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A franchise that ticked all the boxes 

Liam Kane worked in financial services for Natwest for 33 years, before leaving his role as a regional director to start a TAB franchise in Northumberland. For 30 years of his career, Liam was working with SME businesses and that was something he didn’t want to lose when starting something new.

“There were three things I knew I wanted: to work with SME business owners, to run my own business, and I wanted to coach. What TAB offered me was the opportunity to tick all three boxes.”

Liam noted that what attracted him to the TAB franchise was its professionalism. “Given my background in a highly regulated industry, I was attracted to a professional organisation.”

Liam initially heard about TAB back in 2010 through a friend, but it wasn’t until 2021 when he left NatWest that another friend suggested he spoke to Paul Winterbottom, our TAB franchisee in Manchester with a similar background to Liam. Liam did so and in his words, “the rest is history.”

Liam Kane

TAB Franchisee since 2021
Liam Family `

"When I ran my first board, one of the head office team came out to participate and gave me some helpful feedback. From launch to my first board, it took about 9 weeks, which I was really pleased with.”

Launching my TAB business

Liam family 2

Liam on holiday with his young family.

When asked how he has found the transition from a large corporate to running his own business, Liam said: “It was strange at first. When you get to a senior position in a large company, you can make things happen relatively easily through other people. They tend to do what they say they would do if it’s reasonable. When started my TAB business I found out that some business owners don’t do that – they might not turn-up for a meeting or a be there at an agreed time for a call – and that was a surprise. I felt that I was quite naïve, but I have got used to that now.

“We used to talk a lot about resilience in NatWest, but the reality is you need a lot more resilience as a small business owner. There are lots of highs, but also a lot of lows, and the two can be close together. It’s a rollercoaster from day to day but you just get off and join the queue again.”

Liam launched his TAB Business in November 2021 and had what he called, an ‘intense’ start. He described the training as ‘fantastic, testing, and enjoyable’, and during the following weeks, he started to see his business coming together.

“My diary was very full of appointments from telemarketing and a number of those converted into members, so I had a very positive start. It was good fun and I was very well-supported. For example, when I ran my first board, one of the head office team came out to participate and gave me some helpful feedback. From launch to my first board, it took about 9 weeks, which I was really pleased with.”

Liam did not shy away from talking about the low days you have when running your own business, and one thing he picked up on was the support he had received from the broader TAB community.

"“Everyone is happy to help and share. Everyone wants you to succeed and that is obvious. It sounds strange to someone from a corporate organisation that a culture like that can exist, but it does. It is in no one’s interest to see you fail. "

The difference TAB has made to Liam's life

I’ve made some great friends, and everyone is happy to share their challenges with you and that was surprising, especially the value I could add for other franchisees based on my experiences as a leader in a bank. I’ve been impressed by the global community, especially the online virtual conference and there are other good examples where the different countries come together and support each other.”

Having successfully launched his TAB business, Liam is now enjoying the benefits that running a TAB business provides. He commented on how the flexibility that running his own TAB Franchise gives him is invaluable.

“It’s made a huge difference with having a young family. I thought my previous employer was flexible but when you’re on your own, it’s up to you, you have complete control. It has enabled me to drop my children off at nursery and pick them up every day. It means that on my wife’s time off, we can do something together, and I can play golf and spend time socially without having to ask for anyone’s permission.”

Not only is Liam seeing the benefits for himself and his family, but he is delighted at the positive impact he has made to the lives of his members. For example, a fourth generation, independent butcher wanted to put her stamp on the business. After completing a lot of work with her on her vision, and how to communicate it to her team, both her and Liam can see the real value that has given her and her business.

Liam is delighted with how much he was enjoying the coaching side of being a TAB franchisee.

“I finished my coaching qualification in 2021 before I joined TAB and experienced imposter syndrome. I felt I had a lot to prove to myself and other people and this has made the coaching sessions with TAB the part I enjoy the most. I find that when I’m in conversation with professionals and prospective members, I can use coaching techniques as part of the conversation and they can see the value they would get with working with me. When I win new members too, that is a testament to all the financial and emotional investment you’ve put in, but it means so much more when someone puts their trust in you.”

Liam's words to you

When asked if he had any advice for anyone considering being a TAB franchisee, Liam answered:

“There is a huge demand out there for what TAB offers. Follow the process but overlay the process with your personality and be authentic. Be prepared for highs and lows. Keep talking to the TAB community. Don’t overstretch yourself financially and emotionally. Value what you do and don’t give it away too cheaply.”

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