Business franchise: office and IT training

Franchise facts

Pitman Training
David Shimwell, franchise development director
Computer education franchise
Key info:
Strong brand, huge demand, veteran company
Franchise costs:
Contact franchisor for further details
Potential earnings:
Depends on time and effort expended
Business franchise: office and IT training

BusinessesForSale: What makes Pitman Training an attractive franchise?

David Shimwell: Any successful franchise usually has a strong brand attached to it, and with Pitman training you get the benefit of a strong brand.

Also, any franchise that has the number of locations that we do – 100 – has also had the experience to adjust the business model to be more successful. So in summary, it’s a strong brand and a proven business franchise model.

Any franchise that has the number of locations has also had the experience to adjust the business model to be more successful

BFS: How long has the brand been around for?

DS: If you take it to its literal beginnings you’re actually going all the way back to 1839 – 169 years.

We’re not exactly the same company but effectively, if you were doing a ‘Who do you think you are?’ Pitman training would go back to 1839.

BFS: And how did it start out?

DS: It started off with shorthand. As soon as you mention Pitman to anybody, the people that the brand means something to would think of shorthand.

BFS: When was it first franchised?

DS: 15 years ago.

BFS: What does the franchisee get for their money?

DS: Access to our brand, marketing, sales technique – effectively our business system. We will train them on that system and support them on it, so they can go off and run a flexible learning, IT business and commerce training centre.

BFS: What sets it apart from similar franchises?

DS: There are a number of what I would call good franchises out there, and it’s a bit like saying what sets you apart from various restaurants – it depends what food you like and what you want.

But I think it’s down to that proven business system, which has been adapted over the years, and its support.

BFS: How much can they expect to make in a normal working week?

DS: I would say that is all dependent on their determination.

BFS: How many hours will a franchisee typically need to work?

DS: Anybody setting up what I would call a ‘business’, rather than a ‘job’ franchise, you’re going to be looking at 50 hours plus a week for the first year to 18 months.

BFS: Do franchisees tend to work evenings or weekends?

DS: Most of our locations are open a couple of nights a week and Saturday mornings.

Once they’ve got the business up to a certain level and they’re employing staff, then they might not have to work all those hours.

BFS: What would you look for in a franchisee?

DS: In approach and attitude you want someone who is fairly driven to be successful and competitive.

In ability we are looking for someone, because we have a premium product that comes with a relevant price tag, with sales ability.

Because the staff are an integral part of the business you also need to be able to manage and motivate staff.

BFS: Is any industry-specific experience required?

DS: They don’t need it.

I would almost say that to some extent you’d be better off not having that experience, because people that come from a training background are usually not very sales-orientated. It’s about selling.

BFS: How strictly do franchisees have to adhere to the Pitman Training franchise model?

DS: We have brand guidelines including how the product is delivered. We give them the freedom to be as entrepreneurial as they wish in their marketing and management. I always say you can have as much freedom as you want as long as you’re successful, but we have a business system that works so we try and keep people focused on that. 


About The Author

Adam Bannister Writer
Adam Bannister writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other industry publications.