Nine months after launch, Bridle Group’s new franchise proposition has signed up 27 brokers from start-ups to long-established companies. Franchised director Tano Di Girolamo (pictured) hopes to surpass 100 by the end of next year.
Far from supressing interest in the new business, the coronavirus pandemic has seen a slew of applications from organisations who are struggling to get on funding panels or invest in the latest technology.
Di Girolamo said: “There are a lot of good brokers out there, consultative salespeople. But we have seen, in the past 10 years, the rise of the internet-led ‘super brokers’ with high levels of volume and it is leaving the consultative brokers out on a limb. They can get the funders because they don’t have the volumes and they can’t invest in technology because they don’t have the revenues.
“Our model gives them an entry point for technology, access to funders and the benefit of our experience.”
Bridle has invested heavily in the new franchise package which includes access to a new CRM system and front-end website integrated with the latest leasing deals and quoting systems. The franchisee does the deal and places the order, with Bridles handling the back-end processing and admin.
Eight leasing companies are providing the funding, including FN50 top 10 Lex Autolease, LeasePlan, ALD, Arval and Hitachi which enables the franchisees to secure better terms.
“Getting to 27 within a short period of time has exceeded our expectations,” Di Girolamo said. “We are looking for the right partners and have declined some that don’t have our culture, attitude to customers and understanding of compliance.”
The majority of interest has come from the smaller brokers operating in the SME sector where customers average a fleet size of between two and four vehicles. However, larger companies have also joined, including Four Counties Leasing & Contract Hire, a 17-year-old business.
Four Counties director Matthew Stannard said the partnership will allow the company to have “a more dynamic approach in securing more business in the future, even more so in these uncertain times”.
Di Girolamo added: “We offer everything from website, quoting, funding access, CRM, procurement, back office, compliance and even training via our academy – it’s a full suite of services. They can also access our maintenance division, our marketing department and our flexi-rent and salary sacrifice products.”
Franchisees pay an annual fee of £2,500 and a monthly fee of £495, while Bridle takes 20% of incoming revenue. They are regularly audited and have an opportunity to earn an annual bonus based on agreed sales objectives plus commission for each maintenance contract signed with Bridle Maintenance.
Franchise partners can also tap into a new business service called Go Green Leasing, which Bridle acquired in 2018 and relaunched in November 2020. It offers hybrid and electric vehicles plus consultancy support, including workplace and home charge point installation.