Top Limerick entrepreneur urges franchise model

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

THE boss of the Mallow Street firm named the city’s company of the year has encouraged local businesses to look to an expansion by franchising.

THE boss of the Mallow Street firm named the city’s company of the year has encouraged local businesses to look to an expansion by franchising.

Business Cost Management, headed by John MacNamara won the overall Entrepreneur of the Year prize at the annual Limerick City Enterprise Awards held in the Savoy Hotel on Monday.

The company, which has expanded to 16 countries nationally, is commissioned by other firms to find cost savings.

It looks across 50 categories to try to eliminate all the indirect costs of the company, excluding labour, but including printing, telephones, food, transport and electricity.

In return, BCM is paid a percentage of the savings it finds.

In the last 18 months, it has gone from one office in Mallow Street to franchised offices in Mexico and New Zealand.

And in the next few months, four new offices are planned in North America.

Overall, the company has created 100 jobs worldwide.

Mr MacNamara said this expansion would not have been possible without the help of the City Enterprise Board.

“We are a small Limerick business, but we have managed to get to 17 countries. We have done this by franchising. I would encourage as many businesses as possible to do this. If you look at the Irish market, it is small by its nature. If you want to grow your business, there is a big wide world out there. I really think it is something you should consider,” Mr MacNamara told other companies at the awards ceremony.

He also praised the eight staff he has working in the firm’s offices in the city centre.

Asked what he thought made the company stand out, he added: “I think is the manner in which BCM has gone about its growth is quite unique. We are a small business, based in Limerick, but we have used the power of the Internet, which has allowed us to compete on the international stage.”

The company will next month be interviewed by a panel of experts, including Small Firms Association director Patricia Callan.

Should they get through this, BCM will compete for the National Enterprise Award at Dublin’s Custom House in November.

Chief executive of the Enterprise Board in Limerick Eamon Ryan expressed confidence the firm could take the top prize.

“When BCM first won this award in 2009, it was a small local business. But they have developed a franchise model which has proven to be successful for them in growing the business,” he said.