In September 2013, The Last Hurdle™ began their ambitious plans for world domination by welcoming Dr Trevor Ray as the first pilot franchisee.
Based from offices in Towcester, Trevor has been developing his own empire within his territory of South Northants, Buckingham, Bicester and Banbury.
Jules White, franchisor of The Last Hurdle™ states: “It was important to me, when franchising the business that we ‘pilot’ the process. Having Trevor as our pilot franchisee has been tremendously valuable, his input has helped to shape what the franchises will be. Trevor isn’t afraid to challenge, question and explore new avenues. I value his opinion highly and I know he is always looking at what is best for the business as a whole. I look forward to continuing to work with Trevor in the coming years and watching his franchise grow at its current exponential rate. It is inconceivable to imagine The Last Hurdle™ without him!”
Trevor joined The Last Hurdle™ after meeting Jules at a business networking event and was impressed with her positive attitude, ambition and drive. It was also apparent that there was a real meeting of minds about how business should be done – with honesty and integrity. Let’s face it, the only way is ethics!
Previously a Dale Carnegie trainer, Trevor has a PhD in Molecular Biology and has run 3 successful businesses. We asked Trevor what drew him to The Last Hurdle™.
“It wasn’t a difficult decision as our attitudes to business are so similar, it has to be about providing real value to clients whilst working in a very open and ethical way. I also like that I am able to help shape the business for those that will follow.”
We interviewed Trevor, to get his story behind being the first Pilot Franchisee with The Last Hurdle™:
“It was a big challenge; I already had considerable experience with traditional marketing but a number of the services The Last Hurdle™ offer were less familiar and seemed more of a black art. Fortunately my brain loves learning and working with Jules dispelled the myths of digital marketing, SEO and creating WordPress websites; the training was practical, relevant and effective. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting my teeth into these subjects and being able to support my retained clients by implementing our full range of business development services.”
The pilot has not been without challenges, the biggest of which Trevor admits has been resisting the temptation of giving his time and services for free, simply by being a nice guy and wanting to help local businesses.
The drive and passion he exuberates has generated many highlights over the last year with a lot of Snoopy Dances thrown in (you have to celebrate the wins!). The biggest highlight for Trevor has been the satisfaction of seeing what a difference he makes to the clients’ bottom line.
Trevor’s first client, an accountancy company, was spending money on ‘PPC’ (pay per click) and banner advertising but not getting anything in return. Taking over their website, creating a simplified version, writing blogs, encouraging organic SEO and marketing them on Twitter has seen the company take on new clients faster than ever before and they now have people calling them rather than the other way around.
Owning The Last Hurdle™ franchise means every day is different; Trevor enjoys the variety it brings as well as the satisfaction of seeing a business improve due to the collaborative effort invested. Trevor believes the first rule of running a successful business is to listen to what your client wants and understand how and what he can do to help them achieve their goals. The relationship with the client is a two-way street, this builds the rapport and trust which will ultimately make way for a successful outcome.
Business networking has played an important role for Trevor throughout the last year as it has created opportunities to meet and introduce himself to local business owners. Being embroiled in local groups gave him the opportunity to be a founding member of the Silverstone Business Forum, which was initially set up as a drop-in clinic for new business people needing help and advice. This successful group has developed into a monthly networking event attracting guest speakers and an attendance of around 60.
When asked about the future Trevor enthuses:
“It is quite a month for me, not only have I successfully completed the first year as a pilot but I am also recruiting for my first team member. I am currently seeking a marketing apprentice! The Last Hurdle™ recognise the value both to the business and to the individual of investing in the development of an apprentice and the loyalty this scheme generates cannot be bought.”
Over the next 12 months, Trevor has plans to double his turnover by focusing on increasing his client base within his territory. The Last Hurdle™ specialise in working with small to medium organisations who want to grow their business. Trevor believes next year’s targets are “absolutely achievable” with the continued support from the Towcester head office. The grin on his face as we interview him speaks volumes, it is clear Dr Trevor Ray is thoroughly enjoying his business journey.
You can see this story in the press, thanks to The Business Times for publishing our story as an editorial.