Over the next three weeks, we are publishing a daily tip from one of Britain’s fastest-growing companies on how to grow your business.The second tip of the Real Business three-week Business Growth Plan is: consider a partnership. Sometimes being an entrepreneur isn’t about doing it all yourself – it’s about finding the right partners to grow your business. Take Specsavers, which has a 42 per cent market share in the UK. Specsavers operates a franchise model, where the stores are split in a 50/50 joint venture basis between Specsavers and the individual optician. “All of our optometrists have a guaranteed salary and the loans they put into the business are usually paid back by the company within three years,” explains founder Dame Mary Perkins. “The structure of these partnerships hasn’t changed in the past 27 years.” The optometrists are in charge of the day-to-day running of the store and profits and Specsavers Optical Group, run by Dame Mary and her husband, provide support services and expertise in exchange for a management fee and a casting vote. Without this partnership model, there’s no doubt that Specsavers would just be a single shop in Guernsey, not the 1,390-store empire it has become. Share the risk, share the profits. Partnerships could be the answer to growing your business.
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