The 'Leap of Faith' in Franchising
Making that final decision to go it alone and start your own business is right up there with a handful of life changing experiences, but for some, that defining moment and personal call to action, simply represents a natural path to follow. Such was the case with Chris Holmes, who has just joined the growing network of No Letting Go inventory management businesses, trading in the Medway area.
For Chris, the enormity of that traditional “leap of faith” was very much reduced as a result of his previous experience of launching a child day care business which he had grown and developed over a period of four years. Having already effectively steered one company to success, the opportunity to face a fresh challenge in a totally disparate market, was far from daunting, and rather, provided Chris with the renewed impetus to expand his repertoire of business management skills.
Chris’ first career was in the mobile telecommunications network, where he had held a series of high profile Quality Assurance type roles. His remit had required him to work overseas for a period of time and it was during one of these postings that he decided it was time to change the work / life balance. With two young children, and a wife that worked full-time it was inevitable that the couple would have to rely heavily on the resources of a local nursery to accommodate their demanding work schedules. However, Chris realised there was another solution to their dilemma. By establishing his own business in the child care sector, not only would he resume control of his working life and be in a position to adapt his hours of work to fit around his family commitments, so too would he be able offer his children a new standard of high quality child care which he felt was currently lacking in the immediate locality.
Once the nursery was an established business – and as the children began to head towards school age, Chris began to feel the need to not just flex his business muscles in a new sector, he also wanted to craft another enterprise which would enable him to combine the responsibilities of after school child care with running a profitable company.
The franchise route appealed to Chris although at this stage, he was unclear what type of franchise he was looking for and in what market sector. An advertisement for the Kent Franchise Show in the Kent Messenger newspaper caught his eye and having been drawn into the article, he then spotted an advertisement specifically promoting the newly launched No Letting Go franchise opportunity.
Chris visited the Kent Franchise Show with the specific aim of finding out more about No Letting Go. Since purchasing a second buy to rent property, Chris already fully appreciated the absolute necessity for a thorough, detailed and fair inventory report to protect his property investment and could identify strongly with the No Letting Go proposition. His background in quality management seemed a natural fit with the nature of the inventory management business and straight away Chris felt that this franchise opportunity would suit not only his skills and experience to date, but would also fit around his aspirations to grow a property portfolio and most important of all, could deliver the flexible working arrangements that were imperative to maintain his family commitments.
After the initial meeting with No Letting Go at the show, further discussions simply highlighted to Chris the synergy between this new franchise opportunity and his business / personal requirements and it took just a few weeks for him to make the decision to take on the Medway franchise. Part of the appeal of the No Letting Go business was the smooth and speedy transition from training to trading and having completed his initial desk training session with the company’s training director, followed by practical in-the-field shadowing of an experienced inventory clerk, Chris was ready to launch his latest venture.
“I specifically chose the Medway territory as I feel it represents a genuine growth area, evidenced by the regeneration of the Chatham / Rochester / Strood docklands, the planned redevelopment of the Chatham shopping centre and the arrival of a new hotel to service the region. All these factors bode well for a company looking to provide an essential service to the residential lettings sector and I am confident that over the next five years, this area will have been transformed – providing significant commercial opportunities for a business such as No Letting Go” says Chris.
The new business kicked off in January 2008 and Chris is confident that once the company is up and running, he will be looking to recruit additional inventory management clerks to cope with the anticipated demand for the new generation of inventory management services exclusive to No Letting Go.
For Chris and his family, the future looks rosy – an exciting new business venture, on track to deliver a healthy return in year 1, the scope to grow a profitable company with minimal overheads – and that all essential flexibility to enable a truly independent lifestyle that enables commercial success – whilst still undertaking vital family responsibilities.
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