Steve Burch – Head of Franchising for TFS Loans Processing is an entrepreneurial and disciplined business leader with exceptional experience across a number of business disciplines including Sales, Franchise inception and development.
Steve also brings considerable sales management and sales training within regulated and non-regulated environments and has been responsible for the recruitment, training, managing, mentoring and motivating of 160 franchisees across five franchises.
Steve currently lives with his soon to be wife in Essex and enjoy's cooking, Mountain Biking, Formula 1 and I playing the drums.
FranchiseExpo: Tell us about the TFS Loans Processing concept.
Steve Burch: The concept of the franchise is to offer a no fuss business opportunity that quite simply rewards effort and does not hinder our franchisees with non-value added tasks or functions, by acting as a team we allow our franchisees to concentrate solely on the elements of their role that produces an income whilst we have the technology, know how, agencies, licences and permissions to undertake the elements in the sales process that require specialised, qualified and experienced individuals. Respective roles are clearly defined and by working together in harmony we are able to deliver first class products and services to our clients, which in turn, produces consistent income levels and opportunities for repeat business and referrals.
FE: How and when did you become involved with TFS Loans Processing?
SB: I have been involved in the inception and creation of TFS Franchise from the beginning and I have taken it from a franchise that only offered a single product under a single regulator to a multi-faceted financial services franchise that incorporates more products and services than is currently available through any other franchise in the UK today, the franchise is only in its second year but we have successfully recruited more than 30 franchisees and now offer hundreds of products through dozens of lenders, agencies and partners under three regulators.
FE: What was your background prior to joining TFS Loans Processing?
SB: I have an extensive background in financial services and franchising, over 20 years including working for National Westminster Bank, HFC Bank and London Scottish Bank. My specialist field is in secured broking and mortgage broking, I have held multiple positions at director level, I have managed the entire secured loan packaging operation and mortgage broking unit for London Scottish Bank, I have set up and owned my own directly authorized mortgage brokerage and I have been involved in taking 5 separate companies to franchise.
FE: What are some of the advantages in being a TFS Loans Processing franchisee?
SB: The biggest advantage that we offer is the ability to own and operate a business in what is usually an industry fraught with regulation and red tape, we have designed and integrated a business model that shields our franchisees from the knowledge and skills that are usually required in order to generate and process financial services related business. People will always need help and / or advice with their finances at regular intervals in their lives and we capitalize on that with a range of products and services that are in high demand in the current financial climate.
FE: Who is your ideal franchisee?
SB: Our ideal franchisee is someone who is looking for a rewarding opportunity and is willing to put in some effort in order to achieve their goals. They do not need to have experience or qualifications, just a willingness to succeed. We provide all the support that is required to make a success of this opportunity, it is then up to the individual how much they want to earn based upon the amount of referrals that they produce, the more the franchisee earns, the more we earn so it is in our interest to get the best out of every franchisee.
FE: Tell us a little about the Financial Services Market?
SB: TFS Franchise has evolved in tune with the needs of millions of people who live in the UK today. Who can be certain about what mortgage they should have? Fixed or variable? Will I be able to obtain credit now if I missed 2 payments a year ago? Why is my home insurance rising if I haven’t made a claim? Who can I turn to for reliable debt advice? Can I claim for mis-sold PPI? How can I get emergency money today? Should I make a will now that I am approaching retirement?In the current financial marketplace, you will find that people are defined by their credit status or credit rating, since the Credit Crunch in 2007, very little lending is available for people with a low credit status, so at one end of the spectrum you have a high number of potential applicants with limited products. At the other end of the scale you have another percentage of the population that still have their credit rating intact and they demand the best of what is available in the market. TFS Loans Processing for the first time brings the distinct needs of each respective set of individuals together under one banner, we have sourced lenders and providers that cater for most circumstances and you will be able to provide products and services to an ex bankrupt just as easily as someone who has never missed a payment in their life. This unprecedented approach to financial services means that you have the best chance of being able to provide help to a much wider range of people than previously possible and more importantly, get paid well for doing it.
FE: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
SB: The greatest lesson is that business can come from anywhere, you are only ever limited by your own imagination and I am continually surprised by the scope and potential of this opportunity, we regularly receive finance enquiries from places like Funeral Directors and Plastic Surgeons to name some of the more obscure sources of our franchisees business. The other lesson I would try and impart is be flexible and keep an open mind, it is always beneficial in any business to keep abreast of changes and adjust your strategy to suit market conditions, those that are left behind are often at a disadvantage.
FE: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?
SB: I have been fortunate enough to have worked alongside some very influential and inspiring individuals that have given me their knowledge and the skills that I possess today, there are too many to name them individually but I take my inspiration from the success of our franchisees and the franchise that I have developed from the ground up.
FE: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
SB: A franchise is a supported and tested platform or model to provide established products or services, but it is still a new business venture, and its success relies heavily on the actions and work rate of the franchisee. I am continually surprised by the amount of people who expect to be earning six figure salaries whilst only working for a few hours per day, anyone who promises you this is not giving you an accurate picture, or else we would all be doing it. I would advise anyone who is starting a business to look at worst case scenario’s and not be blinded by the sales patter, most businesses take months to achieve their optimum levels of business allowing for a pipeline to build. You should always check the attrition rate of franchisees or how many franchisees have failed within the first 6 or 12 months, there may not be anything wrong with the franchise opportunity itself but if you are unable to give it your full attention to get it off the ground, then you need to allow for a much longer period before the business becomes profitable. This should always be factored in when looking at whether a business is going to be suitable for you and your individual needs and circumstances and is one of the main reasons for failure within the first few months.
FE: In your opinion, why do you think that TFS Loans Processing would be a great opportunity for someone?
SB: Because we offer a genuine opportunity in a market that governs respect through regulation and professionalism. There will always be a need for Financial Services and Financial Services are utilised by the vast majority of the population in one form or another, the potential is huge, it is not a fad product or service with a limited lifespan, and the rewards are considerable. This opportunity allows unqualified or inexperienced individuals access to markets that would normally be too daunting for the uninitiated to even consider getting involved with on their own, but by working together we don’t just make possible, we actually make it easy.