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Franchisee of the Year 2014: Meet the finalists

Read about the entrepreneurs that have gone above and beyond with their franchises

Some people will claim that buying a franchise is an “easy” way to start a business, and whilst it can be less risky to have the backing of a big brand behind you right from the off, the difference between a merely good franchise and an exceptional one can be astonishing.

In this award, we recognise the franchisees that have gone above and beyond with their ventures, effectively delivering the principles of their parent brand as well as creating a splash in their own right.

The finalists

Diamond Logistics (Birmingham) – Julian Westwood

Having spent nine years running his own recruitment consultancy, it was perhaps no surprise that Julian Westwood took so naturally to the process of running a franchise – although no less impressive. Since launching his own arm of the specialist same-day courier company, Westwood has bought into the company philosophy with aplomb – amassing an impressive array of clients and well on target to hit £1m turnover in less than three years.

Read the full Diamond Logistics profile here.

Driver Hire (Hereford & Worcester) – Vance Parsons

Driver Hire’s franchise proposition sees its partners act as recruiters for short-term drivers and logistics staff in their area, which can involve significant legwork on the part of the franchisee. No-one knows this better than Hereford and Worcester area franchisee Vance Parsons, who, after purchasing his franchise in mid-2013, has overseen seriously impressive growth. Using labour-intensive (but effective) methods such as cold-calling local businesses, travelling around the region to meet clients, and contacting local Jobcentres to find unemployed drivers, Parsons is now running a round-the-clock service to keep up with demand.

Read the full Driver Hire profile here.

Jasper’s (Warrington) – Nick Blake

In little over a year, Nick Blake has grown his franchise from a three-person operation to a wildly successful catering group with eight employees, 90 regular customers, and the fastest rate of growth in the area (according to their bank). This has been no fluke – Blake has introduced a number of innovations to his arm of the specialist catering service, including replacing the traditional menu with a 16-stage business-focused conversion process and a commitment to only offering the best quality products and freshly prepared food without compromise.

Read the full Jasper’s profile here.

The judges

A judging group that includes Crowdcube co-founder Luke Lang, Elizabeth Varley of TechHub and Startups’ own editorial director Ian Wallis will be well placed to pick out the best of these very impressive franchisees.

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