After 10 years as an ERA franchise owner, Steve Whitlam is set to sign another 10-year term contract with the franchise.

Whitlam joined ERA after a successful career in bank management. Commenting on why he first decided to look into franchising, Whitlam said: “I was feeling frustrated with the direction of my career and was looking for a new challenge. I gave it some thought and identified that I required a role that would enable me to interact with businesses, in particular working with key decision makers. I enjoy negotiating and achieving savings so the concept of ERA seemed like the ideal solution for me.

“I was aware that a franchise had a much better chance of survival than starting a business on my own. I was looking for a white-collar opportunity where I could use the skills from my previous roles to the benefit of other organisations. This is what led me to my ERA business.”

Whitlam spent his first couple years establishing his business, after which he had consistently achieved a six-figure salary. However, it is not just the financial aspect of the business that he enjoys, he said: “I really enjoy the negotiation aspect of my work, not simply negotiating the lowest price for my clients as quick-win savings can result in problems. I relish achieving the best deal for all the parties involved and aim for a win-win-win outcome where my client, the supplier and my business all benefit from the arrangement.

“A real pivotal accomplishment in my career was when we formed the ERA Banking Team around eight years ago. I and some other consultants from a Banking and Finance background decided it would be advantageous to pool our knowledge, expertise and skills. This has resulted in achieving exceptional savings for many clients.

“A personal highlight of mine is winning the ‘Associate of the Year’ award in 2003, which I was delighted with. That year, I had contributed much of my time and effort to the development of other associates’ businesses, accompanying them on meetings and such. This was the basis on which I won the award and I was so pleased.”

With the renewal of his franchise agreement, Whitlam plans to continue growing his business. He reveals his future plans are: “To develop the Banking Team and continue delivering great service to our clients by adding value, identifying savings and assisting them in achieving effective procurement.”

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