Winners Of The bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards Are Named

Autosmart franchise owner Keith Ellwood has been named the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Gold award winner, as well as the Scotland and Northern Ireland Regional winner.

Ellwood, who owns Autosmart Edinburgh, received his awards at the 2012 bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards, supported by Express Newspapers.

The judges were impressed with Ellwood’s determination and passion for his business, which has grown from strength to strength over the past 15 years. Over the last year, Ellwood has implemented innovative new systems to boost productivity, including investing in a new onboard computer system, a larger showroom and new payment methods. Not only have these systems contributed to an extremely successful business year for Ellwood, but they have also improved customer relationships.

Ellwood said: “Winning this award and receiving the recognition from the industry is a fantastic feeling. I really enjoy running my franchise, this year more so than ever, and I’m looking forward to building on this success with potential opportunities and driving my business forward.”

Cathryn Hayes, Head of Franchising at HSBC, said: “This year’s finalists have clearly demonstrated a passion for their business – support from their franchisor and other franchise owners in their network means that they are not in business alone which has allowed them to really focus on delivering excellent customer service, a common thread running through their stories. Keith demonstrated how tenacious customer relationship management can help shape business growth. His enthusiasm for his business is clear and his work over the past 12 months has propelled his business towards a phenomenal future.”

As well as naming the Gold award winner, the ceremony also revealed the winners of the Silver and Bronze awards. The Franchisee of the Year Silver award went to Ron Mounsey, who owns McDonald’s Restaurants (Swansea), while the Bronze award went to Eve Kay, who owns Jo Jingles (Frodsham, Cheshire).

Sean Hammond, Head of Franchising at Express Newspapers, said: “It’s great to see so many enterprising franchise owners come forward and showcase great business practice; we were blown away by the stories of the people behind the brands. Many congratulations to all of the individuals we have seen over the course of the awards who have set such a high business practice standard.”

Brian Smart, Director General of the bfa, added: “Each year we are captivated by the stories that are showcased by franchise owners. It’s brilliant that these awards can highlight such great ethical business practice among the industry and recognise the work of so many talented businesspeople.”

In addition to the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, the winners of the Regional awards were also named. These were: London and the South East – Gurpreet Bains, Driver Hire (London) Scotland and Northern Ireland – Keith Ellwood, Autosmart (Edinburgh) The Midlands and North Wales – Steven Prime, Esquires (Coventry) The North – Eve Kay, Jo Jingels (Frodsham, Cheshire) The South West and Wales – Ron Mounsey, McDonald’s (Swansea)