Life has changed immeasurably for both me and my daughter
- What did you do before franchising and what prompted you to make the change?
I had worked in the performing arts sector for around 20 years – my last role was as CEO of a national music development charity. I had been considering leaving the sector and doing something new and the thought of starting my own business excited me as I wanted the chance to build something for me and my family. My daughter, Rebekah, had been working for the prison service and was definitely ready for a change of direction. Some significant life changes in recent years, plus the impact of the pandemic, gave us the idea to do something together.
- How did you find out about franchising and this brand in particular?
I have known about franchising as a concept for so long that I can’t even remember how I found out about it and I was interested in it as an idea as I knew that it would help us to achieve success. We were both a little risk averse and, given my age, I didn’t think that I had the years (or the resources) left to try and fail with a number of ‘bright ideas’ until we found the one that could be a successful business so it made complete sense to buy a part of someone else’s tried and tested bright idea through franchising. I had been tentatively researching different franchises since about 2018 and looked at lots of different sectors but kept coming back to healthcare recruitment and introduced the idea to Rebekah. I had first met Ryan in 2018 but personal circumstances at that time prevented me from moving forward. When Rebekah and I started looking in Summer 2021, we considered a number of different brands but I remembered my meeting with Ryan and looked up the company which had since rebranded to Tezlom and gave Ryan a call. The rest is history!
- Describe the process for getting on board – how long did it take?
After that first call, Rebekah and I visited Southport for a discovery day in August 2021 for a two way assessment – it was an opportunity to work out if Tezlom were right for us and for Tezlom to decide if we would be a good fit! By the time we left, we had decided that this was almost certainly the franchise for us (we had a couple of discovery days with other brands). Over the next few weeks we produced the business plan, sorted finance, completed the legalities and did our three day official onboarding in November 2021. So depending on which way you look at it, the whole process either took three years or three months.
- What attracted you to this franchise opportunity?
Aside from the business success, there has always been a good feel to Tezlom. Their values aligned with ours and we genuinely liked the people that we met.
- What was the initial training and support like?
Support from day one has been amazing. The first weeks and months were quite a steep learning curve but we always knew that help was never far away. We had Members of Tezlom head office visit us to provide support and training in all areas of the operation over that first period and, even outside of those visits, we knew that help was only ever a phone call away if we needed advice or guidance (or someone to help us celebrate milestones).
- What training and support is available ongoing?
The support has continued, we have a really good relationship with members of the Tezlom team across all departments and levels and it has been really helpful to have additional training visits in specific areas as the business has grown and evolved. We still know that, when we have a question or need advice, we just have to pick up the phone. Its not just advice either – practical help is also provided where required. This has been particularly useful in terms of business development and then, when our office flooded and made us administratively homeless for six weeks, they stepped up to provide solutions and practical help to ensure that our operations were minimally impacted. They are currently helping us to recruit a new staff member to expand our team too.
- How was trading in the beginning and how is business today?
We started trading quite quickly and filled our first booking within six weeks of officially opening. In all honesty, growth from there in the first year was slower than we would have liked although it was steady and when we gained clients we have kept them. However, with some additional support from Tezlom head office, growth really sped up in the second year and we are currently on target to meet our year 2 target by our second anniversary in November.
- Any standout moments so far?
There have been many – both lows and highs. Memorable ones are always the good ones – the excitement of filling that first booking just six weeks in, every time a manager tells us how wonderful our workers are and, of course, every time we beat our personal best in terms of hours per week.
- Describe a typical day (if there is one!)
There just isn’t one. every day is different and thats what we love about it.
- How has life changed since you launched your franchise, and how is the work-life balance (if applicable)?
Life has changed immeasurably for both me and my daughter but work life balance isn’t a thing at this stage – especially for this type of 24/7 business. We knew at the start that we would have to give it everything for at least two years and that has been the case. But now that business is growing and we are able to take on another person, we live in hope of a day off together.
- How have you found being a woman running her own business?
I am not sure that the question of being women ever really occurs to us. We are who we are, mother and daughter, and we both bring very different skills to the business that we are running. I don’t feel that we are treated any differently and, given the industry we are in, many of our clients are led or owned by women so it is quite easy to build relationships with them.
- What qualities do franchisees need to work within this sector and to be a successful franchisee?
Resilience, determination, people skills, keen eye for finance
- What are your plans for the future?
Keep growing the business and maximize the potential in our current territory. Grow the office team and develop the permanent recruitment side.
- Would you recommend franchising/this franchise opportunity to others, and/or to women in particular?
- Any other advice for aspiring franchisees?
Don’t skimp on your research – speak to existing franchisees personally and don’t feel afraid to probe a bit. Franchising isn’t an easy option – you must be prepared to put the work in but its all worth it in the end.