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'I was searching the internet for a business opportunity in the golf market,' he reveals. 'I thought it had potential for business opportunities, and as I was searching I came across the Sonic Golf franchise. I didn't really know what 'franchise' meant, so I thought I would do more research. I had a look at The Franchise Magazine and realised that it was what I had been searching for. I felt really excited when I discovered that the Sonic Golf Surrey franchise was available.'

James is deaf and wrote to The Franchise Magazine's December letters page asking about special considerations he would need to make when considering a franchise. British Franchise Association Chairman Nigel Toplis and FDS Managing Director Roy Seaman, who answered James' letter, offer further words of advice:

'Many, many congratulations on becoming a franchise owner,' says Nigel. 'Your deafness will change the context of the business only in the way you need to deal with things. At the end of the day the success or failure of your business will not be down to deafness but rather to how you approach the business. The most successful businesses are those that are run by franchise owners who work hard, are customer focused, retain a desire to succeed and most importantly implement the activity advised by the franchisor. Work closely with your franchisor, stay close to your customers, follow the business system, and when you're slack don't sit back - when you're busy do more! My best wishes for a prosperous future.'

James used FDS's FranMatch service to find out about the franchise and effect his introduction to the franchisor. 'FranMatch offered James a no-pressure service to learn more about franchising and discover a range of opportunities,' says Roy. 'We are delighted to have assisted James in finding the right franchise, and encourage other readers to consider using the service.'

James reflects: 'From the beginning there was not a problem with my deafness or disability, and after a while I realised that the Sonic Golf team have a good attitude and are very supportive. Sonic Golf have already started sending out information to all the golf clubs in Surrey and over the next few weeks the Sonic Golf team and myself will be making arrangements to meet people at the golf courses. I will be launching my franchise in March, and I aim to expand the business within six months of setting up


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