I got back into the game after being out of work for 10 years thanks to “The Firm Slimming & Health Clinic”
Name: Casey Ann van Rooyen
Location: Fourways, Gauteng, South Africa
Franchise: The Firm Slimming and Health Clinic
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?
When my husband passed away in 2004, I was suddenly in the position where I had to become the ‘bread winner’ in order to support myself, my 3 sons who were all still at school and my mother.
As I had been out of the job market for the past 10 years the chances of finding a job that would pay enough to cover all my costs was slim, so the only real option that I had was to start my own business. The problem was what kind of business.
I met a friend for coffee one morning and was busy telling her my very sad story when she suggested that we ‘Google’ Franchises. We looked at my qualifications and started a search for a Franchise that we knew I could do. The Firm came up and my friend ( I didn’t even have the self- confidence to phone myself ) phoned the Sharon Olivier immediately, only to discover that not only was she the Master Franchisee but she also owned and ran her own clinic. The information that she provided me with and her passion for the Franchise sold the idea to me within minutes.
I had stayed at home for the past 10 years looking after my husband and my 3 boys, I am a qualified beautician, so before that I had run my own beauty salon.
How did you raise the finance?
I used every last cent of my savings, a small policy that my husband had left me and took out a small overdraft from the bank. To me it was most certainly a ‘sink or swim’ scenario.
What training and support did you receive initially and on-going?
Initially I was put through 2 weeks of one-on-one training with Sharon at her clinic in Sandton. Here she taught me both the technical and practical side of the Franchise and because she was also dealing with her own clients I got a greater insight on just how to deal with the clients.
When at long last it was time to open my own clinic Sharon was at my side for a few days. Just knowing that someone ‘had my back’ was all I needed.
We have workshops every year which are always very positive and uplifting. Sharon has always only been a telephone call away if I have needed advice or a bit of a pep talk.
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
My day starts at 4am from Monday to Friday – that is my choice – not a must for all the clinics. On arrival I turn heaters on in winter and fans on in summer. Check to make sure that all the cubicles are neat, put the kettle on and wait for the clients to arrive. In between putting my clients on the machines I attend to paperwork, catch-up with emails and telephone calls. My day ends at about 7pm after the last clients have finished their treatments.
What challenges have you faced?
The challenges have been more personal than business related i.e.; how to divide my time between the clinic and my boys. Yes there has been a compromise – I don’t work weekends so I can spend that time with my family.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
- Research the Franchise well.
- Ask questions.
- Ask to meet owners of an existing Franchise one-on-one.
- Ask yourself why it would work for someone else and not for you.
- Trust your gut instinct.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to keep growing from strength to strength – I know that retirement is not too far away.
Would you do it again?
Absolutely! My little clinic has supported a family of six for 9 years. My boys have all been educated, gone to college and university and are now working. Personally… I am no longer afraid of my future!