FDS Ireland: a vision for 2015

Barry Connellan, of FDS Ireland, describes the company’s success in 2014, and how it aims to push on in this year as Ireland’s number one franchise consultancy firm

Throughout 2014, FDS Ireland has engaged with various national and international companies to assist and support them with their brand expansion plans. This year, FDS has been fortunate enough to add many national brands to its increasing portfolio of clients, many of which are looking at international expansion in 2015. The key focus for FDS Ireland over the past six months has been to gain a better understanding of our clients’ needs so we as a team we can best assist them in their goals, this being one of the main objectives of hosting the Round Table Event late last year. In the consultancy business building trust within our client base is vital and this is the driving force behind all our recent activities.

The vision for FDS Ireland in 2015 is to become the number one franchise consultancy firm in Ireland, focusing on the assistance and support of exceptional franchise brands expanding internationally. Also, the focus is largely placed on developing quality, unique and profitable Irish businesses to grow through franchising by applying a proven and successful strategy.

Franchising in the Irish Market is not a new concept but for many it is one that has not yet been explored, therefore, we at FDS Ireland pride ourselves on providing a high quality, informative service that will support our clients with all their business expansion decisions.

The decision to franchise is not for the faint hearted; it takes time to develop a comprehensive franchising strategy but with the right support and advice it can be a very successful means of expansion. Statistics show that new franchise business start-ups have a greatly reduced failure rate than independently owned start-ups. For existing franchise brands, success is achieved through a proven and tested strategy. For franchisors new to the industry, the key to success is to align your brand with reputable consultants and industry experts from the outset. This will ensure the appropriate framework is in place that will provide brand protection, trademark protection, legal agreements, operating manuals and realistic financial forecast documentation to support and protect your brand in the long-term.

FDS Ireland faced many challenges in 2014; it was also presented with many opportunities to explore further in 2015. As a result of the business growth in 2014, FDS Ireland underwent a lengthy and extensive selection process to find the best candidate to add to the team here in Ireland. This presents its own opportunities and challenges, as always the challenge for SMEs is the extensive comment required when taking on new employees. The financial commitment is always a challenge, so too is the time required to select, train and mentor new staff.

Luckily the opportunities outweigh the challenges, securing our new Sales and Marketing Executive has brought with it fresh new ideas, heightened motivation and enthusiasm going forward into 2015. Wendy Coyle a recent first class honours degree business student has just completed a six months mentoring programme with FDS Ireland and is now a full time employee. Wendy and I have a shared vision that focuses on providing our clients with a high quality service and a trusted support framework that our clients can depend on when devising their future franchise expansion goals.