New WPA Healthcare Partners can benefit from the health insurance provider’s relaunched support package
Western Provident Association (WPA) has relaunched its support package, worth over £18,000, for new partners (franchisees) joining the WPA Healthcare Practice - the franchise arm of the health insurance provider.
WPA has been franchising, and a proud member of the British Franchise Association, for 10 years. Following a review of the support it provides to franchisees, and listening to ideas from current members of the 77-strong team, the company decided to launch a new support package from January 2017.
WPA Healthcare Partners work as consultants, not only selling and promoting WPA’s health insurance products, but actively maintaining customer relationships with regular contact to ensure customer satisfaction. The company’s Healthcare Partner team use their expertise to manage their customer portfolio, while growing an ethical, successful business.
With a one-off franchise fee of £9,200 (plus a £2,500 fidelity bond), this support package shows a strong commitment to making new partners successful.
Mark Southern, commercial director, says: “We understand that making a decision to purchase a franchise is a big one, especially if you’re used to having a salary as an income, so by creating a market leading support package for our new partners we are trying to minimise this risk in a bid to continue to recruit the highest quality partners.”
The new two-year package includes:
- A dedicated local mentor to help you establish your practice for two years.
- Enhanced professional fees in the first two years.
- £3,000 marketing fund to spend raising your profile within your franchise territory.
- Launch pad fund of up to £15,000, which is released incrementally, depending on results (not available if purchasing an established franchise).
As well as the launch programme described above, partners also benefit from:
- Initial and ongoing training and support in your region and from head office.
- Business cards, promotional literature and product literature. National affinity relationships with high profile UK brands.
- Quarterly workshops and annual conference at no additional charge.
- Real time connectivity to WPA IT systems via a bespoke iPad app.
- Dedicated head office franchise support team.
Daniel Wade, director of new practice development, says: “As the person responsible for franchise recruitment for WPA, I’m proud to be able to offer such a high level of training and support to anyone who is successful in their application to join the WPA Healthcare Practice.
“Franchising is a long-term partnership and this launch package demonstrates our commitment to longterm success.”
For Rachel Dumont-Baber, being a WPA Healthcare Partner gives her the perfect work-life balance - she has a fulfilling, interesting career, which she can fit around the needs of her daughter.
Rachel has been a WPA Healthcare Partner helping customers fund their healthcare for six years. She had run her own travel business, but divorce and moving back to be close to her family in the north west meant she needed a new direction.
A friend who was already a WPA Healthcare Partner suggested to Rachel that it could be just the flexible career she was looking for, as she already knew and liked WPA.
Rachel explains: “I was a policyholder already - being selfemployed, private healthcare was essential.” So it was an easy choice to make.
What was important to Rachel was the ethical stance of WPA: “The ethos of the company is that we treat clients as if they were our own family. Being a not-for-profit company means there are no shareholder interests to serve.
The key is we do not profit from illness, so your customers always know that they come first.”
Rachel adds: “I’m not from a sales background and, to me, being a WPA Healthcare Partner is not about selling.
We are providing a valuable service, one that complements the great work of the NHS. And when you find the best WPA plan for your customer, you are providing a great service too.”
As a single parent, it’s vital Rachel’s work can adapt to her daughter Lydia’s needs. Working as a WPA Healthcare Partner offers the work-life balance she needs.
“I can fit my work around her - it’s totally flexible,” Rachel says. “Yes, the work is demanding, but I like a challenge and you get out what you put in. There are many female partners and several of them are, like me, single mothers.”
Rachel’s keen to point out there’s a lighter side to working as a WPA Healthcare Partner: “We have fun too. I like reminding customers that it’s my job to put people in hospital.”
Rachel says the training and support from WPA is excellent and after the first week’s training there are regular workshops held in the regions, making them easy to attend.
“The staff at HQ fall over themselves to be helpful and supportive,” she says.
“It makes you feel part of the WPA family. And that reflects in our work too. I don’t just sell a policy and forget about the customer - being the local face of WPA, I carry on taking care of them.”
For Rachel, that means checking on customers when they come out of hospital and even extends to little things like sending cards or flowers if a customer has had a baby.
“It’s about showing how, at WPA, we are different from other health insurers,” Rachel says. “My role is to make my customers feel cared for, make them feel special - and that’s easy because that’s just what they are.”
WPA Healthcare Partners come from various backgrounds and different walks of life. However, they all have business acumen and are driven to succeed.
Successful candidates need the ability to develop a network of customers, have strong interpersonal skills and entrepreneurial spirit. The opportunity is a full-time commitment.