Exclusive Interview: 'I wanted to be my own boss.'
Name: Chris May
Franchise: UK Business Mentoring
Date launched the franchise: July 2016
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise business?
I had previously been a Regional Director with NatWest, run some projects for the Financial Services Authority and undertaken consultancy work for the Money Advice Service
Can you also tell us about the franchise you have bought?
I bought a UK Business Mentoring franchise. They provide high quality mentoring and coaching support for Business Owners. They have a number of different services on offer apart from mentoring and coaching which includes training and strategic planning.
They do business on the shake of a hand and do not have contracts, so clients are never tied in which really appealed to me. Their compelling competitive advantage is brilliant in that clients do not have to pay if they do not feel value has been added.
Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose your industry? And why did you choose your franchise?
I wanted to be my own boss, so a franchise seemed a logical choice.
I have a background in working with businesses but never had the time, (because of other priorities) or opportunity to add the value I can do now.
I met up with the owner, Joe Hinton, and it was clear that we both shared the same values. I could see how much he cared about helping his clients improve their businesses and have great lives. I loved that.
How did you raise the finance?
I had some savings that I used
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
The training was excellent and included a few days on a residential course and then regular interactions with the Owner. I shadowed the Owner and he was always willing to help if I had any questions or queries.
How would you describe your day-to-day role as a franchisee?
I am my own boss so I can choose to work when I want and organise my clients around other things I want to do.
I am very driven and that has certainly helped me to be successful.
A typical day would include a client meeting or two, perhaps a meeting with an introducer and some preparation and follow up work.
My clients have access to me outside of our meetings so I may have a phone call with one or two of them too.
What challenges have you faced?
Picking up clients early on when I lacked experience and confidence. Holding on to clients in the early days again when I lacked experience.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Yes. I answer to myself. I am in control of my destiny. I organise my time to suit me.
What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?
It is a great way to live your life. The first year will be tough so you need to be resilient, determined and tenacious
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
Someone who is a good listener and asks good questions. A person who can stand up in front of a group of Business Owners and be able to give them confidence that this is someone I could work with who can help me to grow my business.
You must be able to close the sale to get clients on board.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue as I am for the next few years. I will then see how I feel and perhaps work a couple of days less a week.
If you had to do it all again, what would you do differently?
That’s a difficult one as what makes you successful is finding out for yourself what works and what doesn’t work. I wouldn’t change anything.
Interested and want to know more about UK Business Mentoring?
The UK Business Mentoring profile outlines all aspects of their franchise opportunity and allows you to contact them for further information or to ask a question.