"I smashed my year-one target!"
Christopher Tansley, owner of Right at Home Nottingham, talks about starting his business and what it’s like to be a franchise owner in a very special sector.
When I was 19, my father was made redundant and after exploring his options, bought a cleaning restoration franchise. He turned it into a really great business, so with no other specific career path in mind, I joined him. We eventually had two businesses that we sold after getting a very good offer.
Next, I decided to put my franchising knowledge to good use and became a franchise consultant, matching great people to great franchise opportunities. This was perfect for me because I’m definitely a people person and I really enjoyed dealing with so many different franchises from such varied sectors. That was when I first discovered Right at Home.
I was instantly impressed with Ken Deary, the MD. I was aware that he had been a very successful McDonald’s franchise owner and it was clear he had big plans for Right at Home. I was also really taken by the ethics behind the brand – not just the people, but the business model itself. I actually introduced two people to Ken who went on to become Right at Home franchise owners and I subsequently helped the company provide some performance training for the network. If I’m honest, it wasn’t long before I realised that Right at Home was actually the right franchise opportunity for me too!
Training and support
The training was great, and although there is so much to get your head around, you get the time you need to digest it all; it’s a very serious process but they try not to make it too pressurised. I suppose when you consider the service we provide, there really isn’t any room for mistakes, so they won’t let you loose on your business until you’re absolutely ready.
The next stage after training is promoting your business and I loved this bit, as it really played to my strengths. The first month was all about networking locally and getting the message out there about who I was and what I could offer the community as Right at Home Nottingham.
I think it is important that you are the kind of person confident enough to be a real ambassador for the brand – after all, you are asking people to buy into you as someone competent enough to care for their family member or even themselves, so you need to be able to project an air of confidence and convincingly get across the message of why they should chose you and Right at Home.
You are also working on recruitment from the beginning and this is definitely the most challenging part of the role. It is just as critical for me as a franchise owner to pick the right care manager and care assistants as it is for Right at Home to pick the right franchise owners. As much as it is a challenge, it is also incredibly rewarding when you get it right and testimonials for your team start coming through from the clients. Word spreads too of course that Right at Home is a great employer, so we get some fantastic people looking to move to us from our competitors.
There’s no doubt that getting this business off the ground was incredibly hard work, but 18 months in and I love every minute of it. I set myself high targets and I know a lot was expected of me because of my business background, but I genuinely smashed my year-one target and 18 months in, I am already well into where I had hoped to be in year three. The biggest reward though is the serious difference you can make to people’s lives; I recently took one of our clients out to a football match and that was the first time he had been out in three years! It’s a wonderful business to be in and if you think you have the skills and the temperament to succeed in it, then get in touch with the Right at Home team – you’ll soon find out if it’s for you or not!