It’s a very worthy guideline to follow, and as true today as it ever has been: ‘you get out of life what you put into it’. Our BforB 2018 ‘Franchisee of the Year’, Nicky Thomas, is thriving proof of that.
Nicky is, by her own admission, an accidental franchisee. She attended a BforB meeting as a guest of a friend, and loved the experience, though the group she visited was too far away to attend regularly. But being there led to an introduction to BforB’s managing director Mel Fisher; they immediately hit it off, and three months later Nicky had bought her first franchise.
That was in October 2017. And such was the impact that Nicky has made launching, and running, BforB groups in Grimsby, Doncaster, Beverley and Gainsborough, she was an obvious choice for our 2018 ‘Franchisee of the Year’, even up against some great competition. She has plans afoot to launch a new group later this year, in Hull.
“I immediately fell in love with BforB,” said Nicky, whose background was in corporate marketing and communications before quitting to have a family, and setting up her own small business as a PA which she could run from home. “I loved the concept of BforB, I loved everything about it; and after I hit it off so well with Mel, within weeks of attending my first meeting I became a franchisee!”
One big change that Nicky immediately implemented was the timing of the meetings she ran, organising them from 10am to 1130, rather than the 7am start in other areas of the country.
“All my meetings start at 10am,” said Nicky. “Mel and BforB were very supportive, but I wanted to differentiate myself and do something different; I’m a mum, and I do a school run each weekday morning, so for me an early morning start was out of the question.
“There are a lot of other working mum’s in a similar position to me – they were fully aware of the importance of networking, but had nothing that worked for them; but there are a lot of people, men and women, who don’t want to do the early start networking, so 10am once a fortnight is perfect for them.”
So why BforB? And what advice would Nicky give to someone thinking of becoming a BforB franchisee?
“Why? It’s a relaxed but purposeful format, it takes away the rigidity of some networking groups; if you don’t like being told what to do, then the rigid approach is not for you, and that’s where BforB is successful, because it’s for people who can think outside the box.
“As to giving advice: if you enjoy networking, and like helping other businesses, then BforB is a fantastic way to do that; it’s a lovely, helping, supporting, networking meeting.
“It’s a very fulfilling way of becoming part of the local business community,” said Nicky. “For instance, if you already run a business, buying a BforB franchise and running the meetings is a great way to establish yourself, build relationships and trust; it’s a great way of raising your profile, and giving something back, too.
“I love supporting people who are new to business networking, and seeing the progress members make after becoming members – one guy has quadrupled his business in a year since joining one of my groups, and that is so rewarding to hear,” she said.
“Not only that, there’s so much knowledge around the room at our meetings, and so much great advice given: being in business can be a lonely existence, and having a place to pick other brains, and listen to the experience of others, is so helpful.
“Buying a franchise is different to starting your own business, because you have someone to guide you when you start, and BforB does that very well, giving you great guidance and support.
“Put simply, follow the plan, work hard, and it’ll happen; eventually you’ll get your reward and return.”
Nicky’s success is living proof of that.
If you have the same ambition and enthusiasm to match her, then find out more about a BforB franchise by visiting our referral marketing franchise pages, or contact BforB headquarters on 0330 333 5023.