Satisfaction, variety and flexibility are all daily rewards for Garry Stewart.
As the it'seeze website consultant for York and Harrogate, Garry's website design and digital marketing services help local businesses reach their goals.
“I meet a huge mix of people, all with different business ambitions. Listening to them so as to accurately understand their needs enables me to deliver a service that helps their business grow,” says Garry.
Garry became a franchisee with spoton.net, providing it'seeze website services, after a career helping blue-chip companies with new product development and marketing.
Most days start with the school run. “As a self-employed franchisee I'm in charge of my hours so I can go to school events and take my lad to football training,” says Garry.
On Fridays, however, Garry gets up at 5.30 to attend a breakfast networking meeting. He says: “I enjoy meeting local business owners and the right networking group can be a good way to gain more business. It's also nice to have a hotel breakfast!”
Working at home
Garry works from home, often following up business leads and keeping in touch with existing clients. He already supplies website services to over 200 clients, but aims to double that.
spoton.net supplies franchisees with all the business support and systems they need, including CRM software, to help with lead generation, follow-up and account management.
Garry also answers client queries. “We train clients to maintain their own sites if they wish, but sometimes they need help or want to add things like a new payment method. It's rewarding to help businesses develop – and it increases the chance that they will give me more work or recommend my services,” says Garry.
Getting out to meet clients
Many days include visiting local businesses, such as lawyers, accountants, coffee shops, retailers and a range of tradespeople.
“Many meetings are in hotels or coffee shops, but I've also talked with a newsagent while standing behind the counter, met a butcher while he was chopping meat in the back of the shop, and chatted to a baker while he was kneading bread,” says Garry.
“You see the premises, the branding and the customers, and get to know the business owners - vital when creating their website.”
“Often owners are immersed in the day-to-day running of the business, so I help them identify their unique selling points and the key services that they should highlight on their websites.”
Despite being a website franchise, spoton.net won't suit people who just want to work with computers. “You must enjoy meeting people. It helps to know a bit about IT but you don't build the sites yourself, and technology knowledge alone doesn't sell websites,” he says.
Most days Garry finishes work around 6pm. “I go to an outdoor military-style fitness session, take the children to activities, ensure they get their reading done, or watch TV with my wife.
“I enjoy the variety and flexibility of my business – it's much better than being an employee.”