Posted on 29/06/2018
Sam was the second recruit to the SDL Property Partners franchise scheme, which now has eight franchisees on board, we caught up with him to discuss his SDL Property Partners journey so far:
Why did you decide to start your own business?
For me, the most appealing element of starting my own business is the responsibility and control that automatically comes with it. It was important for me to be able to choose what I’m working on, where I’m working on it and who to work alongside. With any business venture, there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with having total control of each and every element, but that’s what makes it exciting.
What’s been the biggest challenge?
Personally, before I started my own business, I didn’t particularly enjoy networking. With the nature of my business, I soon realised how important it was to immerse myself in as much networking as possible to ensure the best possible relationships and results. Once I realised the importance, it really opened my eyes to getting stuck into situations that aren’t necessarily enjoyable or familiar, and that can be the biggest challenge of business, but also the most rewarding. As with any business, there can be (what feels like) more challenges than rewards, especially with regards to finding the results you’re craving. I soon came to realise that you won’t be flooded with opportunities as soon as you open the door upon launching, it’s important to keep pushing through and finding the work, which at times can feel like a huge challenge.
What’s been the biggest reward?
As I mentioned, the results you’re working so hard to achieve can be the biggest challenge. Within my first 6 months of launching the business I successfully welcomed 2 instructions in Central London and East London. This is the biggest reward to date for me, it was a fantastic achievement within my first 6 months, but, has actually kept me going throughout. It really gave me that buzz and thirst to keep pushing through with the challenges that can arise in the business. It was like a light at the end of the tunnel and is definitely a feeling I want to keep striving towards!
How have you built your business?
I’ve been in the property industry for over 15 years now, so I was pretty lucky to have such a strong foundation and portfolio behind me when I came across the SDL Franchise Scheme. The scheme has helped me massively, in all kinds of different ways, from the structured support to the different insights and advice from professional mentors. The support from the scheme gave me the confidence to branch out and reach out to the contacts I’ve made over the past 15 years and start having those conversations to rebuild relationships and get my name out there.
What’s next for you to get more management instructions on board?
My approach is to keep pushing forward with what I’m doing. I want to keep pushing myself and building my confidence with industry professionals. My aim for this quarter is to ensure I’m getting my name out there in the industry, whether that be attending property fayres or utilising my connections over the phone, in person or by making the most of my LinkedIn. Sticking to a niche area is going to be my key strategy going forward, I want to ensure I keep within the Croydon area and build strong relationships. Even though I’ve taken a different route within the industry, it’s important for me to let the relationships I’ve created and maintained over the last 15 years know what I am currently working on and the opportunities available within the market.
What advice would you give to others thinking of starting a business?
The biggest, and most important piece of advice I could give to others who are thinking of starting a business, is to be prepared. It might seem like the simplest piece of advice, but it’s so important! There’s a lot of hard work and sometimes long days to put in to get the most out of your business. There will be occasions where you will have to push yourself out of your comfort zone, as I mentioned previously when discussing the biggest challenges that I faced. But the best way to tackle these situations is to be prepared in every way. Make sure you conduct your vital research before making any decisions, it may seem like a time-consuming activity, but the end results will make such an impression on your brand and name within the market, it will all be worth it. Once your business is up and running, it also important to be realistic and honest. You need to expect that there probably won’t be queues of potential clients outside the door on your opening, but again this can be picked up on and worked on thanks to your preparation. My third and final piece of advice (which links to preparation again) is to get a real understanding of the industry itself. I found that with my second instruction, it was a 24-hour turnaround. I’ve always had my content prepared, but it was still a tight turnaround and really came out of the blue, which is common in this industry. Always remember that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and all of your hard work and perseverance will pay off.
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