FRANCHISEE CASE STUDY – CHRISTOPHER TANSLEY, RIGHT AT HOME NOTTINGHAM

“We are setting new standards in social care in Nottingham – it’s great to be part of something positive like that. My plan now is to eventually radicalise the industry as a whole.”

Christopher Tansley is a man on a mission. The 43-year-old is something of an expert in franchising, having built businesses in three difference franchise brands over a 20-year period, including a ‘franchise finding’ consultancy.

But none of them lit the fire in his belly like his current business, which delivers high quality home care and support to vulnerable people in his home town of Nottingham.

Christopher bought into the Right at Home franchise after successfully introducing a number of new owners to the brand, through his former consultancy.

Having grown it to one of the network’s Top 10 performers and seen the impact that quality care has on the lives of his clients, he now has his sights set on a revolution.

“My plan now is to continue growing the business while setting standards in social care and eventually radicalise the industry as a whole,” Christopher says.

“Quality care is as powerful as anything medical, if done correctly, but there is a huge misconception that care work is a medial role. We are building a strong team of professionals who are having an amazing impact on the lives of the people they support. They are well trained, carry a huge amount of responsibility and bring light and laughter to their clients’ lives.

“But it takes more than just being nice to people though; it needs professionalism too. I want people to see care as a strong sector in which they can shine and build successful careers while doing something really meaningful.”

Christopher’s story…

“My first franchise was a carpet cleaning business, which I started with my father when I was 19. Over the next 16 years we scaled up to six franchises each, before successfully selling on.

“I did some travelling then decided to go back into franchising; this time running a consultancy business that gave advice to people considering moving into franchising, and supporting the most promising ones to find the right franchise brands.

“It was through the consultancy service that I met Ken Deary, the MD of Right at Home.

“Ken had recruited his first UK franchisee about 12 months before. I introduced a couple of their early owners, and as I got to know the brand better I had the realisation that it was the kind of business I wanted to get involved with myself. A lot of this was down to Ken – with his background and experience as a franchisee, he really understood the trials and tribulations. I felt this, alongside a proven business model, could be a winning formula.

“When I look back, I can see that franchising gave me the confidence and empowerment to have an entrepreneur’s mentality. It gives you a great grounding.”

“I had built up franchise businesses before so I didn’t need the same start-up support as someone new to it all. For me, the real benefit in the early days was the grounding in the care sector. Right at Home’s initial training allowed me to find the right kind of Registered Manager and their support with compliance was invaluable.

“One of the great things about franchising is that no matter where the gaps lie in your experience and knowledge, a good franchisor will fill them.”

“Now our relationship is more collaborative; I’m working with Head Office and other owners to develop the brand and the business. I sit on a marketing steering group and have piloted and helped to develop a number of new initiatives. That has always been a big attraction of franchising for me – the power of working together as a group.

“My typical working day has changed tremendously since we first opened. It was a very hands-on role at the beginning; you’ve got to be prepared to roll up your sleeves for the first two years at least. Now I’ve got the right management team in place so it’s a much better work/life balance. I’m working on the business, rather than in it. I still spend time with clients, because I enjoy it, but my role now is mainly business development.

“The main challenge in the quality care sector is not finding the work; it’s finding the right people to deliver the care. But as you start to build your team and increase your understanding of the industry, you start to work it out.

“The selection process for putting key people in key places is crucial. With the right team and a strong work ethic you can really shape the culture of the business and set an expectation of the professional standards.

“It’s a fantastic industry, very rewarding, but like any business you have to come into it with your eyes open and expect some bumps along the way.”

“I think to some extent it is easier for people starting up now. I loved the idea of joining a franchise in its formative years, but there was a lot that we still had to learn back then. Now we’ve got more track record for what works and what doesn’t, and there is a lot more experience and expertise in Head Office; it’s like having a boardroom ready to go.

“I think Right at Home’s success comes down to having the right people; from Head Office through to the team that we’re building here in Nottingham. We are focused on the same goals and have the same expectations of high standards.

“Success in franchising comes from sharing and supporting one another as a group, and sticking to the proven business model whilst adapting it to get the best from your territory. Because while the model is tried and tested, if you take a new franchise you will be the first person doing it in your area.

“You’ve also got to have a desire and passion for running your own business in your chosen sector. Mistakes will happen, and you will hit bumps along the way, but drive and ambition will take you where you want to be.”

Find out more about upcoming exhibitions and book your free tickets to follow in Christopher Tansley’s footsteps.

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