Landing with a Splash!
At our 2016 NatWest EWIF Awards, Sara Harrison picked up the award for New Woman Franchisee of the Year sponsored by NatWest. Having just completed her first year as a franchisee with Angela’s Swim School, Sara’s franchise has had an incredible 100% renewal rate, just one of the things we felt made her a deserving winner for this award.
Sara has been involved in Angela’s Swim School since May 2014 where she took on an administrative positon for an existing franchisee, however, after speaking with Angela Wilson, CEO of the Swim School, Sara decided it was time to take on her own territory which she launched January 2015.
“I’ve been overwhelmed with excitement since I first received an email from the EWIF team letting me know I had made it as a finalist. The night before the ceremony I attended the pre-awards reception at the Gherkin and I felt so privileged to be amongst all of the other finalists. The day of the awards I felt so much support from all my friends and family, we really felt like a winning team. On the day of the awards when they called out my name, I felt on top of the world, a feeling that I will never forget,” explains Sara.
Before launching her franchise, Sara had no idea how to go about running her own business. With no experience of dealing with; accounts, legal contracts, public liability insurance, business accounts and payroll it was all a new challenge. With the franchise model, Sara received the help and guidance she needed to successfully run her franchise. Through extensive marketing in the run up to her franchise launch, Sara started in January 2015 with 4 instructors and 55 children. Since then Sara has continued marketing her franchise through leaflets, stands and social media. Alongside this she has also taken on additional training courses including, ‘reach and rescue’ and ‘child protection course’, to name a few. Through her continued hard-work, a year later, Sara’s franchise now has 14 instructors teaching over 400 people to swim and a 100% renewal rate from existing clients.
“I have no doubt that the other finalists in this category are just as passionate, work just as hard and are just as dedicated to their chosen career as I am. I think my story and success is a classic example of the benefits a franchise can offer someone embarking on a new career, following a proven model with franchise business support meant that I could focus on the day-to-day tasks and focus on my customer’s needs,” adds Sara.
“We are delighted to be able to use the EWIF winner’s logo! We will use this award to gain publicity in papers and magazines, not only promoting Angela’s Swim School but also potential franchise opportunities within the business. We will also use the award to highlight EWIF and the support they can offer to those considering starting their own business,” concludes Sara.
EWIF’s primary focus is to support women who are looking for a route into the franchise industry. Our remit is threefold; to encourage women to consider buying a franchise, to encourage business women to franchise their existing operations and to help franchisors attract more women to their networks. We are a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers, providing advice and guidance to anyone looking at trying to break into the franchise industry.
Click here to find out more about the EWIF Award Winners 2016!