Anthony Stick, aged 47, runs Belvoir Gloucester. He knew that he wanted a business that could offer him the personal fulfilment he craved. That chance was presented to him in November 2017, when the previous owner decided to offer the business as a going concern in the form of a Belvoir resale.
So, the opportunity for Anthony was created and, in conjunction with his wife, he started his Belvoir journey; a journey which now sees him running a team of four and on the road to success.
Prior to choosing a franchise, Anthony ran a recruitment company specialising in Corporate IT, which he founded in 2003 and built to a successful business before selling. As the marketplace changed, he found the lack of personal engagement more and more demotivating. He explains, “I’d been disgruntled for a while and wasn’t enjoying the corporate world. I’d been looking for another business for a very long time and had considered franchises before, but discounted them because of the monthly franchise fee. Previously, I thought the franchise cut was unreasonable, but having run a business of my own, I could now appreciate the value of the multiple business functions and support that comes with partnering with a franchise.”
“In my previous business, I’d go into the office at 08:30 and market like crazy. Deep down, I knew that my heart wasn’t in it any more. Now, much earlier mornings are the norm, but I feel fully engaged in puzzling through a myriad of challenges to make the business the best it can be. The contrast is like night and day. Previously, I couldn’t see a way out of my situation. Now I can see a way forward and feel very fortunate to have found this opportunity. I know it sounds corny, but I’m really excited about the future.”
Anthony has learnt to manage his expectations, when it comes to making changes and growing the business. He says “I imagined that after three months, I’d have restructured everything and have the whole business working the way I wanted it. I thought I’d be focusing on sales and marketing by now, but that’s not the reality. I’ve had to adjust my expectations because there’s been so much to learn.”
However, Belvoir offers Anthony the support he needs to build the business. “The value of being able to learn from the experiences of 170 franchisees, who have been through exactly the same thing as me can’t be underestimated. The top 10 offices are substantially more successful than my branch, which is fantastic as Belvoir operates in a collegiate fashion that supports the successes of each other. When you’ve had a tough day, there isn’t anything quite like the empathy and camaraderie of another franchisee who’s had the same experience as you at some point.”
Anthony reflects that over the last nine months, he would not have come this far without: “patience, perspective, flexibility and a large scoop of determination”.
He adds, “One of the key skills required of this business is the resilience to be able to cope with a wide variety of different tasks on a daily basis. One of the main challenges for me was coming into a business with existing, well-established staff and successfully managing the process of implementing change without turning over the apple cart.
Anthony is confident about his business and has plans for sustainable growth.
“It’s important for me that I build a strong and profitable business that is focused on quality and a high standard of ethics that positively impacts upon the people and community that it touches. I want to build the business as quickly as I can, but not so fast that it is detrimental, be it to the environment, people’s lives, my wellbeing or that of my family. To me, I see this as a challenge to build a business that I can be proud of by partnering with a franchise that shares my values.”