The business drive John Houghton showed helping to grow one of the UK’s most respected car rental firms has stood him in good stead in his new career in the care sector.
He’s been put on the right road to success by the expert support he received from the team at Mr Franchise – the growing advice service that helps people find their perfect business opportunity.
Mr Franchise helps individuals discover the right business opportunity for them – one that matches their skills, lifestyle, ambition and investment. And it is independent of any franchise operator.
Entrepreneur Iain Martin, one of the founders of the service and a leading UK authority on start-ups, helped guide John through the process of picking out the right business ownership opportunity for him, providing him with information and advice every step of the way.
The result is that three years later John is Managing Director of Right at Home Derby, employs a 40-strong staff, has a turnover approaching £750,000 and plans to expand the business into other parts of the UK.
His business provides quality homecare, companionship and support to allow people to live independently in their own home and communities.
Right at Home helps people from a wide age range, from young adults with learning and physical disabilities to the elderly with dementia and complex health issues.
Before launching the business John had a successful career helping to grow a car rental business from a start-up to a successful household brand.
His change of career to the care sector came about through his work as a local councillor in Derbyshire when he was asked to help source reliable for an elderly member of the community he represented.
He saw the chance to be a business owner and also make a difference in the community.
John contacted Mr Franchise to help him find the right business opportunity for him – one that concentrated on a personal and quality service and would help him help others.
He found Iain and Mr Franchise’s input and support to be invaluable. He says: “Iain’s a real expert on the franchise world.
“The service Mr Franchise provides is centered round you. He was interested in me as an individual rather than trying to push a franchise at me to simply get some commission for himself. I felt we were a team working at this together.
“Mr Franchise looked at what made me tick, my skills and they went away and took a long, hard look at the sector and what was out there.
“They examined the franchise opportunities I was aware of and came up with two or three others I wasn’t aware of, including Right at Home.
“I got a detailed and independent analysis of them and how they fitted my skill sets and ambitions, which really helped me focus when it came to making a decision. Mr Franchise was on my side.
“With his experienced eye Iain was able to look at some of the opportunities and tell me straight what he thought, including any concerns he had about whether they were right for me. He also proved a valuable sounding board.
“That was three years ago. Today I’m working hard to continue to grow the business and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
“I’d say to people looking at going down a similar route towards business ownership that you need something that is a good fit for you.
“I’d also say that all people looking at becoming a business owner should look at all the options available to them, including a franchise, even if it’s a road they don’t go down in the end.
“My view is that a franchise will work for you as a business owner if you want to be part of a network and have the strength that the network gives you.
“There are a lot of tangible benefits from day one. We’ve had new websites, new training initiatives, new software introduced to help in our processes and a raft of valuable marketing material.
“As a standalone business the cost of all that would have been much higher and on top of the savings, you’ve also got the support network behind you which is invaluable in the early days as you find yourself in a new business, in a new sector that you haven’t had any prior experience of.”
Iain Martin, co-founder of Mr Franchise, says: “I’m delighted that we were able to point John in the right direction and it’s fantastic to see the business growing so well.
“John’s also getting a lot of professional satisfaction out of his business which is also important for anyone who is looking to become their own boss.
“Our mission at Mr Franchise is to help people with the requisite skills and desire move into business ownership for themselves – if it is right direction for them to take. Like John we are determined to make a difference.”
He adds: “Franchising is about being in business for you; but not by yourself. For people who are taking their first steps into self-employment that is really important.”
He added: “The people who come to us for advice have money to invest but don’t necessarily have a clear view of what type of business they want to operate. That’s also where we come in.
“We work with them to identify the right opportunity for them, looking at their skills and experience, what interests and excites them. It is a service very much based on the needs of the client.
“We are independent of any franchise business and we work solely for our clients and in their interest. Our big selling point is that we deliver individually tailored business opportunities.
“Our matchmaking service is geared up to point people in the right direction. And if we think that business ownership isn’t for someone – and the fact is it isn’t for everyone – we will tell them.”
The franchise sector is fast growing. Iain says: “It is great to see that our sector continues to outperform the overall economy, now contributing £15.1bn in turnover, 621,000 jobs and 44,200 franchised units.
“A record 97% of franchisees report profitability, over 90% are satisfied or very satisfied with their franchisor and the ‘forced change’ rate of 2.2%, down from 4.6% in 2013, demonstrates the ongoing strength of the franchise model.”
Mr Franchise says growing opportunities today exist in a wide range of sectors, from food and drink to pet care and travel.
For more details about Mr Franchise and its services please visit www.mrfranchiseuk.com