Part Time Franchise Success with UK Websaver
Richard, who has played football for Crystal Place and Welling United, was always interested in franchising but first needed to find a product or service he truly believed in.
He also had to make sure his chosen franchise fitted in well with the demands of his current career in sports development and a busy home life.
Richard, who is 31, first learned about UK Websaver – the loyalty discount card scheme which enables businesses to offer discounts and special deals both off-line and on-line – on the internet.
Offering franchisees more than one potential revenue stream, the £4.99 cards can also be sold directly to members of the public as well as to businesses which range from taxi operators and plumbers to hair salons and restaurants
Franchisees buy a postcode area, pay a fixed fee for exclusive rights to the franchise and receive an initial consignment of 2,800 membership cards on start up
No previous sales experience is necessary – only access to a computer and preferably a printer.
Hailed by the industry as one of the most exciting franchising opportunities of 2007, UK Websaver cards are accepted at thousands of outlets across the UK and are shortly to be rolled out in Europe.
Richard, who is now one of 75 area managers selling UK Websaver cards across Britain, knew nothing about the business until he logged on to franchising sites via a search engine
He added: “After an initial look at a website for a mobile coffee franchise, UK Websaver was the second site I visited and it appealed to me immediately.
“A chat with head office convinced me further that this was the franchising opportunity for me so by April this year I had signed up and by early June I was up and running.”
Seeking initial financial advice from his wife’s friend, accountant Jenny Richardson, also proved to be fortuitous.
Richard added: “Jenny, who runs her own accountancy firm, was really impressed with the UK Websaver concept so as well as advising me on the financial implications of franchising she also decided to become my business partner in the venture.
“Jenny now runs the business side of the operation with a colleague and arranges all my appointments with potential customers, leaving me free to concentrate on the selling side.”
For someone who is more familiar with sports pitches than sales pitches, Richard has found he thoroughly enjoys the face to face contact with prospective business customers.
He added: “I had absolutely no experience in selling until I became involved in UK Websaver but because I like meeting people – and most important, have 100 per cent confidence in the product I’m offering – I haven’t found it difficult to make sales.”
“The UK Websaver loyalty card is a simple idea but one that everyone can relate to.
“We’re all used to using loyalty cards at the big retail chains such as Tesco and collecting Air Miles, so it’s a concept that has wide appeal to anyone who likes to save a few pounds.
“Although part of its success lies in making discount schemes available to smaller, independent retailers, the fact that a number of larger, well known names are also members, also makes the idea easier to promote.”
Richard has now bought three postcode areas – ME8, ME11 and ME14 – enabling him to sign up businesses to the loyalty scheme in parts of Medway and Maidstone in Kent.
And his background and interest in sport is also reflected in some of the types of business which have come on board, including a local sports shop and golf outlet attached to the golf club at which he is a member.
A small restaurant chain, bar, a hardware store, confectionery shop, home entertainment systems outlet, curry house and gift shop are also among the 15 diverse businesses in his postcode areas now using the scheme to promote their offers both in-store and on the internet.
Richard added: “Another key benefit of choosing this particular franchise has been the help and support received from UK Websaver’s head office team who are on hand to advise me whenever the need arises.
“I was concerned, for example, on how offers could be promoted by those businesses with customers who perhaps didn’t have access to the internet, but by attending a training day and raising this question, we now print out some of the offers.”
Richard, who is based at a secondary school in Kent, is involved in helping young people develop an interest in sport – particularly with the 2012 London Olympics only five years away.
Despite this demanding job – and coaching football – he still finds time to pursue his franchising business a couple of afternoons a week and some evenings.
He said: “Taking on the franchise part-time works for me and Jenny’s support in setting up my appointments means I can maximise the time spent in actually selling the cards.
“Choosing the hours I work also means I still have plenty of time to devote to my wife and two young daughters.”
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