An eminently scaleable business

With small businesses crying out for advice on weathering the current economic downturn, Business Doctors franchisees are confident that their strategic planning services will be more in demand than ever

A lot of owners of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are isolated,' says Business Doctors franchisee Keith McCallum. 'They don't have anyone with a useful insight into their business to use as a sounding board. That's where Business Doctors comes in. We provide strategic planning assistance for business owners to help them achieve their ultimate vision for their company.'

With all the talk of recession, it might occur to some people that expenditure on advisory services needs to be cut, but since launching his business in September 2008, Keith has found that many business owners in his sizeable Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire territory are seeking his input. 'Business Doctors is a business that is recession proof, because now is a time that people need our advice more than ever,' he explains. 'It's a time that we can really add positive value for a business.'

A former chartered accountant, Keith spent six years renovating and renting property until, as he reflects, 'property got a little bit sticky'. Keen to continue working for himself, franchising offered the safety net of a proven business formula and the support and backup of a franchisor. 'The fact that we are moving toward recession means that the support of a professional franchisor is vital,' he adds. 'I saw franchising as a safer way of going into business than striking out on my own.

'I looked at various business-to-business franchises and felt that Business Doctors offers a solid opportunity, which will cope well with the economic downturn. There was no 'hard sell' from the head office team, very much the opposite as they are keen to recruit only very professional individuals.' Currently following up on interest generated from his first free business advice seminar, Keith is confident of bringing in two clients per month for his first 12 months, which would enable him to achieve his initial target of a £100,000 turnover. He adds: 'From there we can push on because it's an eminently scaleable business.'

Interview by Stuart Anderson