I was working as the General Manager of Barkers Men's Clothing 11 years ago, I was working with Frontline Retail and the Agency Owner of Frontline Retail and I became quite good friends. One Saturday morning, over a coffee, she told me that she had the opportunity to open the Health franchise and was struggling how she'd do that from a resource perspective, so I thought what a great opportunity! I put my hand up, we opened the business as partners and a year later, I bought her out.
I didn't when I started this business 11 years ago. Like most agency owners people come into this business having recruited for their own teams, but with little experience of the recruitment industry.
What attracted me to the Frontline Franchise opportunity was the fact that it had so much support behind it. I had run businesses before but never my own business. I was quite keen to join an organisation where I could get the support to help me make sure I didn't flounder and be a success.
Success looks different for each owner. For me it's about having really robust systems, a fantastic team, constantly driving for improvement, and having some fun along the way.
As a Frontline owner, a typical day is very different, there's no such thing as a typical day. I have a fairly sizeable team. I generally like to sit around 6 consultants. What that means is that I spend a lot of time, working with my team, helping them with curly issues perhaps or supporting them when, whether they are on holiday or have not enough capacity. Other than that, I'm doing sales, marketing, business development, strategy, paying the bills, it's very varied. There is no such thing as a typical day.
The future holds a lot! I get a sense from the top down, that it's all about growth. it's about growth of the people, it's about growth of the franchises, it's about growth of us as franchise owners, growth of the brand presence. It's growth, growth, growth and it's very exciting!
The Frontline HQ team are really supportive in helping Franchise owners run their businesses. There's alot of stuff that happens in the background that I don't even have to think about any longer. Things like the billings, database development, contract negotiation for supplier. I'm a pretty seasoned owner, so I don't need a lot of hand-holding any longer and as a result I only really go to the Franchisor when I need some help. Right now I've got a huge focus on my social media strategy and I'm getting alot of help from the marketing team on what the best practices are, how to do things, software applications that I can use to make my life easier. So it really depends on the level that you are at as a Franchise owner.
The advice that I would give to somebody considering investing in a Frontline Franchise is to ask lots of questions.
Questions both internally, and externally, ask the good, ask the bad. There's no such thing as perfect. One man's meat, my another man's poison, really it's about whether it fits for you. Ask the questions, do your due diligence, and if it's right, you won't regret it.
It's really exciting. I've seen this company grow over the last 11 years, but nothing quite like I've seen in the last year. I can see huge expansion ahead of us, huge synergies between the two brands, and it's just very, very exciting.
Apart from winning Agency Of The Year, I think is the fact that you have a support network around you. You've got like-minded individuals running their own agencies, facing their own challenges that you can share ideas with. You've got a team at head office that you can always turn to. I speak to a lot of owners of other businesses who say that it's very lonely at the top, they feel like they've got no one they can talk to. That's what's very different about being part of a franchise network, you really do have people that you can turn to. And, of course, placing people in jobs, changing peoples lives, working in recruitment is just ridiculously rewarding.