Birmingham business owner shortlisted for prestigious national business award

20th June 2018

The annual bfa HSBC Franchise Awards 2018 is run by the British Franchise Association (bfa). These widely-respected awards recognise both franchisees and franchisors who have demonstrated outstanding business acumen, innovation and achievement.  Franchising is the granting of a licence by one person (the franchisor) to another (the franchisee), which entitles the franchisee to trade under the brand, taking advantage of the systems and support offered by the franchisor. 

Neil joins two others on the shortlist for the Network Contribution Award category, which recognises franchisees who appreciate the benefit of being part of a network and are considered to be a significant contributing partner to the franchisor and a mentor to the network, which has resulted in increased profitability for the overall business model.

InXpress is a global shipping franchise organisation delivering carrier solutions to small and medium sized businesses for domestic and international document, parcel, and package shipment,s via its carrier partners such as DHL, TNT, UPS and UK Mail. Neil started InXpress Birmingham South in 2006 and determined to build a profitable business. This has been recognised within the network, and he is currently a member of the InXpress Quarter Million Club – reserved for franchisees generating a profit exceeding £250,000 - and based on last year’s pre-tax profit of over £440k is now close to joining the half million club. Neil’s franchise ranks in the top five UK franchises, and #12 in the top 20 Global franchises.

It is this performance and Neil’s experience that give him credibility to support the Network and he knows he is in a privileged position, earning the trust of both franchisees and the franchisor. He won Franchise of the Year in 2015 and has been a mentor for five franchisees in the InXpress network.

Alongside his mentoring role, he has supported InXpress recruitment, referring three people into the network, who are all now high performing franchises. Neil has also served on the Franchise Association Committee, where he and other colleagues made recommendations about improving the software and technology that franchisees were using, and took proposals to the network, which were funded by the franchisor and topped up by franchisees.

Neil’s latest role is supporting the franchise to grow into Europe. He is supporting head office by picking up new leads, talking to them about InXpress and his own experience and getting them along to Discovery Days.

On being shortlisted for the Network Contribution Franchisee of the Year category, Neil said,“I was absolutely blown away to be shortlisted for this award. It is a coup not just for my franchise, but for InXpress as a whole. I could not be happier or more invested in my franchise, and recognition from the bfa is both a wonderful ‘trophy’ and a very useful asset as I assist with new franchise sales. The bfa does such important work, that an award from them would be validation of the highest order.” 

Pip Wilkins,CEO of the bfa, said"It’s over forty years since the bfa was launched specifically to develop ethical franchising in the UK, and I am proud of the way the sector has grown in that time, with the industry's turnover exceeding £15bn - that's 1% of the UK's GDP! 

“I am delighted to see such a strong field in the Network Contribution award. It is the expertise and drive that franchisees can bring to a network that can really help them and the wider business flourish. All the shortlisted companies are excellent examples of how that can work really welland I would like to congratulate all three finalists in this category and wish them the best of luck at the Awards ceremony at the ICC Birmingham on 28thof June!" 

Andrew BrattesaniUK Head of Franchisingfor award sponsor HSBC, said,“HSBC is delighted to be once again supporting these franchise awards. Franchise businesses are often the hidden engine of business growth in the UK and it is essential to highlight the important contribution both large and small businesses make to our economy. It is also important to showcase to people that they can run their own businesses and if you don’t want to go it alone, or haven’t got a strong business idea of your own, you can still be successful and become your own boss.”

All the bfa HSBC Franchise Award category winners will be named at an exclusive black-tie ceremony held between day one and two of the bfa Annual Conference, on 28thJune 2018 at the ICC in Birmingham. 


The three finalists in the Network Contribution category are:

  • InXpress – Neil Hatt (Birmingham)–a global shipping franchise organisation delivering carrier solutions to small and medium sized businesses for domestic and international document, parcel, and package shipments via its carrier partners 
  • Sandler Training – Andy McCreadie (Devon)– providing business training locally, regionally or almost anywhere in the world
  • Mr. Electric – Jeff Longley (Staffordshire)– providing electrical services to both domestic and commercial customers, both emergency and non-urgent work, with no call out fee and transparent pricing
Birmingham business owner shortlisted for prestigious national business award