Love (almost) at first sight for Tezlom Healthcare Recruitment Agency franchisee

After working in various roles within the transport sector, Sam Smith turned his attention to a goal he had always had his heart set on – owning his own business. He had built a fulfilling life with his wife, Shantelle, and their two kids, hosting youth groups for his local church. After achieving this stability, Sam wanted to see his ultimate dream become a reality. 

Starting his own business, however, wasn’t all plain sailing. Sam tried his hand at several businesses, including launching a website selling children’s clothes with Shantelle. Then he came across franchising, a business format he found attractive for the support and training it offers prospective business owners.

Sam said, “You get the support of a company that’s been there and done it, so you’re not going it alone. You’re coming into it with a step up – you’ve got the advice of where to go, where to advertise, how to advertise…”. Whilst carrying out his research, Sam attended The British & International Franchise Exhibition at Olympia London to deepen his understanding of the business model and meet leading franchise brands face-to-face.

He says, “Attending a few of The Franchise Exhibitions gave me a chance to speak to the people behind the brands, and get a feel for whether or not it was for me. There may be things on franchisors’ websites which are the best bits, but by asking them my own questions, I could get all details I wanted to know.”

It was important for Sam to connect with franchisors to see how they came across. The face-to-face engagement he was offered at the event meant he was able to discern whether they were organisations that he would want to work with. He adds, “Meeting the brands at the exhibitions gave me a chance to see if they were genuine. I wanted to feel that we were going in the same direction.” 

Walking around the event, Sam gained a clearer sense of which sector he wanted to be involved in. A combination of Shantelle’s work in childminding and his youth work meant they became increasingly interested in what the care market had to offer.

Having made a decision on one brand, with whom they were due to meet at The British & International Franchise Exhibition, a chance meeting with Ryan Armitage, MD of Tezlom Healthcare Recruitment Agency at the event, changed the course of their decision. “We had a conversation, and he came across so nice, so genuine. I was immediately drawn to what Tezlom stood for, and their friendly ethos.” 

It was after they had been to Head Office, and met a handful of Tezlom franchisees, that he and his wife realised that they had their heart set on investing in the brand. Sam mentions, “They let us speak to anyone which impressed me because some other companies we spoke to wanted us to talk to specific franchisees, which raised red flags. If you’re proud of all your branches, there shouldn’t be any reason for us to not speak with them!” They were offered the same transparency with the franchise agreement, a document that outlines all the contractual elements of the franchise package. Sam said, “We weren’t rushed over the franchise agreement. I wanted to get someone to look over it, as you should.”

In times of economic hardship, the cost-of-living crisis presented Sam with a financially difficult period for both himself and the business. Sam said, “The guys at Tezlom Head Office didn’t hesitate about putting extra support in place, investing in extra marketing campaigns and revising my business development plan.” Having the consistent support of his franchisor and his network got Sam through a tricky time, something he will always be grateful for.

Almost two years into running his Tezlom franchise for the areas surrounding Tonbridge, Maidstone and Dartford, Sam has no hesitations about extending his franchise agreement and continuing to work with his team. Sam has learnt a lot in his time as a successful Tezlom franchisee, including the importance of choosing to do something that he loves. “Make sure it’s something you really want to do,” he says, “Don’t run a business just because you think it’s going to make you loads of money or because you’ve seen someone else doing it. Even when things get tough, knowing that I am helping people is rewarding.”

When asked what advice he would give to those visiting The British & International Franchise Exhibition at Olympia London this June, he says:

“If you’re going to a Franchise Exhibition, don’t go once, visit over both days. People pop up from different companies and it’s good to go and speak to different people within the industry or sector you’re interested in. Don’t rush. Take your time.”

Interested in following in Sam’s footsteps? Find out more about upcoming Franchise Exhibitions and book your free tickets! 

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