Walking on sunshine

At Foot Solutions continues to make great strides in the comfort footwear industry, Co-Franchise owner Blanaid Farrell talks to Gareth Samuel about their expanding business, marketing methods and why she and her husband are glad they picked the Foot Solutions franchise.

Prior to Foot Solutions, Blanaid Farrell ran a bookkeeping business (which she still operates) in Stillorgan in Dublin. Her husband, Sean, worked at Dublin Airport with SR Technics for over 30 years. After the shock of redundancy in 2008, Sean and Blanaid decided to invest Sean’s settlement in a Foot Solutions franchise.

Now, after just a few years of trading, they are already looking to grow their business. Blanaid said: “I think in the future we will be looking to expand with maybe another store somewhere. It really is a wonderful business and it just seems to grow every year.”

Initially, the pair explored a whole range of franchises, but eventually tried Foot Solutions on for size, after Blanaid made use of their innovative methods for providing more comfortable shoes. She said: “We knew we were looking for a franchise and we looked at several before choosing this one. I have had some problems with my feet in the past and so Foot Solutions just seemed like the one for us, to help others with similar problems.”

However, for Blanaid, it is the customer facing aspect of the franchise that really attracted her to the prospect of owning a Foot Solutions business: “The interaction with the customers is my favourite part of the job really. I enjoy the marketing and dealing with suppliers too, but it really is all about helping the customers.”

The Foot Solutions franchise has over 150 stores worldwide, including locations in Lebanon and the Bahamas.

Blanaid believes that the secret to the Franchise’s success is the level of support provided by head office: “They are great, they fulfil their side of the deal and they help us out whenever we need anything.”

The business specialises in helping people with arch and gait problems in their feet to find customised arch support and more comfortable shoes. Staff members in each store are specially trained to analyse customer’s feet, to prescribe the best possible footwear brand or innersole solution for them. Looking to the future, Blanaid and Sean are hot on the heels of their international counterparts, as they move increasingly into the world of online advertising and social media marketing, to keep their footwear revolution marching on.

Ranges of multi-unit or single unit franchises are available across the UK:

  • Franchise Fee: £25,000
  • Total Investment Approx: £180,000 (part-funding may be available, subject to status)
  • Minimum Liquid Capital Required: £60,000