For many people, the prospect of embarking on a new franchising venture can seem like going into the dark, not being to certain what lies in store. To help ease this concern, Franchise Direct has begun documenting the progress of a number of franchisees as part of its ‘Diary of a Franchisee’ to chart the ups and downs of franchise operation from the viewpoint of a franchisee, allowing our site viewers to ascertain what the experience might be like for them.
One such franchisee is Simon Buck, now the proud operator of an ActionCOACH franchise. Being a company that specialises in providing guidance to businesses, ActionCOACH is ideally suited to Buck’s professional background; prior to launching his franchising career, he spent over two decades at the corporate level, holding various positions in the packaging and retail industries spanning areas such as design, marketing and sales. This extensive and varied experience left him perfectly equipped for his current posting, offering advice to companies across the country.
Simon was inspired to take up franchising by a previous employer who trod the same route before him. Intrigued, Simon worked side by side with this franchisee in a business development capacity before deciding to launch his own operation.
“[It was] never something that I was determined to do,” he tells Franchise Direct of his decision to start franchising. “I think it was more the fact that I stumbled upon it through my previous employer. And because he was doing it, [I] watched that closely and decided it was absolutely where my skills went.”
Since starting, Simon has been very impressed with the level of support offered by his franchisor, facilitating him with all the support he needs to keep his operations in the green:
“They’ve been absolutely fantastic in terms of the support they give,” he enthuses. “I was very fortunate I came into it with my eyes completely wide open to the challenges and difficulties there are with any business. It’s a very good level of support. It’s all about driving your own business at the end of the day, but in terms of the support network there it’s fantastic.”
When it comes to advice for prospective franchisees, Simon insists that marketing skills are a must to make your franchise successful:
“To be able to make a success of your franchise you need to be a good marketer,” he claims. “In terms of building up your business, marketing is one of the key aspects.
“It’s an incredibly varied role,” he says of his current work. “Everything from trainer and mentor to coaching and support. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to work with somebody and take them from where they were to where they really want to be.”