MY LITTLE WRAPPER
Nigel Botterill, N5 Ltd
Unit 3, Olton Bridge,
Tel: 0121 765 3400
- Extract from sales copy
- Your feedback
from sales copy:
Who else wants to make people
happy, earn good money, do it all from home, with total flexibility? And it involves chocolate!
My Little Wrapper is a brilliant 'business in a box' that you can run, part-time, from your own kitchen
Here's how it works: pretty much everyone loves chocolate ... but there's one market
that is virtually untapped in the UK. One area that the 'big boys' can't get into - but which you can:
Personalised chocolate bars.
I mean, really personalised. With wrappers that are designed
with a real 'WOW factor'.
You print and wrap the chocolate bars, and also get to do a bit of
sales and marketing to 'unwrap your customers'.
Your personalised wrappers are unique,
personal and affordable - and the market for them is enormous. For starters just think of every family
celebration; every birthday party, birth announcements, weddings, anniversary. Then there are occasions
such as Easter, Halloween, Christmas, New Year, Prom nights (which are becoming more and more popular
in the UK) and that's before you even consider the Corporate market or Charity fundraising which is huge
We give you everything you need to build yourself a successful part-time business
that you can run from home, in your spare time, and which is very profitable.
Hi my name
is Sue Botterill. I'm a mum of four (thats me with my children opposite) you can read more about me and
my business under Background but let me explain exactly how my little wrapper works:
are three 'ingredients:
1. The Chocolate bars
You can get them from us
(they taste delicious) or buy your own. It's up to you.
2. The Wrappers
got a range of over 50 designs, all commissioned by us. We've used some of the experts in the field -
including designers who have worked for the likes of Cadbury. We provide you with these wrappers, all
pre-printed with space for personalisation. You then 'over-print' the personalised message/s using your
own colour printer. On most wrappers there is space on both the front and the back for personalisation.
It takes seconds to do because of:
3. The My Little Wrapper Software
the science bit! It's dead easy to use but what it does is make sure that the personalisation text is
printed in exactly the right place of each wrapper.
By using your own colour printer to over-print
the personalisation on the pre-printed wrappers you are able to provide real tip quality looking wrappers.
My Little Wrapper was only launched in March 2008 and its
already making a big impact with well over 100 'wrappers' already
on board and enjoying great success.
We give you all the training and marketing material you need
as part of your Pack. There are no ongoing obligations or license
fees - you have full flexibility and complete control, so you
can do as much, or as little, as you like.
The Professional Pack normally costs £2,749 plus VAT
The Mini-Business Pack costs £1,999 plus VAT &
Nigel Botterill is the MD of N5 Ltd, the company offering the
My Little Wrapper business opportunity. Nigel Botterill has
lots of ideas for business opportunities and franchises to sell
to the public and he's also very good at marketing them.
However, on one previous occasion at least, it escaped Nigel
Botterill that business ideas are worth very little unless they
are proved to work in practice. This is what happened with one
of his previous ventures - the Have A Quickie franchise
- which I rated at 2 out of 10 in the December 2007 issue of
BOW. The Quickie franchise involved siting coin-operated machines
in public places such as hotels and pubs. The machines quickly
recharged mobile phones, and the cost was £1 per recharge.
Whereas Nigel Botterill informed me in correspondence that his
company had "run a pilot operation in Leicester since December
2006", he was unable to give me any further details of the
figures or of how many machines were involved in the pilot operation
(the company was asking franchisees to pay £29,995 for
a franchise with 50 machines), and N5 Ltd had not sited machines
anywhere other than Leicester.
Nigel Botterill then seemed to realise that potential franchisees
asked to pay such a large sum for a franchise would require
some hard evidence of the viability of the business, and in
a subsequent letter the franchise director, Mike Giles, informed
also rolling out our own machines in Solihull during January 2008, and have many venues already signed
up. The main aim of the Solihull set-up is so that potential franchisees will be able to visit the locations
and see the machines on the same day that they visit us to discuss their application".
I don't know what the results of this "Solihull roll-out"
were, but it seems to have been too late for the Quickie franchise
so far as Nigel Botterill and Sue Botterill and N5 Ltd were
concerned. The accounts of Quickie Products Ltd for the period
ended 31st March 2008 show a trading loss of £411,157
and the balance sheet shows that liabilities exceeded assets
by £411,057. Nigel and Sue Botterill each owned 25% of
the shares in the company, and Nigel Botterill was a director
and Sue Botterill was the company secretary. After the balance
sheet date - on 23rd April 2008 - Nigel Botterill resigned as
director and Sue Botterill resigned as secretary and they disposed
of their shares.
Quickie Products Ltd is
now under the control of two individuals unrelated to the Botterills or N5 Ltd - David Heath, a founding
director along with Nigel Botterill, and a second director who joined in July 2008 and resigned a few
months later. (Update: The affairs of Quickie Products Ltd appear to have gone from bad to worse,
with David Heath - the sole remaining director - ditching his responsibilities by resigning on 31st March
2009, leaving the company with no officers at all. David Heath now lives in France. Two months after his
departure, the company was put into compulsory liquidation on the petition of a creditor.)
It seems to me that the launch of the Quickie franchise by Nigel
Botterill was a prime example of putting the cart before the
horse i.e. of rushing the franchise to market before the company
had the evidence to show that the business was a viable one.
Has Nigel Botterill learnt his lesson?
Apparently not, because Nigel Botterill gives no indication
on either of his websites for his latest new venture (www.mylittlewrapper.co.uk
and www.getmylittlewrapper.co.uk) that it was tested before
it was launched.
In his marketing material for My Little Wrapper Nigel Botterill
says that what you are buying is a "brilliant business in
If My Little Wrapper has not been adequately tested
then this claim is just hot air, because you are not buying a business at all: instead, what you are buying
is just a business IDEA (for marketing chocolate bars in personalised wrappers) which - like all business
ideas - might work or might not. You also receive the tools and a small opening stock to operate the business
idea (e.g. 100 chocolate bars, 500 wrappers, software to personalise the wrappers, marketing material,
business stationery etc).
To give Nigel Botterill and N5 Ltd credit, they do give plenty of indications
in their marketing material that My Little Wrapper is merely a punt. For example, in response to the question
"How Much Money Can I Expect To Make?" the only definitive answer they give is to say that you
should make between 60p and £1.10 per bar of chocolate.
The question of how many bars of
chocolate you could expect to sell is expressly stated as being "entirely in your hands".
However, Nigel Botterill does give on his website an example
based on doing wedding orders and children's birthday party
orders, coffee mornings, nursery groups etc which result in
sales of an average 1,000 bars per month. He says that this
should deliver you between £600 and £1,100 profit
depending on the price that you sell the bars for (£1
or £1.50 per bar).
A mistake in the calculations
Nigel Botterill goes on to say that a profit of £600
to £1,100 per month for around 16-18 hours spent designing,
printing and wrapping the bars "equates to a very attractive
Nigel Botterill has made a mistake with his calculation, and
it is the sort of mistake which would have been unlikely to
have happened if his company had properly tested the business
The mistake is simply that
Nigel and Sue Botterill have forgotten to take account of the time spent in marketing a My Little Wraopper
business in order to obtain the orders, and the time and costs of delivering the orders, and the time
spent running a coffee morning or manning a display table at a nursery group.
Also, you would
need to allow a minimum of 5 hours a week to market your My Little Wrapper business, plus one hour for
delivery. So that makes a minimum of an extra 26 hours a month. Added to, say, 17 hours a month for production,
that makes a total monthly time commitment of 43 hours. The half-way point of the company's predicted
monthly profit is £850, so that makes an effective hourly rate of about £20.
an hour is nevertheless a decent rate of pay.
Could you regularly receive £20 an hour?
However, the question is: could you receive it regularly? This depends on whether you get repeat
orders. Without repeat orders, it's very difficult for most businesses to survive.
With My Little
Wrapper, if you don't get repeat orders then you'll continually have to be spending time marketing to
potential new customers, and you'll need to be travelling further afield in search of them.
Repeat orders would be particularly important with My Little Wrapper because your unit profit is small.
At the moment, there isn't any evidence of the level of repeat
orders for My Little Wrapper. Nigel Botterill and Sue Botterill
would have needed to run the business themselves for at least
six months to test this, but there is no indication on the website
that they ran the business at all. The testimonials shown from
people who've bought the My Little Wrapper business refer only
to specific sales having been made.
you get your money back if you weren't happy?
Let us turn now to the question of whether you could get your
money back if the My Little Wrapper business did not turn out
in accordance with your expectations. At first sight, it seems
that you could, because Nigel Botterill says on the home page
on the website says, "Both Packs come with our full 100%
Money Back Guarantee" and there is a link to this guarantee.
However, this seems to be rather misleading, for several reasons:
1. Nigel Botterill says categorically on the Terms and Conditions
page that "no refunds will be available".
2. In his "Guarantee" Nigel Botterill starts off
by saying, "My Little Wrapper is tried, tested and proven"
but - as already stated in this review - there are no details
on the website of any testing at all having been carried out.
3. Under his heading "Our 100% Money Back Guarantee"
it appears that Nigel Botterill makes you wait a full 12 months
to get your money back from My Little Wrapper, and during
that time you would need to have "followed the Programme
fully". I have seen many similarly-worded misleading "100%
Money Back Guarantees" on business opportunities over the
years. In practice, nobody has much chance of ever getting
a refund because of the requirement to operate the business
for 12 months. After all, if the business is not working for
you then you wouldn't want to be spending a whole year flogging
a dead horse and incurring costs if you were not getting the
sales, would you?
4. The conditions for getting your money back from My LIttle
Wrapper are made even more onerous by the requirement of Nigel
Botterill to produce "certified accounts", whereupon
N5 Ltd will "pay you back the difference between what you
did generate in sales and the cost of the Programme".
This appears to be a mistake, because surely what Nigel Botterill
should be repaying you is the difference between your net
profit - if any (i.e. your sales less your costs in generating
those sales) and the cost of My Little Wrapper. The requirement
for certified accounts means that you would have to cough
up several hundred pounds to get your accounts audited.
Botterill has got a good point in implying that he won't believe your figures unless you have them audited.
That is a very business-like approach, and it is precisely the approach you should take with him.
So you need to ask Nigel Botterill to produce certified accounts for the My Little Wrapper business.
If he can't, then forget it - because it will mean that My Little Wrapper is just another one of his untested
business ideas and - as seen with the Quickie franchise - they don't always work.
Little Wrapper work as claimed?
In the meantime, though, let's try to get a bit of an idea for
ourselves about whether this Nigel Botterill franchise will
work , and if so how: let's consider the first two sources of
orders for your My Little Wrapper business given under the heading
"Income" on the page headed "How Much Money Can I
Expect To Make".
The first one is a wedding order, and Nigel Botterill says that
"a typical wedding order can be for 100 bars".
Do you think you'd get many
It seems unlikely. Most people tend to do the traditional thing at weddings,
and the traditional thing is sugared almonds. There are good reasons for this - sugared almonds look pretty
and dainty and ... they don't melt or make people's fingers sticky. By contrast, even the most beautifully-wrapped
chocolate bars would probably look clunky and out-of-place ... and what sort of a state do you think they
would be in after spending several hours on a wedding table in a room which would be likely to have become
Orders for children's parties are much more likely, and indeed
Nigel Botterill says,"Children's birthday parties tend to
be the mainstay of the business". However, the company says
that the average order is around 20 bars. That means a sale
price of between £20 and £30, with a gross profit
of between £12 and £22, depending on whether you
charged £1 or £1.50 per bar. That's not very much
when you consider that you would have spent time getting the
order, printing and applying the wrappers and delivering the
Having said that, I think that a personalised
chocolate business could work if it were run as an add-on to an existing children's party business. That
way, you would have your own ready market for repeat sales.
Whilst it's true that on the Internet
you can buy software to print chocolate wrappers for a small price (e.g. www.wrapcandy.com), the results
are not likely to be good as with My Little Wrapper, where you simply overprint the personalised details
onto pre-printed wrappers.
Colour laser printer needed
to note, though, that in either case you need to have a laser printer; otherwise, as soon as the wrappers
come into contact with wet or sticky fingers (e.g. children's party, wedding party) the ink could run
or smear. Furthermore, it's presumably not just a question of appearance but also a question of Health
and Safety regulations, since the ink could then come into contact with food or go directly into children's
mouths via their fingers.
Oddly, whereas the two adverts I found for My Little Wrapper
on Google (www.franchiseexpo.co.uk and www.theukfranchisedirectory.net)
both say that you need to have a colour laser printer, on his
website for My Little Wrapper Nigel Botterill only refers to
having a colour printer.
what the two adverts say:
"By using your own colour laser printer to over-print
the personalisation on the preprinted wrappers you are able to provide real tip quality looking wrappers."
And here's what Nigel Botterill's website at www.getmylittlewrapper.co.uk
"By using your own
colour printer to over-print the personalisation on the preprinted wrappers you are able to provide real
tip quality looking wrappers."
There appears to be an unfortunate error throughout,
because presumably the word "tip" should read "top".
BOW wrote to Nigel Botterill to tell him about this error and
also to ask him about what kind of printer do people operating
a My Little Wrapper business need to have, together with a number
of other questions. BOW's letter is reproduced below.
It's important that anyone considering buying this business opportunity (or any of the other business
opportunities and franchises offered by Nigel Botterill) does not allow their decision to be influenced
by the incredible number of prestigious awards which Nigel Botterill himself, and his company N5 Limited,
The latest one is "Innovative Company of the Year 2008" which Nigel Botterill
received at a ceremony chaired by Peter Jones of BBC's Dragons Den in March 2008. This award is part of
The Fast Growth Business Awards from Crimson Business, publishers of Growing Business Magazine and the
popular website at www.startups.co.uk.
Previous awards to NIgel Botterill and N5 Ltd include:
Sunday Times Tech Track 100 - September 2007
e-company of the year 2007 from Sharp Edge Awards, presented by Duncan
Bannatyne from BBCs Dragons Den
BTs Essence of the Entrepreneur
How come, you may ask, the great and the good on the Judges Panels
- including not only Dragons Den gurus Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne, but also Sir David Arculus (responsible
for the phenomenal success of Emap) and Rene Carayol MBE - rate Nigel Botterill and his company so highly
when BOW does not?
The answer is that these judges are judging on the basis of different criteria.
They are looking at questions such as whether Nigel Botterill's business is innovative and whether it
is financially successful.
BOW, on the other hand, is not primarily concerned with whether Nigel
Botterill makes a lot of money and comes up with new ideas; BOW is first and foremost concerned with looking
for evidence that what he is offering will enable his customers (e.g. you if you bought a business opportunity
or a franchise from him) to make money, regardless of whether the idea is new or old-hat revisited.
Ignore any awards received by any business opportunity or franchise
the best advice to anyone thinking of buying a business opportunity from a company which has received
any awards or accolades is to totally ignore these in doing their research and arriving at their decision
on whether to purchase the business.
Furthermore, with any award given by a publishing company,
you might wonder whether the decisions were totally impartial or whether major advertisers were in with
a running start. (Please note that BOW is making this comment purely as a general, common-sense observation,
without any specific reference at all to either Nigel Botterill and his company or to any of the awarding
Another thing is that you would be unlikely ever to be able to find out what evidence
the judges based their decision on.
For example, in the case of Nigel Botterill and his company
N5 Ltd it does not seem to be based on the company's financial results as filed at Companies House, because
for the year ended 30 April 2006 N5 Ltd had a deficit of £126,726 on its profit and loss account.
For the year ended 30 April 2007 the deficit was nearly £70,000 and the company's creditors exceeded
its current assets by nearly £30,000. Also, at one time during the year Nigel and Sue Botterill
owed the company the incredible figure of nearly £2 million (the amount they owed at the end of
the year had fallen to £325,885).
Regardless of the latest award from Fast Growth Business,
according to Alexa (www.alexa.com) the fall in the number of visits to the website of N5 Ltd's main franchise
- thebestof - continues unchecked, as detailed in the following letter BOW sent to Nigel Botterill:
Letter to Nigel Botterill
Firstly, congratulations on your
latest award -"Innovative Company of the Year 2008" - which I became aware of when I was asked
by a reader to do a review of My Little Wrapper.
Secondly, I've got a couple of questions about
My Little Wrapper:
When you say on the Guarantee page on your website, "My Little Wrapper
is tried, tested and proven" - what precisely do you mean? Did you or your wife set up and run such
a business, perhaps, and if so what period was it run for and is it still running?
are requiring any of your customers who wish to call in the guarantee and receive a refund to provide
you with certified accounts, can you provide certified accounts of this business?
This is obviously
a very important point, because repeat orders from existing customers are a key feature of most healthy
businesses, and with My Little Wrapper you say that "Children's birthday parties tend to be the mainstay
of the business". That implies that a testing period of more than one year was required.
Also, I've got a question about how franchisees over-print the labels with the personalised text. The
adverts you have on a number of franchise directory websites say that you over-print with a colour laser
printer. However, your own website simply says that you over-print with a colour printer. Could you please
specify whether a colour laser printer is required, or whether your view is that an inkjet printer could
do the job? If the latter, then could you confirm that you have cleared this with Health and Safety officials,
particularly bearing in mind the likelihood of contact from children's wet and/or sticky fingers?
You might also want to correct what appears to be an error in these adverts and also on your own
site, in the reference to "real tip quality looking wrappers".
turn now to your BestOf franchise, which we corresponded about earlier this year. It's good to see on
the BestOf website (www.thebestof.co.uk) that you have amended your bio regarding your short career at
Card Protection Plan - which previously said that you "moved to Card Protection Plan as managing director"
- where you were head of their telemarketing division, before you left to start up your own business.
By contrast, it is worrying to see that your bestof websites at www.thebestof.co.uk and www.getthebestof.co.uk
still carry false and misleading claims regarding their popularity with the public.
be the case that these figures are a mistake or an oversight on the part of your company because I discussed
them in detail in correspondence earlier this year with your Sales Director Mike Giles, in the course
of my review of The Best Of franchise.
I had thought that Mike Giles was going to change these
false figures because he replied to me on 24th December 2007 that " ... we are currently updating all
our marketing material - something that we do as a matter of course every few months - to reflect the
changes in the business".
However, the changes to the claims made on The Best Of website
which I discussed with Mike Giles have not been made, as follows:
1. False claim
The "What We Do" page on the website at www.thebestof.co.uk - which will be read by potential
bestof advertisers - reads "With high exposure on the major search engines and thebestof consistently
being ranked as one of the Top 100 most popular websites in the country (source www.Alexa.com)" -
whereas the truth is that by the end of December 2007 www.thebestof.co.uk had slumped to number 273 in
the UK, and now it has slumped further to number 541 in the UK.
As I pointed out in my correspondence
to Mike Giles, it is doubtful that thebestof was ever in the top 100 UK websites so far as the public
was concerned, because even in bestof's short days of glory in June 2006 when it was shown as being the
UK's 48th most popular website, the Alexa statistics themselves showed that more than half of the traffic
taken into account by Alexa in arriving at this statistic was not public traffic at all but was instead
traffic from bestof franchisees visiting non-public pages on the site such as oldadmin.thebestof.co.uk
(28%), forum.thebestof.co.uk (13%) webmail.thebestof.co.uk (8%), newsletter.thebestof.co.uk (1%) and devblog.thebestof.co.uk
(1%) - all of which add up to 51%.
2. Misleadingly out-of-date claim
Us" link on the home page of the website at www.getthebestof.co.uk - which will be read by potential bestof
franchisees - bears the heading "The 48th Most Popular Website in the UK (Source: Alexa.com June 2006)".
Further down the page says "It is already the UKs 48th most popular website, as ranked by Alexa, the
online ranking specialists (www. Alexa.com)". Bizarrely, it appears that this page has not been updated
for more than two years, since at the foot it carries the date July 2006.
Can you please
explain these false and misleading figures?
Also, can you also please explain how the consistent
downward trend shown by Alexa since June 2006 can be reconciled with your own figures of the fantastic
growth in usage of the bestof site as per your website for potential franchisees at www.getthebestof.co.uk,
140 bestof franchisees and "more than 750,000
hits per month (independently audited)"
210 bestof franchisees and "more
than 750,00 hits per month (independently audited)"
9th February 2007
franchisees and "more than 750,00 hits per month (independently audited)"
in the space of less than one month, an amazing 43% jump in the number of bestof franchisees
to "more than 300 franchisees" and a mind-boggling 53-fold increase in the number of hits to
"more than 40 million hits (independently audited)".
How can you be unaware
that, whereas the bestof site was ranked as number 48 in the UK by Alexa in June 2006, it has fallen consistently
The bestof site is now ranked as number 541 in the UK, and in the last three
months it has fallen a further 10% in Reach (the percentage of global Internet users visiting the site),
fallen by 2,458 in Traffic Rank (a combined measure of page views and Reach) and fallen by 32% in Page
Views per user.
You persist in publicising false and misleading figures. For example, in the
Guide which you currently send out called the "Guide to buying an Online Directory Franchise - 12 Questions
you should ask the Franchisor" - you claim that "The bestof.co.uk is also ranked by www.alexa.com
as one of the top 200 most popular website in the UK (Dec 2007)". The truth is that on 7th December
2007 the bestof site was number 246 in the UK and by 20th December 2007 it had fallen to number 273, reflecting
a continuing downward trend of a decline of 30% in reach, and a decline of 22% in page views for the previous
Also, as pointed out in my previous correspondence, nearly half of the visits to the
bestof site used by Alexa in arriving at the site's popularity rating do not relate to public usage at
all but to usage by the bestof franchisees: 44% of the visits were to non-public pages such as oldadmin.thebestof.co.uk,
webmail.thebestof.co.uk and forums.thebestof.co.uk.
Please advise what you mean by the phrase
"independently audited". For example, please advise who is the person or the body who carries out
the audit and how often is this carried out?
Could you also please advise what information your
bestof franchisees give to potential business advertisers about the popularity of your site?
On the basis of the Alexa figures, it would appear that the bestof advertisers have been getting an increasingly
poor deal, because you have been recruiting more and more franchisees, which implies that more and more
adverts are being sold ... but the visits to your site keep on going down.
I look forward to
Nigel Botterill (in italics with BOW's comments inserted):
I am in receipt of your 3 page letter which I received late this morning, shortly followed, just 30 minutes
later, by a fax asking for an urgent reply because you are publishing tomorrow.
In answer to
My Little Wrapper
We have over 200 people doing this now across the
UK ( our 200th Wrapper came on board last week) and have sold over 85,000 chocolate bars since March 08.
It is going well with many success stories amongst our purchasers.
That's 200 people recruited in 5 months. Let's discount the
people recruited in the last 2 months because they might not
have really got started with their business yet. So, on a
straight-line basis, that's 120 people who have been running
their My Little Wrapper business for more than 2 months. (This
fits with a figure given on the Start Ups Live website at
www.startupslive.co.uk at the beginning of June, when Nigel
Botterill said that My Little Wrapper "already has over
100 people on board".)
On an average
basis, that means each person has sold in total 708 bars (i.e. 85,000 divided by 120). Over the life of
their My Little Wrapper business of between two and five months to date this would give each person on
average a total profit ranging from £424.80 to £778.80, depending on whether they have been
selling the bars for £1 or £1.50.
That's rather a long way from the example Nigel Botterill
gives on the My Little Wrapper website of the sale of 1,000
bars PER MONTH, giving a MONTHLY profit of between £600
Prior to launch we ran a pilot to trial the whole thing both here
in Solihull and with some of our franchisees from our other businesses.
It's a shame that Nigel Botterill has not given any details
about the period these pilot/s were run for, or the names
of these businesses, or whether they are still running ...
and has not made any comment about whether certified accounts
Our chocolate bars are provided
ready wrapped in foil and we took appropriate Health & Safety advice about all aspects of the business
prior to launch.
So Nigel Botterill hasn't replied to the important question
about whether My Little Wrapper franchisees need a colour
laser printer (which many people don't already have) or whether
an inkjet (which many people do already have) will do.
I still reckon
you'd need a colour laser printer to ensure that the outer packaging did not get messy, even if not required
by Health and Safety regulations.
I find your questions about
thebestof totally perplexing.
Firstly, thebestof is a franchise, not a business opportunity.
I disagree with Nigel Botterill. To me, a"business opportunity"
is an opportunity to do business. A franchise is simply one
business model you might use to do business. Examples of other
business models often used for business opportunities which
are offered to the public include network marketing (or "multi-level
marketing"), agency arrangements, distributorships etc.
wanting to get involved with it has to go through a rigorous selection process which includes vetting,
interviews and meetings here at our Solihull offices before they can become a franchisee. As part of that
process we share with them detailed information about the workings of the business including all the latest
statistics, right down to individual area level.
We turn down a lot of people that want to become
thebestof franchisees. We certainly don't just sell a franchise to anyone.
thebestof is one
of the most successful UK franchises ever. It has developed enormously since its launch and now has many
offline elements to the proposition as well as the online presence.
You seem to be picking an
issue with some of our traffic claims. The claims are clearly dated on the Site so I don't believe that
we are misleading anybody and, as I explained above, anyone who gets anywhere near purchasing a thebestof
franchisee has access to far more detailed and very current statistics. For instance, in August 2008 the
site received over 1.2m unique visitors. In June 2006 this figure was less than 400,000. We had over 85
million hits in August but, as I'm sure you are aware, unique visitors is a much more meaningful statistics
nowadays, particularly when comparing Sites. It means that over 1.2 million different people visited thebestof
website in August. These figures are provided by Google Analytics - the industry standard for such measurement.
To be clear, our traffic continues to rise month on month (not fall, as you suggest) and is now at almost
treble the level it was in June 2006.
It's a bit of a mystery, then, why on his website at www.thebestof.co.uk
Nigel Botterill continues to quote figures which are more
than two years out of date and, moreover, from a source -
www.alexa.com - where the current figures show that usage
of his site has slumped.
This traffic comes from a number of sources but one
of the main ones is the fact that we have over 450,000 pages indexed on Google and 363,000 Top 10 search
rankings across the six major search engines. These are industry leading figures. We have a very strong
presence on the search engines - way better than any of our competitors.
All our franchisees
get detailed stats each month for traffic to their individual sites, including detailed figures for each
business that they feature.
Incidentally, I had a representative from Hitwise the global authority
on web site traffic in my office only a few weeks ago and he was telling me that, based on their data,
we were the 4th biggest directory site on the web. But this is all statistics and data. When measuring
the success of thebestof I believe there are better ways to do it:
For instance, we have more
than 50,000 UK businesses paying to be part of the Site. Retention and renewals are very high - as result
of the great return on investment that our franchisees are able to provide for them. There are over 100
testimonials from businesses right across the country on the website and we have hundreds more available.
How many of the Opportunities that you review have 50,000 current paying customers?
We also have
several franchisees now earning in excess of £10,000 per month (net) and many more moving rapidly
towards that figure. There are very few, if any, UK franchises that have this level of financial success
amongst its franchisees. Incidentally, so far this year, 12 of our established franchisees have bought
a second franchise area - again a good indicator of the success of this business.
As I mentioned
above, the web element is only a part of thebestof's offering to our customers. There are lots of offline
things that our franchisees provide as well.
Marian, I have invited you several times to visit
us in Solihull and see our operation for yourself but you have repeatedly declined these invitations.
I had already told thebestof's Franchise Director, Mike Giles, the reasons
why I don't go to visit companies.
For one thing, it shouldn't be necessary for me to visit companies
to obtain information about the opportunity they are offering: it should be all there in black and white,
either on their website and/or in their brochure. That way, the claims made and the information given
can be relied upon by the purchaser. If, instead, the purchaser has to rely on verbal assurances and verbal
information, then it's going to be difficult for him to prove what was said if things go wrong.
For another thing, it's only the more well-heeled companies with nice offices and plenty of staff who
want me to come and visit them. This doesn't necessarily have any bearing on whether the opportunity they
are offering is valid. As a particularly unhappy example, about a year ago Robin Barton of UK Land Investments
Group was very keen for me to visit him at his company's offices. I declined for the above reasons, gave
his company a rating of Zero out of Ten, and on 4th June 2008 the High Court granted a petition from the
Financial Services Authority to wind the company up on the basis that it was operating illegally.
understand that you want to expose scam ...
(in fact, I
also search hard for good business opportunities, and these are highlighted on the members' web site)
and I applaud that but we have a staff of 38 here in Solihull, including the largest Franchisee Development
team in the country (whose role is to help our franchisees to succeed); our own bespoke Training Suite,
which is in use most days with franchisees from one of our brands receiving training. We have over 1500
purchasers of our products - and hundreds and hundreds of testimonials from them. We have been recognised
by 9 separate prestigious awards, some of them amongst the top awards in the country. We have been independently
vetted by Price Waterhouse Coopers before being included in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 last year,
we have been trading for over 5 years now...I'm just not sure what more I can do to convince you.
We are about to launch a brand new version of thebestof website in October, one that has cost us
over £400,000 to develop (not something that scam companies do I believe!). All the content about
the business is being reviewed ahead of that launch so I will ensure that we take that opportunity to
remove any reference to the Alexa stats.
Here at N5 we have a very progressive agenda to continue
the development of all our products (we have just undertaken a survey of all our My Little Wrapper purchasers
for example asking them how we can make the product better for them going forward and we have received
some brilliant ideas and suggestions that we will be implementing in the weeks ahead). My focus, and that
of my team, has to be on looking after our customers and focusing on the development of our products and
I cannot promise that any future letters from you - especially those sent with less than 24 hours to respond
- will receive such a full and open response.
is incorrect in stating that I gave him less than 24 hours to respond: the letter to which he replied
was faxed to his office at 9.30 am on Monday 8th September. Because I had heard nothing - not even an
acknowledgement - I sent Nigel Botterill a second fax at 11.30 am on Tuesday 9th September saying that
I would be publishing my review with my letter on Wedneday 10th September and asking him to let me know
urgently if he wanted to submit a reply to be published with it. Had Nigel Botterill then told me that
he wanted to reply but needed more time, then he would have got it. I received his reply by email late
on the evening of Tuesday 9th September.
I agree that giving only a couple of days to reply is
a bit pushy, but the reason why I adopted this approach is because I had previously been given the run-around
in getting any reply from Nigel Botterill's company regarding his franchise Have A Quickie. In that case,
obtaining a reply required an initial fax containing my letter, a further fax 4 days later asking for
an acknowledgement, a phone call to his secretary a further 3 days later to confirm the fax number (which
was correct), a further fax which the secretary confirmed she had received and would pass to Nigel Botterill,
and a final fax after a further 5 days - all of which took a total of 12 days - to get any reply. It was
only the final fax (headed"Urgent" in very large text) which succeeded in obtaining a reply, and this
fax stated that I would be publishing my letter to Nigel Botterill without any reply from his company
if I did not have a reply by the end of the following day.
So that's why I decided to wade in
quickly this time with "publishing tomorrow".
In the interests of balance and openness
I trust that you will publish this reply in full.
P.S Mike Giles left N5 in April this year after more than three
years with us. He has gone to live abroad.
BOW had also emailed its letter of 8th September
2008 to Mike Giles, in view of correspondence with him earlier this year regarding the Quickie franchise.
It is surprising to hear from Nigel Botterill that he left the company five months ago, since he's still
shown as a member of their team on the Biographies page at www.thebestof.co.uk.
With 38 members
of staff, it's a pity that N5 can't keep their websites more up to date.
BOW's rating for My
Little Wrapper is 2 out of 10
Review of Sue Botterill's
BOW June 2007
Review of BestOf franchise
Review of Have A Quickie franchise
BOW Notice: A zero score or a low score means that in
our opinion the business model or the investment model has flaws
and/or that we have found inadequate evidence to back up claims
about earnings, sales, profits etc. It doesn't mean this evidence
does not exist and it doesn't mean that the opportunity is a
scam and it doesn't mean that the promoters are unprofessional
or dishonest. Questions arising are normally contained within
the body of the review, and readers who are interested should
contact the company with these questions and/or questions of
Enquiry about a refund
BOW subsequently had an enquiry from a reader about whether
she could get her money back from My Little Wrapper, and the
following summarises BOW's advice to her.
In view of Nigel Botterill's statement in My Little Wrapper's
Terms and Conditions that "no refunds will be available"
and N5 Ltd's "full 100% Money Back Guarantee" which requires
you to operate the business for a full year and produce certified
accounts, it seemed like a good idea to clarify the position
regarding refunds for other readers, too.
The true position is that anyone who bought this business within
the last three months and 7 working days and regrets doing so
has a statutory right to get a refund from Nigel Botterill ,
without having to give any reason at all.
And Nigel Botterill - or, rather N5 Ltd - has to pay for the
return of the goods.
The reason for this is because the purchase of My Little Wrapper
falls under the Distance Selling Regulations and so N5 Ltd should
have notified you that you had a right to cancel your order
(without giving any reason) and receive a full refund at any
time up to the end of the seventh working day after the day
you received your order. This notification should have been
given before you placed your order and should have been given
again when the company confirmed your order to you.
Because Nigel Botterill did not give this information it means
that you have an extended right to get a refund under the Distance
Selling Regulations, without having to give any reason, and
this refund right lasts for three months and 7 working days
from the day after the day on which the goods were delivered
This refund right only applies to contracts concluded at a distance
(by internet, by email, by telephone etc) and so it would not
apply if you had visited the company or otherwise had face-to-face
contact with them before placing your order.
Normally, you can't get a refund for videos or software if they
have inner packaging (typically a sealed cellophane wrapper)
which has been unsealed. But you should be able to in this case
because the company did not inform you of your right to cancel
at the time you made the contract, when the videos/software
were of course sealed and when you therefore did have the right
Of course, you could not get a refund for items which have been
consumed (e.g. some chocolate and some of the wrappers).
Neither could you get a refund for any further purchases (e.g
more chocolate or more wrappers) which you had made after your
initial purchase of the My Little Wrapper business. Obviously,
if you had made further purchases it would be unlikely that
you were dissatisfied overall. But if you were dissatisfied,
then the only refund you could claim under the Distance Selling
Regulations would be for your original business purchase. The
reason is because your subsequent purchases of chocolate and
wrappers would have been made as a business i.e. you would have
been purchasing supplies for your business. The Distance Selling
Regulations only apply to purchases made as a consumer.
This contrasts with the position for your original purchase
of My Little Wrapper, where you were a consumer purchasing a
business. It's obvious from Nigel Botterill's marketing material
for My Little Wrapper that it's aimed squarely at people who
are not currently operating a business and who have no business
experience. For example, the first thing on the list of "Whats
(ungrammatically) Included" is the Set Up Manual which:
"... takes you through the simple things you need to do to establish your business effectively
... Setting up your home office ...Setting up your e-mail account ... Opening a Bank Account ... Accountants
- do you need one, if so, what to look for and how much to pay ... Why you need to keep adequate business
records ... How to take your customers (ungrammatical) orders ... How to keep track of your customers"
If, on the contrary, you purchased the My Little Wrapper business as an extension
to an existing business (e.g. if you bought it in the name of an existing business with a business cheque
or a business credit card) then you don't have any rights under the Distance Selling Regulations.
In conclusion, you should be able to get a refund from Nigel
Botterill for your original purchase of the My Little Wrapper
Business, less whatever you have consumed, provided you have
taken reasonable care of the goods. It is not a requirement
of the legislation that the goods should be in a condition fit
Finally, please note that the editor of Business Opportunity Watch is a qualified accountant rather
than a lawyer and please see the Terms and Conditions which apply to use of this website. The Distance
Selling Regulations are a complex piece of legislation and the best advice is normally to seek the opinion
of a solicitor. However, the Distance Selling Regulations are a special case because they are overseen
by the Office of Fair Trading, who are given the statutory responsibility of receiving any complaints.
Therefore, if you are unable to resolve this matter directly
with Nigel Botterill and you are still unsatisfied then you
should contact the local Trading Standards Office at:
Metropolitan Borough Council
Trading Standards and Licensing
PO Box 1833
In fact, in view of Nigel Botterill's confusing and incorrect
references to "No refunds" and having to wait a year
to ask for a refund, you may find that the Office of Fair Trading
is sympathetic to the view that refunds should be given even
after the period of three months and 7 working days.
Update 9th March 2010 re Nigel
Botterill's bio re Card Protection Plan
Nigel Botterill's mysterious short-lived managing directorship of Card Protection Plan seems to be
an error that just won't go away! It has appeared again on the "About Me" page on his new site
at http://nigelbotterill.com promoting his new mentoring business Entrepreneur's Circle.
what he says on his new site:
"In late 2001, I'd moved to Card Protection Plan
as Managing Director, working closely with self-made multi-millionaire Hamish Ogston. In less than 2 years
I transformed the business, sending turnover soaring from £3m to £35m."
wrote to Nigel Botterill in 2007 about a similar claim on his website for the BestOf franchise, (as also
referred to above).
Nigel Botterill replied to say that:
no time was I, or have I ever claimed to have been, a Board Director - which is why there is no record
of company directorships at Companies House.
You will be aware that it is common practice for
senior executives in large companies across the UK to have job titles like Marketing Director, Operations
Director, Managing Director etc., these people are not necessarily Statutory Directors under the Companies
Act. Typically, such senior roles will report in to the Board of the company where the Statutory
Card Protection Plan told me that they hired Nigel Botterill
to set up a new call centre in the Midlands - which is why he moved his family from Yorkshire to the Midlands
- and that he was certainly not Managing Director of the whole company and that - if he had "run"
CPP as he claimed - he would surely have known that the turnover at the time he joined was more like £30
million than £3 million.
I also came across a Press Report dated 7th June 2001 in
the Evening Press on the website at www.thisisyork.co.uk in which Nigel Botterill gave an interview about
job opportunities available at CPP and he is described as "managing director of the telemarketing division
Now why couldn't he just have said that in the first place?
Have you tried this opportunity?
Or would you like to comment on the opportunity or on our review, even if you haven't tried it?
If so, please send
us an email. Your feedback will then be posted here
anonymously unless you tell us that you want your contact details
Feedback received July 2011 from LostMoney:
I just read your review on the my little
wrapper franchise. It has to be the biggest scam ever and I wish I had never paid for it. I am a single
mum and thought it would bring extra income in for me however it didnt and if there was a way to get money
back I would.
I paid for it out of my savings. I bought it in April 2009 and fell for the
sales pitch. I later discovered the amount of franchisees that were here in N Ireland it was flooded with
them. There would be no chance of selling uniquely in an area. There is no back up and no marketing being
done by the company. I find the chocolate overpriced and the wrappers looked cheap. The ink doesnt dry
properly at times on the wrappers and they do look like a child has done them. Great concept but poor
follow up from Sue.
Editorial reply to LostMoney:
getting your money back, ignore Nigel Botterill's company statement that there will be "No refunds",
because the law overrides this.
As with any business opportunity which does not live up to its
promises, you could take a case to the Small Claims Court.
Your case against Nigel Botterill could be on the grounds that
you bought My Little Wrapper because the company said it was
"fully tried, tested and proven", but you now
believe that this was not the case. Nigel Botterill will then
need to show evidence of the testing they carried out. As stated
in my review, in my opinion Nigel Botterill should have tested
this business for at least six months before it was launched.
case could also include the other complaints that you mention e.g. that Nigel Botterill was accepting
so many purchasers in Northern Ireland that the market was flooded and there was too much competition
to be able to run a successful business. You can also mention the poor quality of the wrappers themselves.
You could also include the fact that Nigel Botterill claimed that they had 200 My Little Wrapper
businesses in September 2008 and you would like the company to give evidence of how many people are still
You could also challenge the claims made by Nigel Botterill
about the earnings from the business, stating that you believe
they were misleading. N5 Ltd states on its website that "You
can see from this example how you could be producing an average
of 1,000+ bars per month on a very part-time basis. You
could aim to do more than this or a lot less. Its
entirely up to you. Every 1,000 bars you sell should deliver
you between around £500 and £1,000 profit, depending
on the price that you sell them for." Nigel Botterill
will then have to produce evidence to show how many My Little
Wrapper businesses make between "£500 and £1,000
profit ... on a very part-time basis".
Don't be put off by the idea of going to court. The Small Claims procedure is
specifically designed for the man (or woman) in the street to use. Ed.
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