Ian Prowse - Bromsgrove
If you visit Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, a small market town with a population of just over 20,000, you can't miss thebestof Bromsgrove.
Ian Prowse, who has been running the franchise since 2005, has got all the main businesses in the area on board as members and they all proudly display their 'bestof' certificate – which says why the people of Bromsgrove believe they are the best. Shop windows display thebestof Bromsgrove window stickers and lots of tradesmen in the area have 'as recommended on thebestof Bromsgrove' on their vans.
If you go into a local shop or business you're likely to be handed a 'thebestof Bromsgrove' postcard inviting you to write a review saying why that particular business is the best.
If you pick up the local weekly paper, you're also quite likely to see Ian's face in there somewhere as he gets involved, yet again, in a local charity initiative or cause célèbre. He's also on the back of the local bus and you can't miss his 'thebestof' branded Mini as he whizzes about town.
It's no accident that almost 20 per cent of the people who live in Bromsgrove have registered as Members of thebestof – and that makes Ian the most powerful marketer in town – bar none. He can send an email today to 15 per cent of the population promoting one of his great business clients or to push an event.
"You don't need a huge town to make a massive success of thebestof," says Ian. "Being in the Midlands we're surrounded by bigger places but the people in Bromsgrove are proud of their town and thebestof has given them an outlet to demonstrate that pride. In many respects I think it's easier to be successful in a smaller town, because word travels faster and it's easier to get yourself known. My earnings are now well into six figures each year – and I get lots of time at home with my young son, which is brilliant.
"Before I joined thebestof I ran a different franchise. The support that I get from thebestof HQ is amazing, compared to my experiences with that previous well-known brand."