Written by Marion Di Benedetto

GT: When was GreenBizCheck created? Who came up with the concept and why?

NB: GreenBizCheck was founded in September 2007 by a group of like-minded businesspeople who wanted to help businesses become more sustainable. Both founders, Tony Hall and myself, have senior management, corporate backgrounds and wanted to develop a program that helps businesses become more sustainable and is additionally good for the bottom line. GreenBizCheck's certification program helps businesses become more efficient and save money. Certification provides businesses with first-rate green credentials, an effective marketing tool and helps attract and retain staff.

GT: When did you decide to make it a Franchise and why? What are the benefits?

NB: We looked at the whole spectrum of distribution models and opted for franchising as it offers the most advantages for both Franchisor and Franchisees. It allows Franchisees to run their own business within a tried and tested system and ensures a centralised consistent quality delivery. The Franchisor has a vested interest in ensuring that the Franchisee is successful and the Franchisee can benefit and tap into the expertise of the Franchisor and other Franchisees.

GT: What are your strengths as a franchisor? What can you offer your franchisees that make you stand out from the other franchisors?

NB: GreenBizCheck's franchise is low cost and there is no inventory or stock. Additionally franchise owners can operate from a home office further reducing their overheads. GreenBizCheck has developed a world-leading program in an industry that is expected to continue to grow. The Franchisor has extensive experience in business start-ups and will share this expertise with its Franchisees.

GT: As a franchisor, what are the most important things you look for in your franchisees?

NB: They need to be confident at presenting a quality service to business decision makers and business owners. Additionally they should be passionate about helping businesses save money and reducing their environmental footprint. They should enjoy working in one of the most exciting industries that is expected to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the future.

GT: What advice can you give to other green businesses that want to use a franchise model?

NB: The franchising model is ideally suited for green businesses as there is currently a lot of interest in the sustainability industry. This is reflected in the amount of quality applicants GreenBizCheck has received since we decided on the franchising model. There are evidently many highly qualified professionals who would like to enter this industry. Prospective Franchisors should choose their legal advisor and / or franchise consultants very carefully. Once you have made the decision to go down the franchising path you should allow at least six months to get all the necessary preparatory work completed.

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