Meet Ben Speed,  Head of Franchise Growth at The Outdoors Project.

Ben comes to us with a wealth of experience in helping franchisees create profitable and well managed franchise business. For the past 11 years, Ben has worked at Riverford Organic Farmers, where he grew their franchise business from £40 million pound turnover, to over £100 million in 2021. 

We believe that more children need to get outside and play in the fresh air, away from screens and just be kids having fun! Our Franchisees are key to achieving this and we therefore want to create a Head Office, able to support and allow these territories to grow. Ben comes with some great experience in growing and managing large number of profitable franchise territories. He's also come from an amazing brand experience at Riverford, so I thought we’d share some of his thoughts on franchising and what he wants for the future at The Outdoors Project

ODP: So Ben, why did you want to join the Outdoors Project? 
Ben: I loved working for a brand with a mission and a purpose. As a father of three, where I’m constantly struggling to get them away from screens, I know how important and necessary our job is. 

ODP: How do you think franchising fits in with this? 
Ben: One of my first questions to Sam and Joel was ‘does this business work as a franchise’? And, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. The ability of those franchises in the local community to build relationships with schools, parents, kids and community groups is something you could only achieve with a passionate local person living in the area. 

ODP: What is it you think makes a great franchisees?
Ben: Firstly, passion for what they’re doing – we’ll probably forgive other shortcomings – if that’s what they can bring. We can help shape the rest. But they’ve also got to be resourceful and prepared to be persistent, especially when they’re starting out. Ultimately, they’re the face on the ground and my job is to free them up from all those other things that get in the way of them doing what they do best, which is building those relationships. 

ODP: If we can achieve this, what’s the future for the ODP?
Ben: First and foremost the future depends on a shared belief that we need to grow the ODP, so that more kids get to experience our clubs. This means profitable, well run franchise territories, with a clear plan of what they’re trying to achieve in terms of sustainable growth. If we can do this we should be targeting ourselves to bring on tens of franchisees each year. 

Feel free to email Ben if you'd like to speak about his vision for franchising or to book onto an upcoming Discovery Day in Brighton & Hove.