A landmark in franchise satisfaction

London House International continues to attract franchise owners from a variety of business backgrounds.

Being told you were losing your job would be an obvious cause for concern, but not for London House’s Bolton and Oldham franchise owner Deborah Braithwaite (pictured right, top), who saw it as the chance she had been waiting for.

“I’d spent 12 years at Greater Manchester Police (GMP) – seven of which in Human Resources – and things were changing in such a way that I was no longer enjoying my job,” explains Deborah. “So when my post was made redundant, I saw losing my job as not traumatic, but a great opportunity.”

Deborah knew that she didn’t want to work in HR any more and wanted her own business but with the support from a head office, so she began researching franchises.

“I knew I wanted a profitable environment, which would make the most of my skills and experience, but my priority was not about how much money I could make but job satisfaction,” she says.“ London House sounded perfect and what impressed me most was that it was the only place where they wanted to interview me.”

When she decided that the London House opportunity was the franchise for her, she embarked on the brand’s two weeks of initial training prior to launching her Bolton and Oldham franchise.

“I’m loving it; there are no bits about being a London House franchise owner that I don’t like,” she enthuses. “The work gives me a lot of satisfaction – from being given a job to doing the investigation and completing the task, I missed that feeling of achievement.”

While Deborah’s main goal was job satisfaction for business partners Chris Metalle (pictured right, bottom left) and Chris Richards (pictured right, bottom right), the opportunity to grow their investment with the support of an established franchisor was key to their decision to becoming London House’s South East London franchise owners.

The pair met when Chris Metalle, who had a background in the financial world, was raising money for a company where Chris Richards was providing back office support.

“I’d spent many years working for banks and in venture capital, while Chris had primarily worked in IT sales, looking after huge deals, when we realised we both had had enough working for big companies,” explains Chris Metalle.

Unfortunately for the two friends, their first foray into business together wasn’t the great success they had anticipated.

“We started out selling property abroad at precisely the wrong time to do so,” he reflects. “As a result, we started to look at professional services opportunities, which we could incorporate under our business umbrella and provide us with a steady cash flow.

“London House stood out, as its franchise network had been established for a long time and its franchise operated on a fixed fee model so that when our business becomes really successful, we keep what we earn rather than pay a percentage.”

Since the successful launch of the South East London franchise on November 7, Chris Richards has been focussed on generating new business, while Chris Metalle carries out the assignments.

“With more than 2,000 businesses in our area with turnovers of £250,000 and above, the scope to grow our London House territory is huge,” says Chris Metalle.

“It is very early days, so our work so far has been predominantly tracing people for head office contracts, which is good bread and butter stuff to start with, but we intend to build up our business so that 80 per cent of our turnover consists of work we have generated in our patch.”

Written by Fraser McKay