Franchise Suppliers Blog

Fire Safety in Your Franchise

In any business, fire safety has to be one of your top priorities. Not only will it ensure your staff and customers are kept as safe as possible, but it also helps to guarantee the future of your business.

Over 70% of businesses which have been involved in a major fire either do not reopen or subsequently fail within three years. Once a business has suffered a fire, it can be difficult to recover so it’s best to take action before it’s too late.

It is also why complying with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is a requirement for all business owners. By not doing so, not only do you risk a hefty fine or a prison sentence, but also lives and livelihoods.

Undertaking a fire risk assessment is the best way forward, and it’s probably easier than you might expect…

The Five Stages Of A Fire Risk Assessment

Completing a fire risk assessment allows you to fully understand your business. When you go through the five steps, you’ll then have done everything that’s required of you:

  1. Identify all potential combustibles and possible sources of ignition;
  2. Consider all the relevant people who are at greatest risk from fire;
  3. Remove or reduce the risks of fire as much as possible and provide precautions;
  4. Prepare for an emergency with fire safety equipment, by providing correct training, and by having a plan which everyone is aware of;
  5. Record any findings and regularly review the assessment to keep it up-to-date.

For businesses with five or more employees, it is also a requirement to keep a written record that these have been carried out. But even if you have fewer members of staff, how else can you prove you’re fulfilling your duty unless you keep a record?

Hazard Spotting

The first step is to walk around your premises making a note of the things which could start a fire (sources of ignition) and can burn (fuel source).

Heaters, cooking equipment, electrical equipment, naked flames, and a lot else besides, could all be the cause of a fire. That is why it’s recommended that gas and electrical equipment are serviced annually to ensure they remain in tip-top condition.

And those items then need to be kept a safe distance away from things such as paper, cardboard, fabric, furniture, rubbish, and flammable gases and liquids.

Who’s at Risk?

If a fire were to start, you now need to know the people who are most likely to be in the premises at the time. Staff, customers, contractors, delivery drivers and other visitors are all very likely. And don’t forget about those who could be in the area, such as people walking past or living in an upstairs flat.

But you also need to consider those who are going to need assistance in making a safe exit in an emergency. The elderly, children, and those with mobility issues could all possibly need a helping hand.

Evaluate and Act

Knowing the risks means you can now take action to ensure the appropriate precautions are in place to prepare for, and eliminate, as much as practically possible.

Having a method of fire detection in place, generally with a fire alarm system which will detect and warn throughout the whole premises, is the best course of action, as is installing fire extinguishers.

Water extinguishers are suitable for general fires including paper, cardboard, rubbish, and furnishings;

  • Foam extinguishers can additionally be used for flammable liquids;
  • Powder extinguishers are versatile, lighter, and safe to use around electrical equipment as well as flammable liquid and gas. However, they can affect visibility and breathing, so should be mitigated by a health and safety risk assessment if specified for indoor use;
  • On electrical equipment, CO2 extinguishers are the safest method and will also prevent further damage to the electronics;
  • ONLY a wet chemical extinguisher is safe to use on fires involving deep fat fryers.

Be sure to also place signs next to extinguishers which advise on their use, as well as signs which direct people through emergency exit routes to emergency exits. These routes may also need emergency lighting and fire doors.

Record, Plan, and Train

Knowing all that you know, you can now put together an effective emergency plan to make clear what everyone should do in the event of a fire. Include where people assemble and the route they’ll take, as well as deciding who the fire wardens are and who is going to dial 999.

When choosing fire wardens, pick those whom you can depend on and choose enough to ensure there is always a fire warden present when you’re open for business. When they have been given the correct training, they’ll then help you to promote good fire safety within the business, train other staff members, hold fire drills, and take charge calmly in an emergency.

With the plan in place and everyone aware of what it is, the best way to test that it is effective, and to make people familiar with it, is to hold a fire drill. Hopefully, it will go smoothly, but if it doesn’t then it’s best to find out now before it’s too late to alter it.

Review

A fire risk assessment is never finished as it needs to be kept up-to-date with any changes that occur, no matter how minor. That’s why many fire brigades recommend reviewing it at least once a year to ensure it’s accurate.

Carrying out a fire risk assessment yourself, or by another competent person, is relatively easy, although many business owners choose to hire professional risk assessors to complete it for them as it saves time and gives them peace of mind.

To find out more information about fire risk assessments and fire safety equipment, please Click Here, or fill out the enquiry form below and we’ll be in touch.

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Free franchise advertising for franchise businesses launched

Free franchise advertising, lead generation & SEO for franchise businesses

We know being found amongst the billions of websites on the internet can be a tough task for franchise businesses

A great way to increase traffic, boost your search rankings and to generate leads is by listing on free business listings sites. The problem with most sites however is that they are national sites so again you end up in a position where by to get any real advertising exposure and chance of any leads to need to buy an “upgrade”!

That’s why almost 2 years ago we starting building our end directories, not nationally but locally. 2 years on so far we have built 42 local directories to help small businesses generate leads, improve their SEO and promote entrepreneurship in the UK including two new sites, one a free london business directory and the other a free kent business directory

Each site makes it very simple to add your listing but not just a naff looking text advert with a single image but you can create very attractive adverts with a map, multiple images and even links to your website & social media free, yes that’s right completely free!

To find out more about our local directories and free business advertising please visit https://freeads.me.uk

PS – For all you writers out there we are also seeking blog posts. Posts must be a min 500 words, unique to our site, at least one image and business orientated but we also provide these free. To find out more please get in touch.

 

forum of private business

Benefits of joining The Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business

The Forum is a not for profit business organisation that was formed in 1977 to support all small to medium size business in the UK.

Today the Forum has thousands of members, mainly smaller employers and family businesses, that rely upon them to ensure that they run their business and remain fully compliant with all Legislation and Regulation that affects their business. It is all too easy to unwittingly and innocently breach legislation. Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the Law and that can lead to huge expense in penalties for any business.

This is why the comprehensive, unrivalled support and indemnity that the Forum provides its members with is so essential. (Fact The current cost of red tape and regulation to UK business runs to 18 billion pounds per year. Forum members spend much less than non-members on compliance issues).

24 hours a day 7 days a week Specialists are on hand at the Legal advice helpline to provide advice on Employment (including disputes) – Health & Safety – Licensing – Environment and anything else that you need urgent advice upon. During normal office hours you can speak to and get advice from our specialists on all areas of Taxation and other less urgent matters of General advice.

Where advice has been sought and followed, should matters escalate to proceedings, your legal defence costs are covered for up to £50,000 per claim. In addition any costs for professional fees for dealing with Tax investigations by HMRC are covered, directly with your Accountant.

The Forum provides an on-line library of Legal document templates for Employment – Health & Safety and much more are all freely available to members saving you hundreds of pounds in legal costs.

The Forum also take your concerns on business issues right to the heart of Government in Westminster – Lobbying and campaigning on your behalf to bring about change to benefit small businesses and reporting changes and updates in legislation back to you.

Because membership to the Forum runs into thousands of businesses this gives the organisation strength in numbers to negotiate real savings on a whole range of business essentials and those savings are totally passed on to the members. Savings on: Diesel Fuel – Energy – Telecoms – Card Payment processing fees – Insurance – Pensions – Company Compliance services and much more.

In fact, many members taking advantage of the schemes save several times the cost of their membership.

At membership costs starting at £175 per annum can you really afford NOT to be a member?

The Forum’s website can tell you so much more, to visit The Forum of Private Business click here.

5 tips for more effective franchise network management

Though most franchisors are skilled business people with extensive experience in their chosen sector, those who haven’t run a franchise before can find dealing with a franchise network and all of the demands that it brings a challenge.

From working with franchisees to developing and building your business, franchisors need to be able to communicate, innovate and speculate if they want to succeed.

As a solid and reliable group of franchisees can make a huge difference to the potential of a business, it’s incredibly important that franchisors put time and effort into developing their network. Though it may take up valuable time, following these tips and working on your business relationships could make the difference between success or failure.

1. Training

Most franchisors provide a certain level of training to franchisees at the start of their business partnership.

However, if a franchisor wants to solidify this relationship and ensure that standards don’t slip after a few years of business, they need to provide on going training that’s relevant, exciting and inspiring.

Not only will training help to improve franchisees’ knowledge of the brand and its working practices, it will make them feel more included, valued and loyal to the franchise.

2. Conferences

Annual or bi-annual conferences give franchisees the chance to air their grievances, suggest improvements to the franchise and discuss any innovations or developments that are relevant to the business.

Conferences can last anywhere from a day to week and are an important part of building and managing a franchise network.

3. Forums

To improve communication even further, franchisors should consider building an online forum where their franchisees can quickly and easily post comments or make suggestions.

Less formal than a conference, forums help to ensure that issues are aired quickly and that any problems are dealt with as soon as possible.

4. Inclusion

Franchisees who like to push the boundaries, do things their own way and try out new technologies and initiatives can be difficult for franchisors to deal with.

Instead of fighting them, try to include them in any innovations or updates you’re planning for your business. These confident entrepreneurs will often be fantastic early adopters of new ideas, giving you the chance to try out your ideas on energetic and enthusiastic franchisees.

5. Targets

Targets are a good way of getting your franchisees motivated and keeping them committed.

The more goals and incentives you create, the more likely your franchisees will be to work with their employees to grow their businesses, earning money for you in the process. Make sure that you publicly recognise any franchisees who hit their targets and perform well as this will give them something to be proud of and give your other franchisees something to aim for.

Though managing a franchise network isn’t easy, by putting in a bit of time, energy and thought, you can create a strong, dynamic network that will keep performing year after year.

New government backed franchisee funding launched by CWRT

cwrt logo smallIt is a big step from deciding to start a franchise to actually opening your doors for business. For many, one of the biggest hurdles is raising the finance to start up your new business venture.

To help overcome this barrier to setting up a new franchise, the Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust has launched a new Franchise Fund, lending between £1,000 and £75,000, to help finance the purchase of franchise licenses and encourage employment.

Franchising continues to be a dependable business opportunity and UK franchisors and franchisees are confident about the future, with nine out of 10 franchisors reporting optimism for trading conditions over the coming year.

We finance those businesses that mainstream funders, such as banks, fail to support. Many of the start-up companies we work with have become very successful and created jobs, so we are providing a much needed alternative funding approach.

Aimed to support individuals without financial resources to start new franchise businesses, the new fund is another addition to CWRT’s lending portfolio.

With over 10 years of successful of providing start-up and small business loans, CWRT already offers start-up loans across the West Midlands and small business loans to Coventry and Warwickshire businesses.

The good news is that because franchising is recognised as a safer route into business than setting up on your own, CWRT is happy to lend for the initial investment as part of a reputable franchise.

When applying for a start-up loan, franchise business plans are a must have, and often the franchisor will help.

Our Franchise Fund is a great way to encourage new entrants into this vibrant sector. We are confident that with our start up loans for the upfront cost of franchise licences, financed businesses will grow and provide local employment.

Find out more click here

forum of private business

Compliance Support for your Franchisees, are you covered?

To ensure that your Franchisees run their businesses without making expensive mistakes that can threaten their business and your reputation, an increasing number of Franchisors are partnering with The Forum of Private Business. They provide the most comprehensive legal support and insured protection to Franchisees on all areas of compliance, and with many other money saving advantages on every day business essentials.

The Forum of Private Business was formed nearly 40 years ago as a Not-for-Profit organisation to protect and to promote the interests of small and medium sized businesses. Today it has thousands of member businesses spanning every industry, trade and profession who trust them to provide the knowhow and support. This is so important with ever changing Legislation and Regulation.

The Forum recognise that Franchisors provide the very best support to their Franchisees to ensure their success with their business model. However, very often their support does not extend to the issues of business compliance, which all businesses are expected to be conversant with. Laws and regulations on issues such as Health and safety – Employment – Taxation and Environment. Covering both the business and the principals. The Forum provide to all members a 24/7 Compliance and Legal Advice Helpline staffed by qualified professionals, backed up by an Insured Legal costs cover which includes Health and Safety, Employment tribunals, Business associated Criminal Prosecutions, contracts disputes, licence defence, Directors and officers cover and much more.

As a member templates are available online for employment contracts and supplementary HR documentation, health and safety etc. Extensive manuals both for Employment and Health and safety policy are available.

The Forum also used their strong buying power to arrange discounts on every day business essentials. From running your vehicle with vehicle fuel costs, to utility charges and credit card merchant fees and more. This is just one of many examples available from the Forum on how a member saved money

Case Study

A Franchise member in West Sussex running a fleet of 12 Diesel vehicles is now saving nearly £6000 per year on diesel fuel through his membership to the Forum of Private Business.

This is just one of the ways your franchisees save money and improve profit.

There are two ways in which Franchisors can partner with the Forum. The first is the most popular and economic, where a Franchisor will cover all Franchisees under a block agreement and cross charge within management fees. The second is where the Franchisors will recommend their Franchisees to join independently. Costs can vary but can start as low as £150 plus VAT per annum for a Franchisee with no employees. The Forum can provide you with a quotation to suit your needs and requirement.

To see so much more about the Forum of Private Business click here

 

ARE YOU READY? GET IT NOW!