December 12th, 2017 by Marketing in General

new year resolutionsCFH docmail logo2

This is the time of year when most of us are revving up to resolve to make the changes that we imagine will make us better people or improve our fortunes.


It’s easy to have a rush of blood to the head, dash off a long and frankly unachievable list and then be satisfied that everything will miraculously fall in to place on January 1st.


Like so much in life of course the secret to effective change is  all about planning – Failing to plan…..


December is a good time to put in the spade work and look forensically at what could be done better. Decide on one or two absolute priorities and map out exactly what needs to be done- the who, how and when- to achieve your objectives.


You might look at improving your product offering, evaluating process, retraining your customer service team, starting a continuous improvement programme or developing a new suite of marketing materials to help your franchisees grow their business.


Don’t forget to communicate with all of those involved to make sure that they are also on song.


Whatever you decide, if you keep it simple, with focus  by this time next year you’ll be able to see real results.


If you’re looking for some direct marketing inspiration or ways to automate and save money on  your print and mail in 2018 why not give us a ring: Chris Burridge 07834 173 288,

December 7th, 2017 by Marketing in General

Knowing how to send out the right message about what your franchise offers, means taking time to stop, analyse and strategize.


Marketing has become so clichéd people don’t want to be marketed to. Even in franchise recruitment. So how can you be different? It comes down to behaviour! Yours. Theirs. Online. Here, Coconut Creatives identifies 3 hot behaviours you can expect to see in 2018.


1. Franchisor Behaviour
In the past, lots of thought and attention was paid to potential franchisees, and rightly so.


But 2018 is about thinking differently, and behave accordingly. “This will be a year for franchisors to think disruptively,” explains Sarah Carlile, Coconut Creatives’ founder. “To stand out, you need to be different if you want to catch your target’s attention.”


This can be as simple as being more personable in your communications. For example, in today’s digital world, brochures are emailed out, go back to basics! Send yours in the post! People don’t often receive quality post anymore. Then go a step further, send it with a personalised handwritten letter.


“The landscape of marketing is changing, particularly when trying to attract millennials. They are wise to marketing tricks, and it doesn’t turn them on.” Sarah continues, “Thinking about how you come across, and tailoring your key-messaging, brings a cohesiveness which becomes more attractive.”


Which then has an impact on…


2. Potential Franchisee Behaviour
Recruitment marketing should be less about you, and more about your target.


“With advancement in marketing technology, it is easier to understand your target and the routes they take to find you.” Says Adam Knight, head of technology at Coconut Creatives.


Most franchisors already use retargeting. 2018 is taking it to the next level, by creating campaigns which appear more bespoke, less generalised. “If a customer behaves in a certain way they follow one route; if they behave in another they’re sent in a different direction. There’s no more generic retargeting.” Adam explains. “Utilising this, will be one of the biggest challenges for 2018.”


Which has an impact on…


3. Big data behaviour
Artificial intelligence is developing further to uncover hidden insights in franchise recruitment.


“Analysing real-time online behaviour, means it is possible to create specific marketing avenues. Instead of waiting to see who’s clicked through from an email, you can track it live and tailor accordingly.” Explains Paul Clegg, Coconut Creatives’ Managing Director.


People don’t like to think they are the same as everyone else. “To attract university graduates, your message has to be different than for someone with a family. By effectively analysing data, not only will you gain insight into prospectives’ behaviour,” Paul continues, “you also help them make critical decisions, particularly around life/career changes.”


Which has an impact on franchisor behaviour…


And so, we go around again. Each affects the other. The relationship between all three becomes a cycle of behaviour for franchise recruitment.


WAIT! What about Data Protection??
The law surrounding data collection has changed. With email campaigns, for example, there are tighter controls over sending solicited v’s unsolicited emails:

  • Solicited: Someone completes a form on your landing page requesting your brochure. Sending the brochure is solicited – it was requested. You’re fine!
  • Unsolicited: Sending a follow-up email to the same person, when they only requested your brochure becomes unsolicited. Not so fine!
  • Turning unsolicited into solicited: On the form, adding an opt-in box gives you permission for further communication about your franchise.  This means you can contact the potential if they tick the box. You’re fine, again.


To understand more about the Data Protection laws, the Information Commissioner’s Office have produced a guide freely available on their website.


To understand more about what Coconut Creatives see for 2018, email Helen:

December 5th, 2017 by Marketing in General



The combination of customer management, cash-flow, time management and planning is the lifeblood of any franchise network, from the very top to the shop floor. Even if your franchise network has a strong and loyal customer base, it is always wise to identify and nurture new relationships to maintain business and financial growth while defending your market position.


Too many franchisees depend on a small number of clients for their livelihood, a small number of customers each giving you a high percentage of your turnover is a very precarious position to be in. If one of these customers changes allegiance then a business can very quickly find itself in trouble. Franchisees are naturally driven to look for new customers, but often with very little planning or structure to what they are offering, what their potential customers want, or even who they are and where to find them.


Whether you are looking for new customers or looking to develop those you already have, actioning a targeted marketing strategy needn’t cost you fortune if you plan and identify what, when and where to market your business.


Below are a few tips and suggestions that could, when implemented correctly, yield great rewards for driven franchise owners.


Who buys from me and what do they buy?

Firstly look to yourself. Ask yourself, who your customers are and what do they want from you? How are you actually perceived by your potential target audience?


You want to sell your particular goods or services to a greater audience, but where do you start to target your efforts? There have been multiple business studies about the 80/20 rule, a notion that roughly 80 percent of your franchise sales come from just 20 percent your customers. This theory cannot be generalised to the whole of the franchise world however it does hold some relevance and there is certainly value in assessing who your most valuable customers are. Who are your rising or falling stars?


Which customers buy your high profit margin products, what industries are they in, what do they do, and how?


Which customers place larger orders rather than a series of smaller ones, and why?


Which customers always pay on-time, or better yet, at full rather than discounted prices?


Once you have identified who your most valuable current customers are, what they do, why how and what they buy, you’ll be in a much better position to identify the target market that has the greatest potential for profit.


Ask your existing customers (the ones you have identified above) why they use you, what makes you the supplier of choice and what else might improve the service or proposal you offer to them?


Maximise reach in your territory, see and be seen!

To start with, creating a website is a must. Now as a franchise you will have already addressed this, not launching any old freebie website from one of those online places we all see advertised on TV. However, is your website future proofing the development of your business? Has it been developed with all of the functionality that a digital savvy consumer would expect, make sure it’s engaging and has the ability to collect data and make transactions, grow and expand with you. For example, it is imperative your website is mobile responsive as 40% of all web searches are now on mobile devices.


Franchise owners can employ tools such as Google My Business, which incorporates Google Plus and Google Places, to share information about their product, franchise or service online, to push their business, and to win custom. Websites, PPC, SEO, Traditional Advertising & Online Advertising, PR, are all valuable tools in communicating with the new customers you have identified. Digital Marketing, and specifically Social Media is also a very valuable tool to communicate to new and potential customers (see my last piece “Branding Culture, Social Media and all that goes with it!”).


One in the hand is worth 2 in the bush

Developing new relationships and customers is obviously very important for business growth, however you must not forget to maintain those you already have. Selling more to those you already know is still easier and more cost-effective than starting from scratch with someone new.


Understand who your customers are now, and who they will be in the future, what and how they buy, in what sectors they are in and what they like about you (why they choose you)… and you will find yourself in a very powerful position where the decisions moving forward become a lot clearer.

November 27th, 2017 by Marketing in General

…let us show you how to take the myth out of brand management and how to finally tame your Brand Monster!

besleyandcopp_knight in shining armour

Conduct an Audit

  • First of all, examine your brand performance through any available data and some research.
  • After your homework,  evaluate your competitors.
  • Agree and document your company vision & strategy.
  • Make everything easily available within your organisation to ensure consistency.


Communicate your vision

  • Create a supportive and inspiring experience within your company.
  • Keep your team well informed and provide them with the tools to make the most of your strategy.  Monitor procurement procedures for all of you operational and marketing materials.
  • Consider a digital eSupply portal to save time, cut cost and to take full control of sometimes overwhelming requests.



  • Keep your brand fresh and react to fast-moving markets. Maintain high standards with intelligent use of technology. Monitor new visual trends, consider contemporary designs.
  • Make strategic changes, slow and steady; Evolution not revolution.
  • Look out for new products and new marketing channels.
  • Schedule strategic reviews to reflect your goals and achievements.


Awareness & Credibility

  • Cross channel identity is a powerful approach to reinforce awareness and creditability. Think digital but don’t forget physical!
  • Promotional products build recognition and credibility even in the digital world.
  • Research shows that promotional merchandise has a positive effect on sales and improves your company image.


Finally, never be afraid to ask for advice. The besley & copp team are always happy to help you.


If you would like to find out more about becoming a brand champion, please contact us:  01392 477137


Follow the Brand Monster Adventure over the festive period, search for besleyandcopp on social media and sign up to our newsfeed.


Look out for the besley & copp Christmas story!

November 24th, 2017 by Marketing in General

EKW Group logo

Breaking down Business Intelligence


Business intelligence (BI) is a term that’s beginning to be thrown around a lot recently, but what does it mean?


BI is a process to help business employees, managers, owners and stakeholders make informed, data-driven decisions by analysing data and presenting actionable information. The key point is that this process is driven by technology


The process utilises tools, applications and methodologies to collect data from internal systems and external sources and have it available to run queries and create reports, dashboards and other data visualisations so that analytical results are available to all key decision makers.


Businesses want to improve and speed up their decision making to improve profits and cash flow whilst keeping ahead of the competition. BI systems can help identify market trends and forecast business problems to enable preventable action to be agreed and implemented.


BI data can include historical information, as well as new data gathered from source systems as it is generated, enabling BI analysis to support both strategic and tactical decision-making processes.


Reporting on things like key performance indicators (or KPIs) and other metrics, it can produce dashboards and scorecards and can even automate monitoring and raising alerts.


EKW Group are already well known for providing a one-stop approach to financial management to franchises with accounting, payroll, auto-enrolment and HR solutions that can be deployed across entire franchised estates, irrespective of size. Now we’re bringing a new service to the market, FUSIONBI.


FUSIONBI means EKW Group clients will be able to transform, analyse and visualise data with interactive reports. The dashboard produces creative reports and publishes them for an organisation to view across web and mobile devices, allowing employees and stakeholders to visually explore data and quickly discover patterns to make better, faster decisions, whilst generating the precisely formatted reports their business needs.


“We’re really good at harnessing technology to interface accounting with the franchise systems like CRM or EPoS. This means data can be “sucked in” automatically without human intervention which means less time is spent on bookkeeping, letting franchisees get on with running their business and accuracy is improved at the same time.” Neil Foster QFP, Business development manager, EKW Group.



It’s all about letting clients make data-driven decisions from anywhere.


Financial performance is enhanced with clear and concise profitability and cash management reporting; Accounting reports can be by store, group or entire estate with comparisons against budget, prior period and forecast; it gives clients the peace of mind that they have complete compliance with regulatory reporting requirements like the Government’s “Making Tax Digital” programme.


In terms of information it’s literally there at their fingertips with role-tailored dashboards and key performance indicators. Some customers specify weekly sales, margin, stock and cash management reporting while others enjoy benchmarking and trend analysis.


Some franchises need to report profitability by vehicle or worker, others might benefit hugely by reporting profitability by job or by customer. EKW Group work with the franchisor to design a solution that interfaces with their systems and then reports on what it is that makes that franchise successful.

We’re ready to help you manage and grow your business.
Call EKW Group on 01942 816 512 to find out how FUSIONBI can help your franchise.
View our introduction to Fusion BI here


November 17th, 2017 by Marketing in General

For years we have understood that buying in bulk is more cost effective than buying products in small numbers. Whilst this is still often the case, some companies rush into bulk orders without considering all the risks involved.


A client of ours had done exactly this. As a franchise with multiple franchisees around the country, they chose to place a bulk stationery order for the entire business.


However, when the print arrived the franchise had not considered where they were going to store it. There was also a problem of repackaging and individually distributing stock to other sites. The order ended up putting a huge strain on time, resources and in some cases tempers. In the end a large quantity of stock sat in the office and went out of date with old branding and contact details. In addition, a lot of the stock got lost or became damaged during the storage and redistribution process.


Big orders are not always best.

With modern digital presses it is now possible to produce small amounts of printed items very economically. With the right online portal, day-to-day print purchasing no longer has to be carried out by head office.


Using an online purchasing portal you can order print when you require it and have it delivered directly to you. Franchisees can add their own details online with no need to use a designer. Head office can rest assured that the print will be produced with all the correct branding and offers. The central marketing team can concentrate on their main role, rather than wasting time with print administration, thus running the entire marketing process more efficiently.


An online purchasing portal improves your marketing.

The marketing team can update designs, offers and messages for all printed items online. Depending on the supplier of your online purchasing portal, the print media can be designed or edited and uploaded by experienced staff, leaving you more time to concentrate on business growth. You can be confident that franchisees will be ordering the latest items and not outdated branding, offers or promotions.


An online purchasing portal reduces franchise frustration.

Sometimes franchisees decide that ordering print is too difficult, time consuming or costly (sometimes all three), so they do nothing. It means the franchise isn’t marketed enough and the desired results are not achieved.


The second problem is rogue purchasing. The franchisee decides that they can manage print purchasing better themselves. However, they then need to create a message and use a designer. The message may be incorrect. The designer may not brand the printed items correctly. Ultimately the marketing material is likely give the wrong impression of the franchise or convey an inconsistent message. An online purchasing portal would reduce or solve both of these issues.


An online purchasing portal can result in big cost savings.

Buying in bulk isn’t the only way to save costs. If a franchise purchases all of its print from a single supplier they will naturally receive a volume discount. As long as the supplier is correctly chosen, most print prices will be substantially lower than those that can be obtained by the individual franchisee.


Depending on the quantities of print purchased, a central supplier can also consolidate orders and if multiple requirements are produced at the same time, further savings can be achieved.


An online purchasing portal can result in major savings of time.

Purchasing print can be a complicated exercise. The print industry still uses a lot of technical phrases that many people do not understand. How does a franchisee or head office department ensure that they are purchasing the right item with the right specification?


With central purchasing, all the items required by a franchisee are specified when the agreement is made with the supplier. This is time that they can more profitably spend building the business.


An online purchasing portal is easy to implement and will not cost the world.

A trusted supplier will take care of the initial set-up of an online purchasing portal. As a result, everything is easily available for the franchisees and support is provided by the supplier when needed. The day-to-day purchasing process should be much quicker and easier.


The central team can easily see what purchasing activity has been carried out. It will be much quicker and easier for them to run reports and understand what individual franchisees are doing.


Once an online purchasing portal is set up you will see a reduction in the waste of central internal resources, eliminate double deliveries, prevent out of date marketing messages, avoid inaction and deter rogue purchasing. When all of these benefits are taken into account, why would you need to buy in bulk?


To find out more about how an online purchasing portal can help your franchise and to book an online demonstration call Proactive on 01202 315333.


We make sure you’re never reduced to delivering print yourself!


Remember, cheap prices do not mean lower costs. Buying in bulk can be an expensive business.


November 13th, 2017 by Marketing in General

cfh docmail

Is digital marketing the Holy Grail? Surely emails and texts are the quick and cost effective way to access your audience with your sales message?


Not quite! This week the new Mailmen survey which monitors The UK’s response to communication from companies and brands set out to tell us something different.


Once upon a time, just after the millennium, we started to receive our first emails not from friends but from businesses trying to strike up a relationship and sell us stuff.


Back then we quite liked the diversion. However 17 years on the trickle has turned into a torrent as an annual digital marketing spend of £.3bn pours through our inbox, swamping the emails we really want to see, wasting hours of our week as we seek to delete and in some cases actually turning us off the brands with which we have a good relationship.


A piece of research by Litmus showed that we delete half of our emails having given them less than 2 seconds of our attention after an open rate of only 21%.


However by digging deeper we find that the real marketing magic is to be found by marrying the old with the new.


The perceived wisdom is that mail and email should be used as complementary mechanics rather than in isolation.


Closer investigation shows that recipients view email and mail as being appropriate for very different tasks.


Email is fine for quick / informal information whereas mail is seen as more credible and readable.


Customers across all demographics prefer to receive bills as a hard copy, they like physical welcome packs and they would rather receive an offer or voucher in the post. Letters make them feel valued.


There is no doubt that mail is still walking the walk and talking the talk.


In tests where mail was used – 35% more customers redeemed coupons, 275% more high value sales were achieved, 40% more acquisitions were made and 104% market share growth was achieved.



In summary Mail is an authoritative, informative device which gives customers time to think about the messaging, browse and enjoy.


Mail makes customers feel more valued and shows that you care, helping you to build better more valuable relationships.


To find out more about Docmail and our ‘touch of a button’ print and post service that costs less than a second class stamp call Chris Burridge on 07834 173 288

November 8th, 2017 by Marketing in Franchisors, General

action coach laurence


This is a question we hear posed every day by business owners whether they are owner-operator franchisees, companies with more than 50 employees or those with a team of just five people.


The answer to how to grow any business is very easy, but having the bottle and the staying power to put it into action, is where the problem lies for owner-managed businesses, says ActionCOACH Laurence Duncan. So, here’s how it should work…



Some franchisees feel challenged by what they think is a lack of business skills but is really a self-limiting belief in themselves – especially thinking that the business can’t operate without them working in it, as no one can do the job like they do it.


Mindset is all about having the confidence to trust other people to work in your business. Once you realise this, it will increase the chances of achieving your desired goals – it does get easier to cope with and has an added benefit of giving you a much healthier work-life balance.


A good business growth coach, like ActionCOACH, can help with these mindset issues, coaxing out the hidden business leader; the confident manager and the daring entrepreneur.





Everyone knows having a strategy is crucial, but not how to write it or how to put it into action. Mastering your business means turning goals into plans and plans into results. The famous author of financial management books and articles, Bernard Marr, tells us: “It’s vital to have a solid operational structure in place, to enable every business to deliver on a consistent basis.”


Structures and systems will divide the responsibility; leaving time to budget and plan ahead with good financial controls. Growing too quickly without this in place will lead to business distress.



Try not to view this as the dragon hiding in the cupboard, but as a road map that starts with your business goal and then works out how to arrive at it. Most franchisees are very lucky as many of their business processes are already systemised by the franchisor. The role of systemisation in approaching business challenges, rather than every day operations, is invaluable for someone with a young franchise business. The best thing about systemising the approach is once you know how to do it, you can repeat the process for every new goal, every year, or every month, without relying too heavily on your franchisor.


Let’s be honest, if a consultant tells you how to do it, they put themselves out of a job. As a franchisor, you have finite in-house resources to support your network. Using a business growth coach is different – it’s ALWAYS about giving YOU the skills, the knowledge and the power to do it for yourself – but using an experienced guide.


Giving franchisees access to an ActionCOACH gives a franchisor peace of mind. For franchisees, it means keeping you on track, keeping you motivated and keeping your business heading towards those bigger goals – and reaching them!




Take Action Now…

If this short article strikes a chord with you then act now. If you’d like more information on how the support of an ActionCOACH could deliver improved results for your franchisees, contact us.

November 6th, 2017 by Marketing in General

acuom image


For years companies have been updating their operational, procedure, training or product manuals by word or PDF files and then sending those by email to their network with no idea if they get read or not. Even worse if they rely on them updating printed binders there’s no control at all.


If that’s you and your concerned that your updates are being ignored or your worried about compliance issues getting out of control there is a solution that can make life really easy for you.


Acuom software allows you to update content for your manuals, communicate those changes across your network and track all activity so you can see whose read those changes from the comfort of your office in one simple to use dashboard.


The best solution for updating your manuals

Simple to use CMS tools give you the ability to amend content and publish that content, you get to choose who see’s what messages and when, all in a simple to deploy process that only requires an internet connection.


Each user has a profile based on their job role – you can set these up easily or give your branches the ability to set up and maintain their own user groups, each one with permissions to view content you want them to see.


When you do make a change the system keeps a historical date stamped log so you can compare versions, ensuring your networks only view the latest version available.


We make each of your manuals responsive so they look great on any platform including mobile and tablet, plus with colour coding each section and well designed icons Acuom software will bring your manuals to life.


You can add images, documents and video content too, plus new sections and embed links to other websites, but if your ever unsure of what to do, our support team are on hand to help.


Dynamic search engine to find content

Best of all, there’s a dynamic search engine that provides end users the ability to find content fast within any section of your manuals irrespective of whether that’s a 16pp or 400pp manual.


With so many businesses operating outside of traditional 9-5 hours, the ability to find content 24/7 will increase end user engagement and drastically reduce the number of inbound calls to head office.


Don’t wait for a major compliance incident to happen, get back the control your business deserves and start to govern what content your end users should view.


For a demonstration, call us now on 01252 410663


We’re Acuom software and your journey is just beginning.

acuom logo

October 30th, 2017 by Marketing in General

Coconut Creatives picture


You’re sitting there; a quiet coffee before the day kicks in. Your phone pings, notifying you of a new email. You open it. It’s from a company you’d previously been interested in, but had lost touch with, due to the busyness of life.  You have a spare five minutes, so why not…


With over 150 billion emails sent daily, how do you make your email stand out? Even to those who were initially interested enough to register through your website. Life moves on. Circumstances change. How many emails do you receive and not read – in spite of having been interested enough to sign-up for them in the first place?


What kind of emails grab your attention?
2018 is about being different. Being disruptive. Pitch it right, schedule it right, and you offer people a reminder of who you are, and why they were first interested in your franchise.


Creative scheduling
With 2018 just around the corner, now is the right time to think about next year’s campaigns. Look back at the last 12 months: What worked? What didn’t? What can you re-use? Create and schedule emails for the most opportune time for your recipients, rather than when you have time to send them, say, in the middle of the afternoon. With online systems like Astonish email, you can easily create emails which will impact, then schedule them to go out when someone is ready to sit back and read, rather than when they are trying to pick up the kids from school, or dealing with a customer on the phone.


Here are 4 tips from Coconut Creatives to astonish the recipients of your most under-utilised tool for franchise recruitment, in 2018:


1. Emails are becoming more conversational
Often the emails which are ignored appear too serious. Don’t take yourself too seriously! In the middle of a working week, amidst the hustle and bustle of life, potential franchisees might appreciate something less formal, connecting them to your brand. Don’t be afraid to write like you talk; ask questions to encourage your keep warms to respond. A casual conversational tone makes you more relatable.


2. Emails are becoming an interactive experience
Throughout 2017, the most engaging emails across all sectors, were interactive. Short, sharp, focused emails, using images, videos, GIFs and “click here to see the biggest smile of the day” were being responded to – even though they appeared irrelevant to the product, service or business they represented. People are switching off to being sold to, so we need to be smarter in how we engage.


As this pie chart from Buildfire shows:

Buildfire pie chart


An internet search offers strong, disruptive, examples of how to build a successful email campaign. Try a new approach. Email creation programmes, like Astonish, allow you to liven up your emails, using fun elements like GIFs, images and bright colours. Successful email campaigns focus more on the person whose inbox you’re dropping in to, rather than your specific message. Which leads us to our next tip:


3. The customer journey is fast becoming the most crucial focus
Customer experience is fast becoming the most important attribute for email marketing. Use franchisee profiling to understand the journey your potentials are on, and focus their attention on how you can support them in it, or how you can be a solution to their problem. Focus on one key message in one email, rather than trying to squeeze in all your messages in one email. Spread your messages over time.


4. Taking visual impact cues from social
Until recently there was a disconnect in the appearance of emails compared to the appearance of social media, many businesses were using. Combine email campaigns with social media campaigns – consider making your email shareable – optimizing the appearance of them. Online tools like Astonish allow you to quickly use the same graphics and images in your emails as you are using in your social media, connecting the same look for your business regardless of the platform they’re viewed on.


Email campaigns, when planned accordingly, can work so well. But you might need to take a different approach! It’s risky – you’ve always done it “this way” but 2018 is less about doing what you’ve always done, and standing out from crowded inboxes.


In fact, they are such a good resource, and by using programmes like Astonish, are becoming so much easier to produce, you might also want to consider your franchisees creating their own campaigns too, using the brand template you can create within the system. Take your email campaigns to the next level… just a thought!


To find out more about how Coconut Creatives can help you better utilise your recruitment and business campaigns using Astonish email, contact Adam Lovelock: