It's fair to say that not everybody has the financial capital needed to invest into starting their own business. Some Winkworth franchisees however have recognised this and over the years have thought of alternative ways permitting their existing managers various shareholdings in their businesses.
Below we hear from some successful individuals within the Winkworth network who have gained shares over the years.
Simon Winterman is Head of Marketing at Winkworth Napsbury Park & London Colney.
"Two years ago, my franchisee offered me the chance to purchase a small shareholding after being with the company since 2008. I of course jumped at the idea as I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take on more responsibility within the business, gain from it, and progress my career in franchising."
"I've worked my way up the ladder over the years and the purchase of Winkworth Hackney by my existing franchisee Ian Fraser presented an opportunity I really didn't want to miss out on. We both agreed that equity in the offices would encourage me to take a different perspective on the every day running of the offices and Ian offered me shares at a fair price."
Karen Tomlinson is Branch Manager of Winkworth Elstree & Borehamwood.
"Due to a successful 2016 the franchisee approached me with the offer to purchase shares in the office. I believe that for me the advantage of owning a small shareholding encouraged me further to drive the business forward and gain from its accomplishments."
There are many different advantages and reasons for owning a stake in an existing Winkworth office, the most common being a financial and knowledge-based gain.
"The benefit in owning a shareholding in the four offices was about long-term security and performance-based pay based on profit rather than turnover," continues Hamish. "Share options certainly encourage a deeper understanding of the business in general rather than focusing on turnover in one department. I've worked hard to get my departments to where they are, and I would have wanted to own my own office soon. The share option offered the chance to take equity in already established offices and markets that I know like the back of my hand so presented less risk alongside the support of a pro-active franchisee."
"If the opportunity arose to purchase more shares I would certainly do it," says Karen. "I believe it would allow me even more input into the daily running of Winkworth Elstree & Borehamwood, and a deeper understanding of the business. Owning equity in a successful business is a real game-changer for anyone's career."
"I would like to purchase more shares in the business in future," agrees Simon. "Owning shares and purchasing more slowly over time is not only a more affordable option for me financially but also provides less risk than going full throttle with opening a cold start office."
If Hamish could offer any advice to a manager thinking about taking equity in an existing office he says, "Jump at it if you're able to! As a shareholder you're rewarded for the hard work you put in rather than just giving credit for it. This has given me the opportunity for a secure future within Winkworth and the incentive to ensure all four offices are working hard as my own capital is now at risk."
Simon echoes Hamish, "As long as the individual really believes in the brand, is willing to work that little bit harder and thinks the structure of the office is being run well - I think it's a really great break for a manager."
"Owning shares in a Winkworth office is a fantastic way of further understanding how franchising works, and a step in the right direction to eventually setting up your own Winkworth office if so inclined. It just takes hard work, dedication to the cause and a firm belief in the brand." concludes Karen.
If you are a motivated manager of an existing estate agency and are interested in taking that next step towards owning your own business get in touch with the new franchising team today.