An interview with TRUSTist®, Sponsor of the AFA Franchisee of the Year Award

Nigel Apperley, CEO, tells us all about his business and why he made the decision to sponsor the AFA Awards.

Sponsor Gold Square

In the run up to our very exciting AFA Awards, taking place on 19th September at the Jury’s Inn in Milton Keynes, we’re catching up with all of our sponsors to talk to them about their businesses and why they made the decision to become sponsors.

In this blog post, we speak to Nigel Apperley of TRUSTist®. TRUSTist® is an official AFA Partner Member and sponsor of the Franchisee of the Year Award.

Question: Please can you tell us about your business and the products and services you provide?

Nigel: We’re a review platform and we aggregate reviews from wherever clients have them, for example, Facebook, Google, Checkatrade, Netmums, Trustpilot, anywhere really. We bring these into our platform and provide a piece of code, or widget, that franchisors add to their website, which is able to track the performance of their franchisees and combine all of the reviews received by the individual franchisees into one star rating. The data is then used to get stars in their organic Google search results for their individual location pages.

This results in a higher ranking in Google search results and additional traffic of 50% upwards. In fact, we had a recent client who saw an increase in their traffic of over 1000%! It’s proven to work in the franchise world and we offer the franchise recruitment part of the client’s website, or their separate franchisee recruitment website, at a very low rate or, often, no charge at all. We believe we’re the only company to offer this service and are extremely active in the franchising sector.

Question: What is your involvement with the AFA? How do you plan to support the AFA moving forward and why?

Nigel: We’ve been a member of the AFA for over a year now and work with them in a number of ways. Firstly, we provide the AFA website with our TRUSTist® platform. We are also active in the regional meetings and have hosted a few of the Yorkshire-based events. Moving forward, the AFA is setting up regional areas and I’ve now become the Deputy Chair of the Yorkshire region, working alongside Claire Lister, who used to be the MD of the Pitman Training Group and is now the AFA Regional Chair for Yorkshire.

Question: What influenced your decision to join the AFA?

Nigel: It was a lady called Janet Watson, who is the Franchise Business Development Manager at NatWest, who recommended we get involved with the AFA and EWIF, so we’ve joined those organisations and are active in both.

Question: Why did you decide to sponsor the AFA Awards?

Nigel: As we now work with over thirty franchisor clients and 600 franchisee clients, we felt that this would be a great way of ‘giving something back’ to the sector. It also raises our profile within and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the franchising world.

Question: Which Award are you sponsoring and what particularly excites you about this category?

Nigel: TRUSTist® is sponsoring the Franchisee of The Year Award. In the franchising world, we support over six hundred franchisees and, therefore, it seemed to be the most appropriate one for us. To be given the privilege of sponsoring this award is a real honour for us!

Question: What are you most looking forward to on the night?

Nigel: I’m very much looking forward to meeting some of the franchisors and franchisees that we do business with, doing some networking and, of course, having a drink (or two)!

We would like to thank TRUSTist® for supporting the AFA Awards and look forward to welcoming them to the event on the night.

If you’re interested in sponsoring the AFA Awards, it’s not too late to get involved! Please contact with Sarah Canny, Business Development Manager at

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