Up & Running, one of the top independant specialist retailers in the UK, has all the experience and the right formula for a successful franchise venture.
Gillian Macfarlane founded Up & Running in 1988 from just one small store in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. She had been working part time in a local running shop and, as an enthusiastic runner, felt that she would be able to provide a better service by operating independently. Gillian was joined in the business by her husband Dennis with the shareholdings split equally between them. Gillian opened a second store in Headingley, Leeds, 10 years later in 1998.
All the way through the company's growth and development. Gillian felt that she could make a success of it if she did it her way and, encouraged by Dennis, she embarked on a franchise model as well as 'own store' openings. The formula was, and still is, simple yet affective: be better than your competition.
That second outlet, in Leeds, was profitable within 3 months. Then in June 2002 a new shop in York was launched, and that shop again exceeded all expectations. Now we have shops across the country, including a successful franchise network.
What we offer
Up & Running has a proven record of success. Gillian, Dennis and their team know how to do it right, but equally important how to avoid going wrong.
Yes, you can try do it by yourself: running the gauntlet of ordering product, evaluating what rep's tell you, learning as you go along, finding after you have bought that your competition has bought it cheaper and is undercutting you, etc. etc. On the other hand, our franchise system offers you security and protection in the early days and the freedom to take 'your' store forward with confidence. That's not all though!
You would get the 'UP & RUNNING' name above your shop, and the image that comes with it. Plus backing from our existing national advertising, and internet site. Your customers would instantly recognise you because Up & Running is already nationally recognised. The experience of Gillian, Dennis, and their Head Office team will help you all the way with such things as the best and most effective way to promote your business, and how to make local contacts for an instant network of custom and referral. Below are some of the many benefits of our franchise.
- Buying experience, purchasing the correct product at the correct time and in the correct quantities.
- Discounts from manufacturers on all your product lines, something you simply wouldn't get as a smaller business.
- Discounts on overheads such as banking charges, PDQ charges, shop insurance, legal cover, etc.
- Instant access to all manufacturers' products with accounts open at all times allowing you to carry minimum stock levels.
- A growing franchise circle around the country means that you are unlikely to be stuck with any product, someone else will always want it.
- A state of the art electronic point of sale system, giving reports and feedback, access to our stock figures, ordering systems, reports galore and profit margin feedback within days of opening. That can only increase sales and profits.
- Our buying power means that you will often have access to manufacturers' clearance product, giving you the competitive edge you may not otherwise have. Or more importantly those profit margins that others will envy.
- Access to European product bought at European prices, selling at European prices.
- Training on product and the practicalities of selling to runners, how to set high standards and how to be better than the opposition.
- Training on gait analysis and biomechanics.
- Training on the high tech EPOS system.
- All your admin taken care of from letterheads to carrier bags.
A piece of cake?
No. You'd be mistake to think ...
- it's going to be easy;
- you can work 5 days a week;
- you can start at 10am and finish at 5pm; or
- owning your own business is going to make you famous.
You will need to accept that it will not be easy - particularly at the start.
- You will need to be prepared to work a minimum of 6 days a week, and a minimum of 12 hours a day. (Plus sometimes Sundays at races.)
- You will only be famous if you are successful and that will only happen if you make it happen. If you sit on the wrong side of the shop window expecting people to come to you, it won't happen. You have to get out there and get it.
- You will get out of the business just what you are prepared to put into it. When business is good you will work very hard, when business is quiet you will work even harder.
- There will be good months and bad months.
- If you are not prepared to put the effort in, then you shouls go no further in this venture.
- You will be checked regularly to ensure that you and other franchisees uphold the standards expected. (That is in your best interests.)
Have you got what it takes?
If you are still interested then contact us. (Typically, there would be about six months between first contact and your shop opening, depending upon site and lease requirements.)