Director of Aspray Luton, Barry Thurston, hosted a very successful launch event for the opening of his new local business at the fine foods venue, Harper’s Food in the Oak Lounge.
The event attendees included a range of guests which included the Mayor of Luton and local business people. The packed venue accommodated 73 guests, all supporting 2 great local charities; the Level Trust and Relay for Life.
We spoke to Barry about how he achieved a successful launch event and how it helped kick start his business.
Barry simply said "every single person I invited, I met face to face". In the build up to the launch of Aspray Luton, Barry attended lots of networking groups and made sure that everyone was aware of the up and coming launch event, he also said – "I didn’t shut up about it". During the networking groups Barry encouraged some healthy competition by challenging everyone in the room to bring along 2 or 3 guests, "Cheeky, but it worked!" said Barry. Barry focused largely on the FREE networking aspect of the launch event, as most networking events normally come at a cost to the networkers who attend.
Barry wanted to create a sense of excitement around the launch of Aspray Luton, and what other way is there to do that than offering free refreshments. In addition to this, each attendee benefited from a champagne reception with a selection of canapés. What more could you want on a Wednesday night after work?
The excitement didn’t stop there. A lady approached Barry at the launch event, asking whether he could deal with an escape of water claim for her mother. This gave Aspray Luton a kick start to business with a £4,000 claim before his launch event had even finished.
Encouraging attendees to show up to your launch event can be time consuming! Barry personally invited 450 people and followed up with an email every 10 days or so to remind them, highlighting the free networking opportunity. Barry explained that "the launch event should really engulf your first few weeks with Aspray" concentrating on getting those "bums on seats". Of the 90 people who confirmed their attendance, 73 people attended.
Barry’s answer is, "In a word, no. Around the time of my launch event, my wife’s friend had just been made redundant from a telesales role so I asked if I could make use of her skills for a day to ring round possible attendees. She went through a long list of numbers and not one person turned up on the night". This shows that Aspray service is best sold face to face. "My advice to prospective and new franchisees is network, network, network!".
Nathan and Sam Merritt are into their third year at Aspray (Sutton Coldfield) and are expanding further. We caught up with them to discuss their franchise and plans for the future.
George Masterton of Aspray Peterborough has been an example of a franchisee who has been able to hit the ground running straight away with a ready-made presence in his territory.
Iain Speedie, representing Aspray (Chester), is looking to make an impact in the local community by becoming the title sponsor of the Deeside Dragons Ice Hockey club.
Colin also plays a very important role within the Aspray network, offering mentoring and speaking to interested candidates on his experiences as an Aspray franchisee.
George Cusack became a project management franchisee with Aspray in November 2018. After a long and successful career in the motor trade working in various management roles, George wanted to work for himself.
Sara Holmes runs her Aspray franchise in Sunderland.
Sara Holmes took up the franchise opportunity with Aspray and became a loss assessor.
Jack Connor was an approved contractor for Aspray and he is now a successful Aspray franchisee himself.
Clive and Nathalie Hawkesley joined the Aspray network in September 2013.
It’s seeing people satisfied, happy and resolved and knowing that over the ten years you’ve helped people get back to their life. You see the homeowner, or policyholder satisfied and smiling, or you that the claims has caused them the minimum inconvenience, that’s what you have achieved for them.Roy Bowen
Since the start, I have taken part in the peer-to-peer support offered through head office. I feel it’s important to be engaged and involved with this type of support. I don’t want to see people in the network struggle and at the same time, it allows me the opportunity to learn and grow from others that do the same job in different ways.Jack Parkhouse
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