Tasked with empowering the association’s 1,000-strong membership to prepare for their future after football, Neil was constantly on the search for new opportunities. One of the WPA Healthcare Practice franchisees was a former player, so Neil set up a meeting to find out more about the opportunities the franchise industry could offer.

Neil comments: “As I was going through the due diligence process on behalf of some of the players and looking into the finer details of the WPA Healthcare Practice franchise model, I started to think that it could be a good opportunity for me, too.”

Finding himself at a crossroads, with his contract at the PFA drawing to a close, Neil decided the time was right for him to invest in the Glasgow territory in November 2005.

He comments: “When starting any business, building good relationships with clients and suppliers is incredibly important. One of the key benefits of investing in a franchise is that when you approach new contacts with the brand behind you, there is already a level of trust. In the healthcare business in particular, this is invaluable.

“Over the past 12 years ­– with the ongoing support of both head office and the wider franchise network – I’ve built my business up from a blank slate to over 1,000 clients, with a 90 per cent retention rate.”

Neil now utilises his extensive experience to provide support to new and existing franchisees within the network. He says: “The brand is always looking for ways to develop – whether that be fine-tuning processes and systems, or adopting new support mechanisms to empower their franchisees to grow – making it really exciting to be part of.”

Neil advises prospective franchisees: “Do your research. Make sure when you are considering a franchise opportunity that it is something you are prepared to go into wholeheartedly. There are so many opportunities out there and the blueprint a franchise provides can increase your chance of success. However, in order to really excel, a passion for the business is essential.”

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

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