My Team – Specialists in Franchising & Licensing

Working closely with each client – whatever their stage of development – we ensure that every Operations Manual is tailored to the franchisor’s short and longer term requirements and that systems and minimum operating requirements fully support Brand Standards.

I work in collaboration with Operational Systems & Audit Specialist Joanna K Dawson and Vicki Mitman QFP, a qualified solicitor and specialist in franchising, Together we can offer more than 60 years of experience in franchising !

Joanna and I first worked together on The Costa System and developed a suite of Operational Manuals with Whitbread Plc for use by Costa Coffee’s Brand Partners across the Global Franchise Network. Our association goes back nearly 15 years.

Vicki and I have worked together for several years to the mutual benefit of clients.

For more information, please call Penny Hopkinson on +44 (0) 7956 315750 or email me at manualw@aol.com.

Penny A. Hopkinson – Consultant & Editor-in-Chief

September 1986 – Present A two-year contract to develop and publish the Underwriting Agents & Procedures Manual based on The Lloyd’s Act & Multiple Bye-laws for Lloyd’s of London was my first full manual and enabled me to launch Manual Writers International which I have operated for over 30 years.

Freelance Editor / Socio-Economics Correspondent / Commentator 1976 – 1987 Media included: The Wall St. Journal, International Herald Tribune, Export Times, Alam Attijarat; launch editor of, and subsequent contributor to, English / Arabic inflight magazines (Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways, Saudia, MEA). Substantial overseas travel to the Gulf, North Africa, Scandinavia and Continental Europe to interview Members of Royal Families, Ministers, Government and Corporate officials. Consultant to a number of companies in the UK and overseas; researched and authored three books: The Gulf Handbook, A Better World for Bahrain; 10th Anniversary Book for Bahrain’s Ministry of Housing. Interviewed on UK national and local radio; guest lecturer at North London Polytechnic on Mid-East publishing. Correspondent: Information Technology for Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, Industrial Purchasing News and Procurement Weekly. Three editorships; numerous travel guides (including the Arab World, the Netherlands and Egypt); and feature articles for specialist and Consumer Press worldwide.

Director at Penbar (Audio) Productions Ltd February 1984 – August 1986 Specialist in writing and producing user and travel guides on audio-cassette. Clients included: Motorola Corporation, British Telecom, BT Mobile Communications, Voicebank, UniqueAir, The Ford Motor Company and Freight Transport Association; The Egyptian Experience, The Wonders Down Under, Middle East Business Guide. In addition to day to day running of the business, responsible for client liaison, Content and print production.

Editor: Media International at Alain Charles Publishing 1973 – 1976 Appointed launch Editor, each month I was responsible for commissioning, researching, co-ordinating and editing reports and feature articless from over 20 sources world-wide. I also undertook the complete production cycle and developed this tabloid’s original page base from 32 into a profitable 48-page monthly. A substantial amount of travel was involved meeting the heads of the world’s largest publishing companies, advertising agencies and media industry specialists.

Assistant Editor: Hospital Equipment & Supplies, Hospital Building & Engineering, Printing Equipment & Materials, Print Room, Occupational Safety & Health, Electrical Contractor & Retailer 1969 – 1973 Trained at Northwood Publications as a Trade & Technical Editor before joining RoSPA followed by the Electrical Contractors’ Association on their flagship magazines.

Joanna K Dawson – Operational Systems & Audit Specialist

Joanna brings nearly two decades of international experience to Our Team – much of it within franchising. With a background in organisational development – predominantly strategic international operations and talent management – she has facilitated the development or transformation of SMEs and Multi-nationals in the UK, Europe, Russia & CIS, Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Middle East, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and China (Beijing & Shanghai). Much of her work has involved managing change from traditional to franchised systems for international Master Franchises and Joint Ventures to ensure alignment of the Franchisor’s strategic imperatives with core competencies.

Working within diverse sectors and markets such as HR Consultancy, Financial Services & Banking, Recruitment, Education, Government, Oil & Gas, Power, IT & Telecoms, Retail – and with special knowledge of the Hospitality & Leisure industries – Joanna has advised on, developed and documented Core Operating Brand Standards and developed audits to monitor, measure and assure continuous improvement of quality for product, service and environment. She has also embedded these systems into corporate and individual franchises – notably in the Gulf States, Russia and China.

Extracting the necessary operational detail from key stakeholders such as functional heads of departments in HR, Operations, Marketing, Food & Beverage, Property and Supply Chain, one of Joanna’s key skills is the ability to underpin Brand Standards by fully documenting clear and workable Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that drive the ‘how-to’ which, in turn, achieves uniformity and conformity for day to day operating and management requirements across the developing franchise network.  

Joanna has also worked with individuals and teams to embed SOPs in emerging brands across new and multi-cultural markets which requires great sensitivity, so her experience is fundamental when working in these complex and diverse environments. 

Clients include: 

UK: BAA, Whitbread Plc, Costa Coffee, Premier Inn, Pizza Hut, Roadchef, W H Smith 

Europe: Symeonides Retail Group (Cyprus), Delta Sport (Belgrade) 

MENA: ADCO, Abu Dhabi Finance, ADEC, ADMA/OPCO, Abu Dhabi Pension Fund, Americana Group, AJMAL, AXIS Communication, Batelco (Bahrain), BNP Paribas, DIFC Courts, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Emirates Leisure Retail, INJAZAT, Jawad Business Group (Bahrain), Kamal Osman JAMJOOM Group LLC, KASCO (Kuwait), KONE, Lloyds TSB (ME), Manlift Power LLC, Mubadala, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (now FAB), New York University (Abu Dhabi), Securities & Commodities Authority (Abu Dhabi), STRATA Aerospace, Vale Mining (Oman), Wilo (ME) 

India: Devyani International Group (New Delhi) 

China: Beijing Hualian Group (Beijing), Yueda Group (Shang-Hai) 

Kenya: Java House Group

Vicki Mitman QFP – Solicitor & Specialist in Franchising

Vicki is a qualified solicitor with a particular specialism in franchising. During her legal training and after her qualification in 2011, Vicki worked at a law firm in Norfolk with a designated franchise offering. She later joined the Corporate & Commercial team of a large regional firm to assist with the development of the firm’s franchise offering. This provided Vicki the opportunity to work with a greater variety of clients, and she advised on a range of corporate transactions with supplementary commercial advice.  In April 2018, Vicki joined a specialist franchise firm, NMW, as a consultant solicitor in order to continue her franchise focus. During her professional life as a solicitor, Vicki has maintained strong links with the British Franchise Association (bfa), and has delivered a number of presentations on the legal aspects of franchising.

Vicki’s background in franchising began when she was very young, as her parents held Master Franchise rights for the UK, Ireland and Portugal for a large US brand. Whilst she worked in the business to gain experience before she qualified as a solicitor, in 2013 Vicki also became a director of Drain Doctor Limited (an international plumbing and drainage franchise).  

Vicki’s unique experience as both a director of a franchise business and a franchise lawyer means that her advice is commercial and realistic.  

Enjoying both the practical and professional side of franchising, sparked Vicki’s interest in franchise operations manuals. As the empirical ‘how to’ guide for franchisees, manuals must provide clear guidance on the commercial reality of operating a franchise business whilst underpinning the legal agreement.  In her role as a manual writer, Vicki works flexibly with businesses, offering them a tailored service to suit their needs. She offers support with system and training development, as well as the structure and Content for operations manuals.

Vicki achieved the status of a bfa ‘Qualified Franchise Professional’ (QFP) in 2015 and has been actively involved with the bfa for more than a decade. She has served as Chair of the bfa Professional Affiliate Forum and on the bfa Membership Committee. She also chaired the East Region meetings for Encouraging Women Into Franchising (EWIF) for over five years. 

Industry Awards: Vicki has received awards for Service Provider in Franchising (2017); and Young Woman in Franchising (2015).  

Sectors include: B2C, B2B, Plumbing and Drainage, Children’s Activity, Healthcare, Professional Services.

For further information, please contact Penny Hopkinson on +44 (0) 7956 315750; or email me on manualw@aol.com.