The founder and managing director of an Edinburgh-based franchising consultancy is aiming for it to be a £1 million turnover business in the next three to four years as it looks to harness international growth potential.
Platinum Wave, which covers a range of services in the franchising sector, was set up in 2010 by Suzie McCafferty.
She told Scotland on Sunday that the firm has doubled its performance year on year since its foundation. About 15 per cent of its business is in Scotland, though it also covers England, the Middle East, Australia and Canada. “All over the world, really, but the Middle East is probably our strongest market after the UK,” she said.
McCafferty said the firm is brokering “massive” franchise deals for clients in locations such as Malaysia, with Europe and Scandinavia in particular also key markets.
It has been estimated that franchising is worth £800m to the Scottish economy, driven by about 2,200 firms employing more than 32,000 people.
McCafferty was formerly franchise director and board member of national recruitment franchise Select Appointments.
She said she started her career in franchising after hearing a speech on its benefits by Kwik-Fit founder Sir Tom Farmer when she was a student. It was a “lightbulb moment and gave me the aspirations to not have to work for a corporate”.
McCafferty franchised her own printer cartridge business from a single retail shop in the Scottish capital to a network of more than 70 outlets in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, the Dominican Republic and Kuwait.
Sectors she now views as having strong potential include food, retail, professional services like recruitment agencies, homecare, and children’s activity brands such as swim and theatre school franchises plus sports and leisure.
Food especially “is always really strong in franchising”, and she cites global brand German Doner Kebab as a success story, with the owner of the UK master franchise based in Glasgow, as well as Razzamataz Theatre Schools, which received investment from former Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne.
McCafferty, who chairs the Scottish Franchise Forum, said: “Franchising in Scotland is something that I’m very passionate about.”
She now plans to increase the Platinum Wave team from seven “as and when the business grows” and, looking ahead five years, would like to see the firm continue with UK development, including “taking more international concepts into the UK markets”.
She also said the company takes brands out of the UK into other markets, “and that’s a growing business”.