Carole secures her future with London House
Finding herself at a career crossroads, Carole Hender decided the time was right for her to transfer her skills to a different sector and become a London House International franchise owner
Carole Hender (pictured) enjoyed her job as a researcher at the University of Worcester, but the uncertain nature of research funding made her realise that she wanted to follow a more secure career path.
“Prior to working at the university, I had trained as a graphic designer and built up a successful advertising agency before going to work in Indonesia for a year,” explains Carole. “When I came back, I started a family and worked as a teaching assistant while studying for a degree in psychology. I eventually found a position as a research assistant and completed my Masters degree, but future career options were limited as I didn’t want to become a university lecturer, so I started to look at other opportunities to earn more.”
As her daughter was in the middle of studying for her GCSEs, Carole did not have the option of relocating.
“I wanted to make the most of my skills – investigating, research and report writing – and with my background of running my own business, franchising became increasingly attractive,” she says.
Carole discovered London House while looking at the situations vacant pages on her local newspaper’s website.
“I thought: ‘that looks interesting’ and London House came across as a very credible company,” she beams. “When I looked into the franchise opportunity further I knew it was the perfect way of using my skills in a totally different arena.”
When she visited the London House head office to meet Managing Director Godfrey Lancashire, Carole was impressed that he wasn’t trying to sell her a franchise for the sake of selling a franchise.
“There was no hard sell when I met Godfrey, it felt more like a job interview,” she adds. “He was happy for me to quiz him as much as he was questioning me.”
Following that meeting, Carole spoke to six existing London House franchise owners.
“I wanted to hear straight from the horse’s mouth how successful they had been and what to expect as my business grows,” she states. “All the franchise owners – both the men and women – I spoke to said that being a woman would probably be an advantage. As the work involves process serving by knocking on doors, they said that being female is less threatening – you don’t look like a stereotypical debt collector or bailiff and those answering the doors are, therefore, more inclined to open it.”
Having decided to join the London House franchise network, Carole spent two weeks training at the company’s head office.
“It was very intensive and the training covered a lot of ground, not only learning the theory, but straight away you are going out on jobs too,” she enthuses. “I found it very thorough, meaning there was a lot for me to digest at the end of each day!”
Carole launched her London House franchise on August 1 and spent her first month networking and building up clients in her Worcester and Hereford territory.
“London House has always been honest and helpful. They have answered any questions I have raised and are always very happy to assist me in order to succeed. The other franchise owners have been incredibly helpful and I certainly plan to work closely with my immediate neighbouring territories when marketing.”
Carole explains that although there are many benefits to working from home, she also needs to be highly organised and has set a room aside specifically to be used as her office.
“I know that I need to be very strict when managing my time and I will be organising my diary so that I am out and about three or four days a week so that I never feel isolated,” she adds.
“I do love being self-employed as it gives me the flexibility to organise my own time and the variety of the work is amazing. At first it can seem slightly daunting when you see the list of services London House offers, but once you have worked out which of those are the most in demand in your area you can concentrate on them.”
Written by Fraser McKay