How Three ‘Redundant’ People Found their Feet in Franchising
How Tim Gallery, Gary Lowes and Basith Ali took on the challenge of setting up a franchise businesses after facing redundancy, using their ambition and drive and an investment from the FranchisingWorks programme to get going.
“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it”, Charles Swindoll once stated. Reacting positively to redundancy, however, is no small feat. One in Seven workers has been made redundant since the recession started, and bouncing back is harder than ever. Despite this, three individuals recently having faced redundancy have chosen to follow Milton Berle’s old mantra: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, then build a door” and have taken control by setting up their own businesses in the franchising industry across Greater Manchester. They have been supported by the FranchisingWorks programme, a social enterprise which tackles unemployment by supporting individuals to set up franchise businesses.
Timothy Gallery joined the FranchisingWorks programme after being made redundant in April following a long career in the print industry. Determined to take control, he researched franchising with the support of the FranchisingWorks team and chose an Ovenclean franchise as the fit for him to run in his local area of Tameside and Glossop. Without personal savings to invest, this might otherwise have been a pipe dream. Yet Tim’s tenacity and determination earned him a £10,000 investment in his business from the FranchisingWorks Licence Fund, allowing him to leverage the remaining lending required to start the business from Natwest. He launched his business in November 2013 after being out of work for five months. Tim has so far had to a fantastic start in business, breaking even in the first month of operation ahead of target. He says: “we have had some lovely comments from satisfied customers, who have said they will rebook next year!”
Tim’s decision was a smart one. Franchising offers a supported route into business, whereby you take a tried and tested business model and replicate it in your local area, using established systems, a recognised brand and receiving practical and systematic support. Failure rates among franchises are therefore considerably lower than independent business, and over 900 systems are operating across the UK employing roughly 600,000 people.
Gary Lowes knows this too. A senior manager from the construction industry, Gary was made redundant in 2011 and after a period running his own consultancy business, Gary began to search for alternative routes to utilise his extensive skill base. He sought support from FranchisingWorks and found the business support franchise Business Doctors. After months of research and planning Gary was able to secure an investment of £11,450 from the FranchisingWorks Licence Fund towards his business, which he used to leverage the remaining finance from Natwest. Gary is fully launching the franchise this January ‘14 and will be supporting businesses throughout North Cheshire helping them to grow and develop. He comments: “FranchisingWorks provided an invaluable challenging and guiding support process to ensure that I made the right decision with my new business. I am excited to be working with SME businesses to help them achieve their growth aspirations; from time to time we all need a helping hand to achieve our goals”.
Basith Ali is also an excellent example of determination. After a 13-year career in IT, Basith saw redundancy as an opportunity to make a career change, following his passion in sports. He decided to set up a PTC Sports franchise for his local Oldham area, providing high quality coaching services for a wide range of sports to schools across the area. With support from the FranchisingWorks team he was able to secure an investment of £8,000 towards the business to meet the start-up costs, and will be creating work both for himself and others by contracting sports coaches throughout the area.
Basith comments: ““FranchisingWorks have been fantastic in providing me the support I needed to setup in business with a franchise. Their highly knowledgeable business adviser worked with me on a one to one basis to ensure that I carried out thorough due diligence and developed a robust business case. I would advise anyone who is looking at franchising as a way forward to speak to FranchisingWorks.”
“The job market is undoubtedly tough at the moment, so for many self-employment is the only alternative to benefits”, comments Lucy Campbell, FranchisingWorks’ Venture Manager. “This said, self-employment is not without its risks and for many the idea of going it alone is simply too daunting. I am delighted that FranchisingWorks is able to offer an alternative to both, a form of supported self-employment, with fewer risks – that is, of course, franchising. The fact that we are also able to offer access to funding really does mean that we can open a door, which can quite literally turn someone’s life around. I wish each of these gentlemen every success as they take the first key steps to running their own successful business”
Their examples remind us that being made ‘redundant’ doesn’t make you – in fact – redundant. They will be generating income and opportunity for their local communities over the next 5+ years in their business, showing what can be achieved with determination, ambition and a dose of opportunity.
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