I worked hand in hand with CJ Hole as a franchise owner – I haven’t looked back since.
Paul was already experienced – he had been working in the Southville branch for nearly 10 years and was running the office – but appreciated he didn’t have all the knowledge or training to succeed.
“I definitely needed the training. It was comprehensive and I learned how to pick up the phone and talk to other people who were in the same boat.”
“When you’re an employee everything is done for you administratively. Being self-employed is an entirely different matter: you have to do your taxes, PAYE, stay compliant and run the business itself.
Admitting the need for help has helped Paul become his own boss without losing business.
“On balance I needed the transition to franchise owner to help push me towards the next step of my career.”
“That’s why franchise owners say that it is such hard work, and why franchising helps you get off the ground quicker than going it alone. You have a support structure already in place, you can turn to other franchise owners who are experiencing the same things as you are, and there is always someone to share your woes with.”
Paul also indicates that the brand power was priceless to maintaining the draw of his business.
As a long-term employee I had bought into the CJ Hole brand. As a business owner it would take too long to establish brand power on your own. It’s not something you can just buy.
Matching humility and ambition has helped Paul get the most out of the franchise relationship, and he has high hopes for the future.
“Since I started working for CJ Hole in the 90s I have valued every property in the area, but that doesn’t automatically make me the perfect estate agent or business owner. I can’t imagine achieving what I have if not as a franchise owner with the support of a strong network behind me.”
“I have a commitment to succeed and after 23 years I’ve still got a lot to offer. I want to keep growing my lettings portfolio and sales option, and eventually to branch out into financial services. I don’t want to take a step back just yet!”
And what advice does he have for budding franchise owners?
“Become an expert. I had a decade in the industry under my belt and I still needed some guidance on what to do. So speak to franchise owners in the business, to get a feel for what you can expect. Also, listen to your franchisor. They will help you use your skills to reach your career goals and point you in the right direction when you ask for guidance.”