Five years with Caroline Robinson of Sandler Cambridge
For Caroline Robinson, a long-held desire to run her own business was fulfilled when she started her Sandler Training Cambridge franchise. Here, she reflects on her first years in the business:
Year one: Let’s get going
Previously, I was a strategy consultant to the pharmaceutical industry and was looking for a new challenge. I wanted to develop further expertise, particularly in business development, and wanted to run my own company. Sandler offered me the opportunity to bring all of that together.
I was attracted primarily by what Sandler stood for: the opportunity to continuously learn and grow myself within a supportive culture as part of an established brand and network of like-minded businesspeople. I was also looking for a quick ramp-up in my business and felt a franchise offered that to me in a way that was less likely by starting up on my own.
Year two: Collaboration and support
The level of support, coaching and the frequency of it I get from head office has exceeded my expectation.
I talk to my fellow Sandler franchisees regularly and to a certain extent they’re mentoring and coaching me as well. I was constantly amazed by their generosity, what they’re willing to
share and how they’ll help you in any way they can.
That’s a very genuine sentiment I’ve got from everybody in the network. It bowled me over, as I didn’t expect that level of support and collaboration between franchisees.
Year three: Becoming an award winner
In year three I was named Sandler’s Franchisee of the Year. I was surprised, but really pleased. I’ve grown a good client base and they’ve been getting great results, so the award felt like a testament to all that hard work.
The Alchemy Group within Sandler in the UK is a group to help us take our businesses to the next level - essentially, practicing what we preach with our clients. For me, this is the next stepping stone. I’ve got ambitious plans for where I want to take the business in the future and the Alchemy Group is a way of helping me get there.
Year four: The alchemy group
Many solo consultants hit a plateau once they clear their initial target of billing £100,000 a year and then require further training to scale up their operation without impacting profitability.
The Alchemy Group was created to meet this requirement and has been
an unqualified success. It’s also the perfect complement to our performance-based awards system.
Year five: The best yet. And a scary presentation
The best year so far. I took it to the next level, partly from a revenue perspective, but also the kind of clients I’m winning now - larger clients and bigger opportunities.
In the last year, I’ve got a coach, a US-based Sandler franchisee who is well ahead of me in where his business is and his experience at growing it. Working with him has made a big difference.
I don’t think you get this level of collaboration elsewhere. It’s 100 per cent there from the word go and as long as you’re in the network you’ll be able to tap into that.
At a glance Sandler Training
2004 in the UK
Number of franchised outlets:
Location of units
Minimum required capital:
Shaun Thomson.firstname.lastname@example.org sandlerfranchising.co.uk
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