s seen as an art form, with dinners being specifically laid out to wow the recipient.

Choice of food
Believe it or not, with so many food choices, social media is actually helping us eat healthier. While we keep sharing images of our delicious dishes, we are also sharing recipes, education, tips and a whole lot more.

Kathy Smart, CEO of Live the Smart Way says: “You are more apt to try a recipe or a new food when you see a picture of it and have a friend or person you trust recommend trying it or how to use it.”

The key fact is that a lot of recipes being shared are quick and easy to make, which is appealing to the majority. Putting an image alongside them is quickly grabbing our attention as healthy foods are often the most photogenic due to their vibrant colours.

With the advances in technology, being a social media influencer is now classified as a job for some. This role, coupled with the fact that they have generated a dedicated online following, allows the user to establish credibility and persuade a large audience to purchase goods. Some influencers, including Shisodelicious, have an estimated salary of over £20,000. 

To be a social media influencer, you must share your life transparently in order for companies to recognise your ‘importance’. Although lately this craze has been slammed by Twitter for creating an unrealistic expectation of reality

With more of us using social media daily, it’ll be interesting to see how our future diets are affected because of technology.


Why is print marketing important for start-ups?


Regardless of what people are saying and the attitudes in the world of business, print is not dead! Whilst many companies are making a transition towards a more digitally focused marketing strategy, they could be missing out on the benefits that still exist for the traditional method of print marketing, as they get carried away with the digital craze.

When companies realise that digital platforms have many active users, they believe that this is the best channel to get their message across. However, 80% of online users do not click on any online banner adverts, meaning just 20% do! Is it worth paying the competitive price for the digital space for just 20% – to which not all of those users will convert into sales? If you also consider that magazines are still very much a part of our lives, with 63% of UK adults still reading magazines, according to YouGov – whereas only one in ten UK adults regularly read online magazines – maybe digital isn’t so perfect after all.

Marketeers should consider though, that print marketing is tried and tested, and it works – it still exists for a reason, and that is because it is successful, when done properly. 34% of all printing is for advertising and marketing products, such as event programmes, tickets etc, and 30% is attributed to newspapers, magazine and brochures etc. The print industry is heavily reliant on marketing and advertising. 

Instagram selfie frame providers, Where The Trade Buys, outline why, and how, entrepreneurs can utilise print marketing, as opposed to digital marketing, to take their start-ups down the road of success – without breaking the bank.

First of all, you can consider direct mail. This is sometimes referred to as ‘junk mail’, however, figures suggest that the term junk mail couldn’t be further from reality. In 2015, more than 2.5 billion direct mail coupons were redeemed and 54% of consumers that were surveyed revealed that they want to receive direct mail from brands that they are interested in. With 80-90% of direct mail getting opened, and just 20-30% of emails getting opened, there is a clear winner for start-up companies looking to get their message across to potential new consumers.

A consideration for many companies is their marketing budget – but for those start-ups which don’t have money to burn when it comes to their marketing campaigns, it doesn’t mean your campaign won’t succeed. There are several print marketing techniques that can make your campaign a success whilst on a budget.

Recent research from StartUp Britain (a national campaign supported by the government) revealed that there are around 80 new businesses launching in the UK every hour, so it’s clear that entrepreneurial competition is fierce. Direct mail and brochures are a good place to start – neither need to break the bank either, but it is a big business. In 2009, direct mail accounted for 10.7% of the UK’s whole advertising expenditure.

You don’t need to overcomplicate anything with a leaflet either. Simplicity works. Your main priority when designing your brochure is to ensure your branding is clear, your message stands out and your style is eye catching. Remember you are on a budget so you don’t have pages and pages to play with; stick to 8-12 pages. You want to encourage consumers to act after all, not take up an hour of their time reading your brochure. There are several must-haves, which even when designing on a budget, you must consider:

·         Attention grabbing headline.

·         Unique selling point(s).

·         Call to action.

·         Clear design.

·         Concise content – keep this limited to ‘need-to-know’ information as you don’t want to throw too much information at consumers, and this will also save you money in printing costs.

·         Keep everything accurate – don’t allow mistakes to slip through the net.

You must carefully plan when it comes to printing brochures and leaflets. Whilst the more copies you order, the less you pay per copy, ordering 500 brochures if you are only going to use 250 is simply a waste. Your spent money is likely to sit on a coffee table or in a cupboard gathering dust on unused brochures too. Therefore, make sure you utilise your budget wisely.

It’s clear to see that print marketing, although a traditional marketing method, is tried, tested and trusted. If the figures aren’t enough to convince you, then the affordability of it could sway you. Whilst digital platforms are useful to have to engage with customers on a familiar and mobile platform, print marketing has been proven to drive results. For start-ups, print marketing is definitely something that should be addressed.

Research: Why business travel is bad for your health


Struggling to beat the bulge? Business travel could be to blame, with over a third of UK workers who travel regularly claim healthy eating goes out of the window 

Whether it’s enjoying a large latte on the train, grabbing a pastry between morning meetings or sitting down to a three-course meal with clients, business travel spells bad news for the usual healthy eating habits of UK workers, according to new research by boutique aparthotel group Roomzzz. 

The recent study of 1000 UK workers who regularly travel with their job claimed that it was their diet that was worse hit when away from home. In fact 36% of respondents believed it was the aspect that suffered the most during time away, with disruptions to sleep patterns coming a close second, with 33% of those questioned saying a super comfy bed was at the top of their wish list when it comes to choosing a room for the night. 

Extra snacks and blow-out meals quickly rack up the calories, in fact 58% of the regular travellers questioned believed they easily consumed anywhere between 250 and a whopping 1500 extra calories each day, compared to a normal working day – potentially 50% over the recommended daily calorie intake for men and women. In fact, out of the 1000 respondents questioned, it was North West workers who admitted splurging the most during business trips. 

Naveen Ahmed, Managing Director at Roomzzz says: “Travelling with work can mean a major disruption to your usual daily routine. Staying in a traditional hotel often means that you are often forced to eat out and have a lonely table for one, when all you want to do is get a take-away or prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal, put on your PJs and enjoy some down time in the comfort of your own room. At Roomzzz we encourage our guests to use the room as they would their own home; we offer a kitchen and living area as standard, giving guests the space to spread out and relax and certainly no need to sneak food or drink into our properties! So many of our guests tell us they love the space and additional living areas, which means they don’t have to work ‘in bed’ with their laptops on their laps, which allows them to keep a bit of normality while away, whether that’s preparing their own meals, doing some yoga in the living area or simply chilling out on the sofa after a hectic day.” 

Jo Cox, a frequent traveller says about her time staying in hotels: “I used to stay away about three nights a week in hotels up and down the country and I would crave simple foods. It got so bad that one night I went down to the kitchen with a tin of beans and some bread and asked them to cook me some beans on toast! I was so fed up of eating out on my own or having the same choices from the room service menu.” 

Naveen adds: “Business travel is tiring – for the mind and body, so it’s not surprising that those questioned ranked a super comfy bed as an important feature of their room. We pride ourselves on offering the best beds in the market…so much so our guests often ask us where they can buy one for their own home!” 

Roomzzz pioneered the Aparthotel concept launching its first development in 2006 in Leeds. Now with a growing portfolio of nine aparthotels, ideally positioned in some of the UK’s most vibrant cities, including Manchester, Leeds, London, Chester and Nottingham the brand has ambitious growth plans with further developments in the pipeline for Edinburgh, Harrogate and York.

Issue 11 2018

Issue 11 2018

In this edition, we take a closer look at award-winning recruitment agencies to a firm providing enterprise technology business solutions for small, midmarket and Fortune 90 and World’s Top Companies.

In recent news, CGTrader, one of the world’s leading 3D model marketplaces, offers integration of its technology with the Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify. As part of the integration, CGTrader will help Shopify to create an all new shopping experience using 3D modelling and Augmented Reality (AR).

In this edition, we look at how RJ Interior Design have not only worked upon enhancing the product and services it offers to clients, but also creates a supportive and collaborative internal culture where they can create truly unique ideas that will meet their client’s needs. Recently, we profiled the firm and spoke to one of the firm’s owners, Rami Alkhatib who reveals more about the creative designs they provide to their clients.

Concepts Group of Companies is currently celebrating their 20th year of operation, with its primary focus of being a Creative Farm. Exhibition stand design and outfit, one-stop-shop; Civil Construction and Waste Management are major operators under the Concepts group of companies. Recently, we profiled the firm to find out more about the exceptional services that they provide to their clients.

Also in this edition, Optimus Search is a specialised digital, data and life sciences recruitment service, with offices across Europe.  We caught up with Rafael Walton, Marketing and Communications Director for Optimus, to find out how they have become the go-to technology recruitment firm in the region.

The team here at Corporate Vision Magazine hope that you enjoy reading this month’s packed edition and look forward to hearing from you.

Workplace productivity – how to improve it?


Procrastination comes at a huge cost for businesses around the country, 36 working days each year according to research. The main reasons why are due to texting, shopping and browsing social media during work time being top distractions.

So, what exactly can be done to help boost your workforce’s productivity levels. We take a look here with Cliverton, specialists in Boarding Kennels Insurance.

Improving working environment

Did you know that the optimum temperature your office needs to be is 20-21C? If the temperature isn’t right it can have a detrimental impact on productivity in the workplace. Anything outside of this bracket may lead to distractions in concentration, as employees will be more interested in reaching an acceptable body temperature. This could include getting up to put their coat on or playing with the air conditioning system.

Also, the colour you decorate your office can have a significant impact on both morale and productivity. While we may say we are feeling ‘blue’, this primary colour is said to put you at ease in the workplace. It’s said to be an ‘emotionally comfortable’ colour, meaning you’ll be happier if your décor is awash with blue. Green has a similar effect and is most suited to those who are looking for a creative environment. Then there is purple; a colour which can encourage teamwork and creativity. You’ll likely find this, alongside red, in design firms.

It can also be worthwhile introducing standing desks to your office space. Not only is this concept a good way to boost your staff’s productivity, but it also has health benefits. By allowing a colleague to choose or alternate their stance during the working day, you will be showing that you care about their well-being.

Setting achievable and realistic goals and targets

SMART goal setting is a must for any workplace. This means you should be specific in your goal, making sure it’s measurable and action-orientated. It should also be realistic and time-bound.

Setting your colleagues targets that are achievable is crucial. Research indicates that goal setting can improve work performance by up to 25%. However, if you introduce goals or targets that aren’t realistic, morale and productivity will nose dive. It’s important that you keep staff focused and on the same track. This can be provided by giving them clear directions and an end goal that is clearly reachable.

Pets in the office

Did you know that Google and Amazon have their own office pets? Well, research has found that nine out of 10 dog owners are happier in life because of their furry friend. This is because they can help reduce stress levels, and this can also transfer to the office.

Nestlé UK’s head of HR, Paul Steadman said: “Having a dog-friendly workplace encouraged interaction and socialisation between employees who may not have crossed paths otherwise.”

This is important, as a good relationship with co-workers has been found as a major player in job satisfaction. And, as they say: a happy worker is a good worker.

Living a healthy life

The Centers of disease control and prevention claim male workers who are a healthy weight take two days less off due to sickness compared to those who are overweight. Therefore, company benefits, such as the use of a company gym and free fruit, can go a long way to improving productivity. In Google’s New York office, it’s even rumoured that no colleague is ever more than 150 feet away from food because they believe nutrition will keep the productivity levels high.


Getting the work life balance right is critical to productivity in the workplace, especially to millennials. It’s been found that 70% of millennials believe a flexible work schedule is a priority when looking for a new job. Head of Brand and Content at Remote Year, Emily Moyer agrees, stating that “flexible work schedules make you happier”.  

Thanks to flexible shift patterns, a colleague will feel less stressed due to the fact they can easily plan their schedule around their life commitments.

As productivity is crucial to any company, following the above advice can help keep your workers happy. In turn, this will benefit your business and you will reap the rewards. After all, as Richard Branson says: “Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”


Every CEO wants their employees to work smarter


Every CEO wants their employees to work smarter.  To do more with less. 

Successful disruptors often address this issue. 

A good example is Purplebricks, the hybrid estate agent that has reworked the traditional estate agent’s job and removed a huge slice of the admin associated with the role.  Their local property experts spend all their time selling homes and none drumming up business or undertaking back office admin tasks. 

Car maintenance start-up Fixter connects independent garages with customers, picking up a car from a customer’s home or workplace and taking it to a specially vetted local garage.  Garages spend too much time on admin – scheduling bookings, suppliers, tax, invoices.  But Fixter feeds these independent garages with jobs while providing them with the technology to provide instant quotes and accurate parts matching and ordering.  Do customers care the garage isn’t spending all that time doing paperwork?  Of course not – they want a simple, quality service from a trustworthy independent garage. 

Which brings me to the health sector.

A huge issue for the health service is the amount of time that doctors are spending not seeing patients; on admin, travel, scheduling amongst other tasks.  In a climate of staff shortages and limited budgets, GP practices are struggling to cope with patient demand.  Patients are currently waiting an average of around 13 days to see their doctor – with some forecasts suggesting that might rise to three weeks.

From a patient’s point of view the 13-day wait is already far from ideal.  And, course, your appointment is only for one illness.  If you have three things you need to see the doctor about, you are likely to need three separate appointments.  It’s going to take you a long time to get those booked in, that’s all time spent not getting better.

Until April 2014, the standard GP appointment slot in England was fixed at 10 minutes and although the length can now be varied, the NHS Choices website tells patients they should expect doctors to spend an average of 8-10 minutes with them.

With challenges in recruiting more GPs to the UK and funding already stretched, the only way that the NHS (in its current guise) could reduce waiting times would be to increase the number of patients each GP has to see every day.  That would clearly be a retrograde step for the health service, for doctors who are already stretched and for patients, who can already struggle to get the help they need.  You can’t cut the consultation down much further, especially with an ageing population with complicated, multiple health needs that cannot be properly treated within a much shorter timeframe. 

But there is another way. 

Push Doctor doesn’t do admin on behalf of the NHS individual surgeries.  We focus on the provision of care online and via our hassle-free healthcare app, allowing patients to get the diagnosis, advice, and treatment they need via a video consultation.  Our appointments (currently £30 pay as you go or membership which is an upfront payment of £30 or £3 a month) are booked in 10-minute slots and appointments can always be extended as needed.  We only work with GMC-registered and NHS trained doctors with experience in NHS clinics, private clinics, or both.  So there’s no difference in service – other than the consultation taking place on your smartphone, tablet or desktop rather than face-to-face.  Push Doctor is not a niche new offering – with thousands of appointments being delivered each week, hundreds of thousands of patients have now been able to access the help they need, and audits show that over 95% get the help they need via their first video consultation, without the need for face-to-face care.

With Push Doctor someone can pick an appointment time to be seen in under 10 minutes rather than 13 days.  And our service is available every day of the year from 6am until 11pm.

Now, this isn’t an advert for Push DoctorBut the contrast, in terms of delivery, is currently very stark indeed. 

How ? 

The difference is, of course, in the admin.  At Push Doctor we want doctors to focus on the diagnosis alone and to improve efficiency, with centralised medical and customer experience teams supporting them around the clock.  Digital healthcare increases the ability of doctors to work flexibly and can improve doctors’ working environments while enabling them to treat more people, often unlocking hours that wouldn’t previously have been practical for them.  With a digitally empowered platform and smart technology, Push Doctor can also maximise the effectiveness of the workforce which is no longer limited by geographical location.  The effective use of technology to remove admin and travel out of a doctor’s day is one of the reasons that the country’s medical tech sector is thriving.  According to PwC, the global “connected healthcare” market is expected to expand by a third every year, reaching £37bn by 2020.  The UK, it predicts, will grab five per cent — or nearly £2bn — of this.

Currently, GPs currently spend 11 per cent of their time on administration.  In an age of large-scale cloud computing, many GP surgeries still retain stacks of paper patient records and operate clunky legacy IT systems.  When you add commuting and other administrative roles to the paperwork, 45% of a GP’s time is not being spent on patients.  Now overlay best-in-class digital healthcare technology onto the NHS.  So much more could be done with the application of advanced automation and centralised support to close that gap.  Do patients miss the admin?  It appears not – something our significant 230% year-on-year subscription increase shows.

Not only does digital healthcare have the potential to free up NHS capacity and help the health service to offer better care to people who still choose to see their GP in the surgery, there is already evidence that waiting times for face-to-face appointments are falling due to apps. 

Another example of a disruptor doing more, with less.

By, Wais Shaifta CEO of Push Doctor