With over 20 years’ experience under her belt delivering successful housing and regeneration schemes in the public and private sector, Sara Holmes had a track record of hitting targets, fuelling business growth and enhancing the profitability of businesses before she took up the franchise opportunity with Aspray and became a loss assessor.
So how has her impressive CV helped her fledgling franchise business and who is the person behind Aspray Sunderland? We made it our mission to find out!
"I set up the company on April the 20th 2018, but I didn’t start trading until after my training finished on the 22nd June. The first day on which I sat at my desk and logged on to my CRM system was June the 28th and my very first Aspray appointment was on the Friday of that week."
"I felt that the role of loss assessor would suit me, as I could utilise many of the skills that I had mastered during 20 years of working in the housing sector, and in land buying and business development. The time was also right for me to explore the opportunity."
"Absolutely. I’ve provided strategic direction for many projects, which I have grown and monitored, adapting them where necessary. I am also used to co-ordinating and leading teams. The scope of my work has focused heavily on customer service delivery and has entailed overseeing the work of various sub-contractors. I’ve been a project director, a head of business development and a development director during my career."
"Credibility and tenacity."
"Leadership, strategic approach and commercial thinking."
"Enthusiastic, talkative and resourceful."
"The Aspray business model relies on the correct application and delivery of several diverse operations. Each element needs to be done correctly, in order to deliver the successful outcomes for the business. My ability to plan, organise, negotiate, lead and manage teams of people, whilst also being abreast of various situations, suit the role well and dovetail with my credibility as an individual."
"A total change in career. I have followed the same career path for 20 years, moving up from assistant level to a role as a director. However, I became disillusioned working in a PLC and could not see myself staying long-term in the next logical position on my career ladder, which would have been as MD. I took a break from my career to review my future options and to reassess my priorities and decided that what I actually wanted was much better life balance and not another promotion. That is why I decided to take up the Aspray franchise opportunity, to fit my work around the rest of my life."
"During the first few weeks, I was up and down, wondering if I had made the right decision. I clunked my way through my first pitch and felt a bit awkward about everything, but then everything suddenly clicked into place. People seemed to start to understand what a loss assessor does and started to ask me questions, enquiring how they could help me. My confidence returned and I haven’t looked back."
"I started to handle my first claim in week 3. It feels great to call the claimant and just give them an update on progress, hearing them say, each time I talk to them, 'I’m so pleased that you are doing this. I wouldn’t know where to start'."
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 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.
Director of Aspray Luton, Barry Thurston, hosted a very successful launch event for the opening of his new local business.
Clive and Nathalie Hawkesley joined the Aspray network in September 2013.
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
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
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