The Franchisee Journey
Going from interested party to successful franchise owner is a journey of many steps, but The Massage Company has a proven track record of guiding our franchisees through every stage of this process. We’re going to be discovering a lot about each other along the way, and we are certain this will be a very rewarding experience for both of us.
We feel very privileged to have worked with franchisees with a wide variety of backgrounds and skillsets. You can read more about their journeys with us here:
Taran’s Journey – Tunbridge Wells
Taran Bassi’s story is one that is particular important to us, as he was the very first franchisee to join us at The Massage Company. His centre in Tunbridge Wells opened in September 2018 and has been a resounding success. It has already exceeded our expectations in terms of sales and membership, and is the perfect example of how well our franchise model works.
For many years, Taran ran an IT consultancy firm in London but has spent the last several years looking for business opportunities in different sectors. He was already familiar with how well franchising worked, and had seen how much it had benefitted many of his friends and colleagues. Taran explained why the concept appealed to him so much: “The thing I really like about franchising is how it reduces a lot of the risk involved. You get a lot back for your investment. It’s a great way to move into a new area with a lot of the marketing and growth concepts already taken care of.”
Taran spent a great deal of time researching the many different franchise options out there, but nothing really grabbed his attention until he started looking at The Massage Company. He knew Charlie Thompson, our Operations Director, from university so a strong relationship of trust already existed between them. However, it was the success of the Camberley centre and the company’s proven business model that really drew his interest. As he tells us, “I started out just as an interested friend, but as their centre grew and grew, and its potential for growth became more obvious, I decided it was time to have a serious discussion about how I could get more involved.”
As part of his journey towards becoming our first franchisee, Taran spent a year working part-time at the Camberley centre learning all about the operations of the business from the inside. This was an experience he found to be extremely valuable and gave him everything he needed to take the next steps in his preparation and training. “The team have been really great all the way through, right from the early days of looking at sites and working out what was needed, through to my own operations training and learning about the business. Their support is available all of the time. I particularly enjoyed the process of building my own team, developing our own culture and attitude towards the business.”
The team continued to support Taran in finding the right site, and advising him on researching his new market. He and his team put in an incredible amount of time and effort promoting the centre ahead of its opening by contacting their potential customer base and getting involved with a whole array of big local events. All the hard work really paid off, and more than 5 weeks of business was already booked and paid for before the centre even opened its doors.
When we asked Taran to sum up all his experiences, and if this is something he would recommend to others, he told us: “It’s a growing brand with a proven concept. Together, we are changing the whole market and improving all the time: improving ourselves, and improving the industry. One of the best things about running this business is that people come to us with a genuine need: an ache, a pain or stress and anxiety, and we can see how we are really making a difference for them. 100% of the time they are coming out with a fantastic experience, a memorable customer journey. It can be hard work, but you can really reap the rewards at the end of it. It’s a fantastic journey to be a part of.”
Mark’s Journey – High Wycombe
Mark Coldham and his wife, Rachel, were in the army together where they served as Royal Artillery Officers. After leaving in 2011, Mark worked in a number of Project Management roles including development of the Olympic Park and Heathrow Terminal 2, and on replacing the emergency radio service for the Home Office. Rachel left the service in 2013, and worked extensively in programme management for high-level financial services.
They had both been keen to start their own business for many years, and saw it as the natural next step in their careers. They were interested in the Health & Wellbeing sector from the very beginning, as they recognised it as an industry with great potential. Neither had worked in the sector before, but their time in the army gave them an appreciation for the importance of different types of physical therapy, both in treating injury and trauma, and in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As Mark told us, “We both understood the benefits of massage and the benefits of looking after your body. After all, you only get one of them!”
However, they were unsure of how to get into the industry and still felt they had a lot to learn about its intricacies. They had not considered franchising as an option until they saw an advert placed by Elliot at The Massage Company looking for potential franchisees. This immediately caught their interest. They could see its potential as a way to launch their own careers on the springboard of an established business model and brand.
Mark and Rachel also recognised that TMC were doing something different from the competition. “I felt it was a brand that I could absolutely get behind and believe in, as I think it genuinely does a lot of good for people.”
They went on the Discovery Day to Camberley to learn more about how the industry and how a franchise would work, and they really put Elliot and Charlie through their paces. They asked a lot of very challenging questions, and were keen to explore all the ins and outs of the business model to learn if it was right for them. As they were among the first to consider joining the TMC franchise, they weren’t going to take this decision lightly, and wanted to make sure they were aware of every possible problem or pitfall they might find along the way. “Every question that we asked had a far more thorough answer than we were expecting. It was clear that they had thought absolutely everything through, and this was a key factor in us deciding to join then.”
Shortly after, Mark and Rachel spent some time doing their research and due diligence checks before signing the agreement and starting their training. Mark found the support and training he received along the way to be excellent, and particularly enjoyed his time working at the Camberley centre where he was involved in every aspect of the business. “The support has been excellent from Charlie and Elliot. They’ve been with me every step of the way, really supporting me through all of the questions I’ve had, right from the little, everyday things up to “What the heck do I do now?!?” moments!” Fortunately, there were not too many of those! Mark and Rachel went to successfully launch their centre in April 2019, and have reported that they are already very busy.
Asked if he would recommend a TMC franchise to others, Mark told us: “To the right person, I would absolutely, whole-heartedly recommend joining the franchise. If you are someone who really wants to be involved in every aspect of the franchise, and wants a product and brand they can passionately believe in, then this is absolutely the franchise for you. I love it!”
Sunny’s Journey – Sutton Coldfield
Sunny Sachdev worked extensively in Business & Operations Management in Contact Centres and Customer Service for a large company for many years before considering franchising. He has a very keen business acumen and was very skilled at spotting opportunities, and wanted to take this further by launching his own business. Sunny had heard about franchising as a successful business model from friends and colleagues, and rapidly saw the huge potential it offered. He even attended a course with the British Franchising Association, which cemented his opinion that investing in an already established model was a very effective route to starting a profitable business.
Sunny spent a great deal of time looking at different franchises and researching their sectors before coming to a decision. He was initially very interested in nurseries and domiciliary care, and nearly went down this route before receiving a marketing email about the TMC opportunity. Immediately, something caught his eye about the brand and he decided to investigate further. As he told us, “There are so many franchises out there, with so many different business models, but something about The Massage Company really stood out right from the beginning. I loved the fresh feel of their branding and style, and their whole attitude towards their business. I decided to change direction and look into this further. “
He had not considered this industry before, but was very taken with its potential: “Currently, massage services have inconsistent coverage across the UK, and the quality and choice is very limited in some areas. Pricing is inconsistent and business is limited by overpricing.”
After contacting TMC and speaking with Pam, our Franchise Consultant, Sunny arranged to attend one of the Discovery Days in Camberley where he met with Charlie and Elliot. and his strong first impression was reinforced. He felt that the consultant and managers were very informative throughout and spent a lot of time going through the details with him. They made sure that he knew everything he needed to know and was aware of the personal and financial commitment involved. “When I first visited TMC, they were the only centre and, though franchisees were signing, no other centres had opened yet. It was a little scary, but the team gave me such a good impression that I felt this was something that could really go somewhere.” Sunny then spent a lot of time researching the sector and the business before making his decision.
Since signing his agreement, he has worked very closely with Charlie and Elliot to learn everything he can about how to make his franchise a success. “Visiting the main centre in Camberley for my training was great – a real eye-opener. It’s been very interesting and informative to see how a centre is run, and see everything that is involved in making it a success. There’s a lot of hard work involved, but I really feel like it’s leading somewhere that will be very rewarding for the both of us.”
Sunny’s centre in Sutton Coldfield is set to open in September 2019, and he is very much looking forward to welcoming new customers through his doors. Speaking of his experience throughout the journey, Sunny told us: “I would definitely recommend TMC. It’s a great opportunity and they have invested a great deal of time and thought into making sure franchisees are prepared for running a business. I am glad that I got in early, as it meant I had my pick of territories and had the freedom to look at a number of different locations, research the areas, and choose the optimal site. I’m sure a lot of other people are going to be interested in this franchise as the new centres take off, so I would recommend getting involved while the market is still very open.”