Swimtime franchisee Heather Ratcliffe has been shortlisted for an award at the prestigious bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards.
The ambitious businesswoman is one of the finalists in the ‘lifestyle’ category and is proof that you can turn your passion into a successful, potentially award-winning business.
Heather has always loved swimming and, at the age of 23, she made the decision to become a Swimtime franchisee. For the next six years, she filled her days by teaching adults and children across the West Midlands how to feel confident and safe in the water. Even when changes in her personal circumstances made it trickier for Heather to run her business, the kids and children’s franchise’s head office team and her hard-working staff were on hand to offer her plenty of support.
Now, at the age of 32, Heather has been recognised as one of the most successful franchisees in the country. She’ll find out if she’s done enough to take home the title on November 30th, during a ceremony at the Vox, Birmingham.
Speaking about her nomination, Heather said:
“I am shocked and thrilled to have recognition for the journey I have been on, where I could have lost everything, but because of how flexible the Swimtime model is, and the support provided throughout my darker days. I have been able to deal with the personal challenges and come back even stronger into my business.
“This recognition also provides a platform where I can share my personal experiences and challenges, so other people can benefit and learn for themselves, that choosing the right franchise is essential, and no matter what life throws at you, you can deal with it and come out stronger.”
Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the bfa, congratulated Heather on her achievements:
“Heather has been able to operate her Swimtime business with the help of the central support team and admin staff, despite being unable to get involved with the day-to-day due to personal circumstance for a prolonged period. This infrastructure makes operating the franchise ideal for her lifestyle.”
Head of Franchising at HSBC, Andrew Brattesani, added:
“Heather’s business journey is really inspirational. To say she is on target to achieve £450,000 turnover, operating out of 10 venues, is testament to her hard work but also the model and support provided by Swimtime UK.”
Sophie Cole, Point Franchise ©