Franchise news


Case study: Tim Latham, Auditel franchisee

In June 2009, Warwick-based Tim Latham launched a new career, joining Auditel, the cost & purchase management franchise. He spent 15 years in the automotive industry, working in various sales and marketing roles, most recently responsible for launching the award-winning Jaguar XF in the UK. 

He relates: “I was a little frustrated by the corporate environment. I often thought about working for myself but didn’t have the ‘killer business idea’ or marketable experience to go it alone. I was drawn to franchising as a business format that I could use to achieve my goals, with a helping hand and reduced risk.”

My choice of franchise:
“As a professional white-collar opportunity, Auditel suited my skills and experience and scored well with other important attributes, such as low running costs and flexible geography. Also it is not being affected harshly in this economic downturn. The head office team and the existing franchisees all struck me as people I could identify with and would like to have as ‘colleagues’. This was a key factor.”

How I raised the finance:
“I took a voluntary redundancy package from my previous employer, which helped a great deal with the franchise fee. A loan assisted with initial start up expenses and early cash flow pressures. My wife has a good career, which clearly eases the pressure to earn in the short term.”

The training and support I received from my franchisor:
“The Sales Training was very strong, giving me confidence to talk about the Auditel service and its benefits to prospects. The Technical Training was less in my comfort zone, but gave me a good foundation that I have built upon as I learn in ‘real life’ projects. The ongoing support from head office and other consultants, especially my mentor is invaluable.”

Progress in the marketplace so far:
“I’d probably give myself 8ish out of 10 so far. After some early successes, I had a tough few months but my hard work through that period is really starting to pay off. I have signed more clients recently and this has put me back ahead of my business plan.”

The challenges I have faced:
“Leaving a big office environment to work from home has been less comfortable than I had imagined. I miss the human contact but it is another motivation to find and build relationships with clients. Having the sole responsibility for growing your business is significant and should not be underestimated. The inevitable ‘thanks but no thanks’ replies can be a drain, but the ‘yeses’ are a real high.”

My plans for the future:
“I plan to keep growing to the point where I have too much work and have the ‘good problem’ of looking for help. This may involve bringing my wife into the business (our skills would complement each other very well), and even other staff. My father in law is already helping me! My long-term plan would be to build a small but profitable practice that could be sold on. I would then look for another new challenge ahead of an early/part time retirement!” (kbp)

auditel (UK)

cost and purchase management
» to the franchisor

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