We talk to Tania Coates about her experience as a franchise owner
Every franchise owner makes two important decisions: First, they chose to run a business. Then, they chose which business to run. How did they arrive at these decisions?
Tania Coates, owner of the All About Weight franchise for Durham and Hartlepool, provides the answers to these questions and more.
The Franchise Magazine: What led you to consider running your own business?
Tania Coates: I wasn’t a business person or business-minded as such, but I was passionate about helping people. I wanted to help people to lose weight like I did, with a diet programme that actually worked. I had lost seven stone and dropped seven dress sizes and, what’s more, I kept the weight off.
You can’t imagine what that does for you when you have been overweight most of your life. I live in an area that has some of the highest obesity rates in the UK. I wanted to be the one who gave people the tools and support they needed to turn their life around.
TFM: So how did you get involved with All About Weight?
TC: I was a customer and had a fantastic experience. There were choices of programmes and support, and a selection of meal replacements, which tasted great. My programme really worked and I was so impressed with my experience, I took the necessary steps to buy the franchise in my area of Durham and Hartlepool.
TFM: When did you start trading?
TC: This was back in August 2008. I underwent training and started trading immediately afterwards in October 2008 – just as the recession was getting serious.
TFM: That was a hard time to build a business. Did you struggle to get started?
TC: Not at all – I had the necessary training that I needed. That enabled me to approach local GP surgeries and talk to them about the service I could offer. I signed up a receptionist, a few nurses and a doctor. They all lost weight with me and started recommending All About Weight to their colleagues and patients. Within a month, I had 28 clients.
TFM: How many clients do you have now?
TC: I am seeing over 60 clients a week, and have helped over 1,200 clients so far. I keep in touch regularly with most of them, and get many recommendations.
TFM: What are your plans for the future?
TC: I love what I do and I want to continue helping as many people as possible. I want to share my inspiration and success with others, and help the business to continue growing. I also want to keep up my success rate – that’s the percentage of people who have lost weight with their plan, and who’ve kept it off. It’s running at about 80 per cent currently. This is why doctors keep referring patients to All About Weight.
TFM: For someone who wasn’t business-minded, you’ve certainly built up a successful business. How do you feel about business ownership now?
TC: I love the flexibility as I can work the hours that suit my home and family life. I also love that what you put in is what you get out. When I put more time and energy into my business – when I work really hard and I know it – I can see the results. There are rewards for my hard work and there is also the appreciation. I have so many satisfied clients who tell me time and again how much I helped them. That means a lot.
TFM: Would you recommend All About Weight to others?
TC: Yes, more than ever. With obesity on the rise, more people need help and support to lose weight and, more importantly, keep it off. The products are excellent and All About Weight offers various programmes to suit different people’s individual requirements. The franchise has a strong financial backing behind it, along with marketing and ongoing support and training to help you develop and grow your business.
I believe the company will continue to grow from strength to strength. If I were asked whether I’d do it again, I wouldn’t hesitate. I love what I do and the satisfaction and rewards it gives me. If you want to make a difference and have a business where you help people, as well as yourself, this is the franchise for you.