The BFA launches the BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards 2023

The British Franchise Association has launched the 2023 BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards.

The awards are an annual event to celebrate and support excellence in franchising, showcasing franchisors and franchisees alike. 

To keep the awards fresh there are a few changes to last year’s lineup: 

• There are two new awards for 2023, the Franchisee and Franchisor ‘Trailblazer’ awards to recognise new directions and positive changes in a business. 
• The ‘Franchisor of the Year’ award has been split into two, the original category for established and expanding members and a new ‘Lifestyle’ award for part time franchise opportunities under £12k investment in any sector. 

• The HSBC Best in Class Multi Brand has been split into two categories, ‘Single Brand’ and ‘Multi Brand’. 

• In another change for this year, the association have introduced a printer friendly PDF entry guide alongside the traditional full-colour option, which will allow entrants to choose an eco-friendly alternative as they navigate the entry process. 

The full list of award categories is: 

Franchisor award categories  

Franchisor of the Year  
Eligibility: Established and Expanding Members only  

Franchisor of the Year – Lifestyle  

Eligibility: Part time franchise opportunities under £12k investment in any sector.  

Leadership & Culture – Creating collaborative networks and shared success.  

Eligibility: All members.  

Brand Awareness – Building strong brand strategies which connect teams, networks, and local communities.  
Eligibility: All members.  

Franchisor Trailblazer – Leading the way with winning strategies.  
Eligibility: All members.  

Emerging Franchisor – Building foundations for success.  
Eligibility: Franchisors in their first three years of franchising from point of recruiting the first franchisee.  

Franchisee award categories  

Lifestyle Franchisee – Making franchising work for you.  
Eligibility: Franchisees with a maximum turnover of £500k and a minimum trading time of 24 months.  

Next Generation – The young guns in franchising.  
Eligibility: Franchisees aged 30 and under.  

Community Focus – Making a difference.  
Eligibility: All franchisees of BFA Members.  

Franchisee Trailblazer – Standing out and leading the way for other franchisees to follow.  
Eligibility: All franchisees of BFA Members.  

HSBC Best in Class Multi-Unit Single Brand – Recognising excellence in multi-unit franchising.  
Eligibility: All multi-unit franchisees within the same brand. With a minimum of two and maximum of ten fully operational franchise locations and a minimum trading history of three years.

HSBC Best in Class Multi-Unit Multi Brand – Recognising excellence in multi-unit franchising.  
Eligibility: All multi-unit franchisees across different franchise brands. With a minimum of ten fully operational franchise locations and a minimum trading history of three years. Franchisees from non-member brands are also welcome to enter. 

Franchisee of the Year – People’s Choice

About the BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards

CEO of the BFA Pip Wilkins said: “We are all very excited by this year’s awards, with the new categories ensuring franchises of all sizes have the opportunity to shine. As ever this year it is the great stories we are looking for. We want to know how changes in a business have affected franchisees; for instance, if a franchisor has installed a new CRM system, great, but also tell us what difference it made to the network; similarly, if a franchisee has expanded their business, fantastic, but we want to hear what that meant for their customers too. Yes, we want the figures, but we want to hear the stories behind the data too.” 

One of the stories that stole judges’ hearts last year was that of Ellena Morgan from Little Voices (Fylde) who won the ‘Next Generation Franchisee’ award, after a difficult year during which she lost her partner.

Ellena said: “Winning the ‘New Generation Franchisee’ award meant so much to me; it was a huge acknowledgement that all the hard work my team and I put in was worth it and a great confidence boost to me personally. The parents of the children I teach were absolutely thrilled about it too; it gave them great confidence in us as a company and they shared all my social media posts about our win, with supportive comments, which was so lovely. I am so proud of myself and my team. I would recommend anyone to enter the awards; even just filling out the application form gave me a chance to assess how far I’d come since starting the business and winning, well that was just icing on the cake.” 

Emily Price, COO, BFA Academy said: “We sometimes hear people say they won’t enter the awards because they don’t think they’ll win, or they think it is some kind of closed shop where only established brands win every year and that’s simply not true. Roughly 30% of last year’s winners had never entered the awards before, in any category and we encourage brands who have never entered to give us a try this year. We have some great ‘top tips’ notes to help you write the best entry, allowing your stories and relevant data to shine through.”  

Nigel Dawson, co-founder and franchise director at easyStorage who walked away with the ‘Emerging Franchisor’ award on their first time of entering last year concurred: “It was a huge honour to win an award on our very first attempt last year and a wonderful testament to the hard work of our network of franchisees and staff. When we started easyStorage we were in the privileged position of being able to build it properly from the ground up; having been in franchising for 35 years I knew what good looked like and I knew what bad looked like and I was, and still am, determined that we will lead the way in setting franchising standards. Winning the award 100% cemented that strategy and demonstrated to our franchisees that there is method behind the sometimes perceived ‘madness’ of our very exacting standards. We drive them hard and ask a lot of them because we know we are doing it the right way, for us, for them and for the entire brand. I would recommend any franchisor to enter the awards to give their network confidence in their leadership and growth strategy.”  

As they have since their inception, the awards are sponsored by leading franchise bank, HSBC. Their UK Head of Franchise, Commercial Banking, Gillian Morris said: “The BFA HSBC UK awards are the highlight of the year, the awards journey starts in July with the initial shortlisting when Pip Wilkins and I spend a week reviewing each individual entry.  Reading and watching all the entries is a privilege, and each year we hear amazing stories detailing how franchisees and franchisors have excelled.  It’s also the most difficult challenge as we endeavour to shortlist only three entries in each category, not an easy feat!  Once more, HSBC UK is proud to sponsor the awards and look forward to celebrating the collective industry’s success, innovation, and hard work”. 

Deadline for entries is 7th July 2023 and the awards will be held on 9th November 2023.

To find out more about the British Franchise Association, see their profile. 

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