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WPA Healthcare Practice Case Study
Simon Marks came from the banking sector and took over a well-established portfolio of Healthcare Practice customers in Northern Ireland in November 2012.
WPA Healthcare Practice Case Study
Franchise Information
  • BFA Membership Status
  • UK Years Established14 years
  • Current UK Coverage80%
  • Franchisee Support Staff15
  • Total Startup Cost£9,200
  • Home-based business locationYes
  • Business to business servicesYes
  • Franchisee operates individuallyYes
Next Steps

Healthcare Practice Partner Profile - Simon Marks

Healthcare Practice Partner Profile - Simon Marks

What did you do before joining the Healthcare Practice?

I previously worked for HSBC Bank Plc for 27 years, starting as a trainee and finishing as a Commercial Manager, a position I held for 10 years.

Healthcare Practice - Simon MarksWhat made you look into franchising and why choose the Healthcare Practice?

The Healthcare Practice was recommended by Michael Dow (an existing Healthcare Partner) who was aware of the redundancies made by HSBC in Northern Ireland. I liked the 'hands on' approach that Healthcare Practice offered with regular meetings, a strong support structure, opportunity to attend regional meetings prior to final commitment, opportunity to visit Head Office, and Mentor support. I also liked the ethos of Healthcare Practice with their not-for-profit status and non-claims rated premiums, which appealed following the credit crash and personal issues with banks morality.

How did your previous experiences help launching/running your franchise?

Without being fully aware of it, HSBC had provided a very strong foundation in all aspects of being professional in business. I had a strong foundation in sales from generating sales enquiries, identifying routes to market, managing the sales process, customer expectations, and closing sales. I also had gained experience of managing customers, through good and difficult times. In previous sales roles and as a Commercial Manager I had a large degree of autonomy to manage my day, plan my diary and daily activity which has been hugely valuable in running my own franchise.

What do you like most about running a franchise?

The main benefit in running my franchise is that I am able to manage my own time and operate my business largely on my own terms. Also the knowledge that the franchise model with the Healthcare Practice is a proven model with a high level of support from Head Office when required.

What are your future plans for your business?

My initial business plan was to achieve year on year growth of minimum 10% and to take my franchise to a level that would be attractive for future sale. Focus is still on achieving year on year growth and obtaining a diverse customer base while looking at options to increase my growth potential through Introducers, Account Manager, etc.

What advice would you give to someone from an employed background looking at franchising?

To consider if they have the focus and discipline to work by largely by themselves and possibly/ probably from home. While this can be hugely appealing it requires discipline and must be understood. Experience in all aspects of business is important from sales, customer support, administration, product knowledge, and diary management as you will be responsible for all aspects. It is also important to understand the implications of setting up and running your own business whether from a legal point of view in setting up a company, accounting responsibilities, or HMRC responsibilities. This is an area that was more involved than I anticipated, especially coming from an employed status where everything was done for me. My advice is to get a trusted team of advisors to guide you.

If Simon's story has interested you then find out more about franchising with the Healthcare Practice by clicking below

What made WPA Healthcare Franchisee, Alex Budd become a Healthcare Partner?What made WPA Healthcare Franchisee, Alex Budd become a Healthcare Partner?

Alex Budd, a WPA Healthcare Partner, talks about the transition he made just under three years ago

Mark Tomlinson Joined WPA Healthcare Practice in September 2010Mark Tomlinson Joined WPA Healthcare Practice in September 2010

Mark Tomlinson joined WPA Healthcare Practice in September 2010 as a franchisee in the South West.

Matt Trapnell Has Found a Second Career with Healthcare PracticeMatt Trapnell Has Found a Second Career with Healthcare Practice

For Matt Trapnell Healthcare Practice has led to a fulfilling second career.

David O'Toole is a Member of the Healthcare Practice Partner TeamDavid O'Toole is a Member of the Healthcare Practice Partner Team

Meet, David O'Toole, a member of the Healthcare Practice Partner Team.

A day in the life of Gavin Flaxman, Healthcare Practice PartnerA day in the life of Gavin Flaxman, Healthcare Practice Partner

Gavin Flaxman joined Healthcare Practice as a Partner in 2013 and is based in central Surrey.

Phil Arnold second career, ethical companyPhil Arnold second career, ethical company

Seven years ago Phil Arnold became his own boss as a Healthcare Practice Partner.

Introducing Lynda Buntin from Healthcare PracticeIntroducing Lynda Buntin from Healthcare Practice

Lynda Buntin was recently named as Healthcare Practice Partner of the Year and talks about her business in Northampton and Peterborough.

Wendy Pake has built a successful career as a partner with Healthcare Practice.Wendy Pake has built a successful career as a partner with Healthcare Practice.

"TheHealthcare Practice opportunity attracted me. I had no medical or sales background but I knew I was good with people and felt I could provide advice."

'Customer care makes Dan the best in the business'"Customer care makes Dan the best in the business"

Uckfield man and Healthcare Practice partner, Dan Wade says that looking after his customers has been the key to his success.

Social NetworkerSocial Networker

Discover what your life could be like as a Healthcare Practice partner through Uel Campbell.

Healthcare Practice Partner Profile - Robert WesthorpHealthcare Practice Partner Profile - Robert Westhorp

When Robert Westhorp set off for The British Franchise Exhibition in Manchester five years ago, he had no idea that he would meet a former supplier and eventually join the company.

A Day in the life of Healthcare Practice Partner - Lorna SmithA Day in the life of Healthcare Practice Partner - Lorna Smith

"There’s far more to being a partner with Healthcare Practice than selling insurance policies", find out from Healthcare Practice partner Lorna Smith.

What Our Franchisees Say

Attending an Open Day and seeing the slick and technologically advanced operation behind the scene convinced me I was making the right choice. By the time I left the Open Day, I had made up my mind that WPA was a company which lived the business values that matched my own.David Rollock – Healthcare Partner since September 2014

The Healthcare Practice is unique… I’ve never worked with a company that look after you so well. Joining them was the best decision I have made in my life, hand on heart.Bob Grace - Healthcare Partner since 1999

Attending the open day at Head Office was extremely useful and helped reassure me that I was perusing a good opportunity. It allowed me to learn more about WPA, meet a number of staff and experience the culture and transparency of the organisation. It certainly played a crucial role in my decision making process about becoming a Healthcare Partner.Catherine Bennett – Healthcare Partner since December 2014

Why Choose Us

Award winning customer service

Build a solid and sustainable long-term business

A not for profit organisation that really cares about customers

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