Feeling stifled and unfulfilled as an accountant and knowing she always wanted to run her own business, Kim Pinnington, now 37, took on a Puddle Ducks franchise three years ago, and since then has thrived.
Because of this, she has been shortlisted in the Transformation category at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards, taking place at the Vox, Birmingham, on November 30.
She runs a Puddle Ducks (a franchise that teaches babies and toddlers to swim), that covers Cheshire, the North West Midlands, and Wrexham, employing 23 people. Despite the wide geographical split, she has managed to make the territory much more profitable through hard work and canny business decisions, even though it was operating as a successful business before she purchased it.
“I am thrilled to be shortlisted for the Franchisee Business Transformation award and to be recognised for what I have achieved over the last few years as a franchisee.
“Franchising has given me the confidence to run my own business in the knowledge that I have full support from my network and helped me to strive towards my professional goal of building a successful sustainable business and my personal goal of balancing work life around my family” says Kim Pinnington, Franchisee.
Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the bfa, said: “The territory Kim purchased is spread wide and far, and although the foundations and base of a great business were acquired when she purchased it, the previous franchisee had only made a modest return. However, Kim really utilised the power of the network for advice and formulated an airtight business plan.”
Andrew Brattesani, Head of Franchising at HSBC, added: “Kim more than tripled net profit in her first year of operating through steady scaling and sticking to a robust plan and cutting classes where necessary. Despite having just over 700 customers in 2016/17 and just under 900 in 2019/20, the net profit margin has risen from 10% to 22%.”
Kim will go head-to-head against three other franchisees in November.
By Emma Lumley