The information you submit via our enquiry form is shared only with the franchise business(es) that you have selected.

The franchise business will contact you by means of email and/ or telephone only to the email address and phone number you have provided.

By submitting the enquiry form you are consenting to send your personal information to the selected franchise business.

You also agree to receive further newsletter email marketing from What Franchise.

Close

Poppies franchisor: “If I knew then what I know now”

Poppies franchisor: “If I knew then what I know now”

Chris Wootton shares what he would tell his younger self if he had the chance – things he wished he was aware of when starting his own journey into business ownership

As domestic cleaning franchise, Poppies, celebrates its 40th anniversary of opening its first office in 2020, the network looks back at the time spent in their respective businesses. Although some might find the thought of self-critique daunting, managing director and long-standing franchisee, Chris Wootton, reflects on his time in his Ormskirk-based business – especially since taking over as franchisor in 2018. He shares his insight into the golden nuggets of advice he’d tell his younger self after spending over two decades as a business owner, franchisee and, latterly, franchisor.

Create a robust plan…

…and follow it! It’s usually a requirement from most franchisors and funding establishments during your start-up process, but it’s crucial to keep referring back to it. I’d suggest always having three years planned in advance and frequently checking in to assess how you’re performing in relation to your goals. You’ll be able to clearly see where you’re heading, as well as knowing when to change course according to your performance. With your business plan firmly in place, you can use those figures to align your goals – for example, tracking your sales conversions and profit margins. 

Find a mentor

In franchising, when you invest in a brand, you are automatically mentored by the franchisor, their team and the established franchisees from the network. By getting the right guide, you can tap into their experience to further your own skills. I did it when investing in Poppies – I adored the founding franchisor, Sue, and she became not only a mentor but a friend. Now I’ve taken over the reins, I can pass that knowledge, passion and enthusiasm through to future franchisees.

Psychology is more useful than business

The art of understanding people, how they react and why is a lot harder to learn than business skills. Of course, the more business knowledge you have when you start a business the better, but the skills of communication, listening and understanding are a fundamental part of not just business but everyday life.

Every day is a school day

No matter how hard you try, you’ll never know everything so it’s good to think about business as a journey. What can you do to improve your skills and make yourself a better business owner in the long run? Expose yourself to new ways of thinking that will not only help you develop but your team too.

Work hard and play hard

Just because you’re investing in a franchise, it doesn’t mean that your business won’t require hard work to make it a success. What you should find, however, is the potential to accelerate your progress compared to starting a business by yourself. It’s almost too easy to get caught up and forget to give yourself the much-needed time to recoup and rejuvenate. Even if you’re getting away on holiday or just taking a breather to unwind, make sure you take some time out for a well-deserved break.

Two Poppies franchisees would take up Chris’ advice as their younger selves, whilst adding their own for good measure.

“Don’t wait to be older and more experienced to be confident in your own abilities – now is the time to try! Make your own opportunities by being observant and connected. Whilst you need to work hard a lot can be achieved by working smart. Don’t be afraid to pay for good advice, it can be priceless!” said Andrew Wishart, franchisee at Poppies Bay & Lakes.

Wendy James, franchisee at Poppies Leeds Northwest added: “Interrogate yourself – what are your existing skills, what do you want your business to achieve and how far can you take it? Try to have these questions answered before you start because, once you’re going, it’s difficult to find the time to answer them.”

Self-critique might not be very appealing, but hindsight really is a wonderful thing. And it doesn’t mean that any decisions were made wrongly, it’s about being able to look back on your journey to learn from the past and make yourself a better business owner going forward. What would you tell your younger self? It might just be the inspiration needed to propel you in the future. 

Exciting Franchise Opportunities

Schmidt Kitchens logo

Start your own Schmidt Kitchens franchise

Profit Chart
Funding Support Available ? Help is available. Check out our franchising funds guide.

Yes

Find Out More
Expected Revenue After 2 Years

N/A

Request Free Information
Find Out More
Schmidt Kitchens logo

Request Free Information

Send a free enquiry to Schmidt Kitchens for further information!

By clicking you agree to be contacted by your selected franchise(s). For further details click here
Platinum Property Partners logo

Start your own Platinum Property Partners franchise

Profit Chart
Funding Support Available ? Help is available. Check out our franchising funds guide.

Yes

Find Out More
Expected Revenue After 2 Years

£50,000 to £150,000

Request Free Information
Find Out More
Platinum Property Partners logo

Request Free Information

Send a free enquiry to Platinum Property Partners for further information!

By clicking you agree to be contacted by your selected franchise(s). For further details click here
Fun Fest for Children logo

Start your own Fun Fest for Children franchise

Profit Chart
Funding Support Available ? Help is available. Check out our franchising funds guide.

Yes

Find Out More
Expected Revenue After 2 Years

N/A

Request Free Information
Find Out More
Fun Fest for Children logo

Request Free Information

Send a free enquiry to Fun Fest for Children for further information!

By clicking you agree to be contacted by your selected franchise(s). For further details click here
Pram Parlour logo

Start your own Pram Parlour franchise

Profit Chart
Funding Support Available ? Help is available. Check out our franchising funds guide.

Yes

Find Out More
Expected Revenue After 2 Years

£125,000 turnover with £35,000+net profit

Request Free Information
Find Out More
Pram Parlour logo

Request Free Information

Send a free enquiry to Pram Parlour for further information!

By clicking you agree to be contacted by your selected franchise(s). For further details click here
Business Doctors logo

Start your own Business Doctors franchise

Profit Chart
Funding Support Available ? Help is available. Check out our franchising funds guide.

Yes

Find Out More
Expected Revenue After 2 Years

N/A

Request Free Information
Find Out More
Business Doctors logo

Request Free Information

Send a free enquiry to Business Doctors for further information!

By clicking you agree to be contacted by your selected franchise(s). For further details click here
View all opportunities

Must Read Articles

View all Business Advice

What Franchise Newsletter

Keep up to date with all the industry news

Thank you, your sign up was successful. Please check your emails for a verification link.