Andrew and Tory together own and operate two LIVE WELL Clinics, the Canadian sister company to SPRINGWELL, in the Vancouver area. They’ve been franchisees for nearly three years and were one of the first to join the franchise when it was just taking off.
Before LIVE WELL, Tory worked in a corporate job with demanding hours and little flexibility, and Andrew spent much of his time traveling. Once they came across LIVE WELL, they immediately fell in love with the concept and the leadership team behind it. They soon decided to become franchise partners to have more freedom and flexibility in their lives.
In addition to now being business owners, they are also married and raising three young children together. Having the flexibility that comes with owning a franchise business allows them to spend more time with their children, which means taking them to hockey practice, coaching their soccer teams, and not missing out on the holiday singalong put on at school.
It has also given them the freedom to pursue some of their own hobbies outside of work. They both agree that the work/life balance is one of the best parts of being franchise partners.
The LIVE WELL concept is all about creating better lives and achieving balance, so it’s important to Tory and Andrew to hold tight to that value.
“You have space in your life where you’re just you as an individual,” says Tory, speaking on the work/life balance she has been able to achieve as a franchise partner.
That’s not to say, however, that being a franchise partner is easy. It takes a lot of work and due diligence, as Tory and Andrew quickly learned. As the third franchisees in the system, there were still a lot of learning curves to be addressed. However, Andrew feels that as LIVE WELL continues to improve and further develop their business model, he is continually reassured they’ve made the right choice.
“We are believers that with every risk, there is always a major opportunity,” says Andrew.
After taking on their second clinic, Tory and Andrew hired a full-time manager to help with running the clinics, including payroll, ordering supplies, and other day-to-day activities, to ensure smooth operation. Having a manager on staff allows them to keep their focus on driving the business forward. As the LIVE WELL brand grows, they are also constantly challenging themselves to do more.
Tory has noticed that more physicians are becoming aware of the LIVE WELL program and are noticing the amazing results their patients are achieving. Her conversations with physicians have shifted from explaining what the program is to working with the physicians to determine who would most benefit from their program.
“The opportunity for the brand is endless,” she says.
When it comes to sharing ownership, the husband and wife pair have divided tasks based on their own unique strengths. Tory’s main focus is member acquisition by visiting doctors’ offices, speaking to members, and participating in community outreach events. Andrew primarily focuses on the clinic’s digital marketing, taking advantage of some of the marketing campaign strategies provided by LIVE WELL while also working in his own creativity.
They both remain very involved in the clinic, performing all interviews and hiring to make sure they preserve the company culture that is so important to the LIVE WELL concept. They hold regular meetings with their staff to discuss goals, drivers, and challenges. Tory also helps with Program Consults a few times a week to remain involved with the members.
“Proactive conversations and communication is the key to success,” says Tory.
According to Andrew and Tory, no day, or even week, is typical as a business owner. On average, they are in each clinic one day per week but often find themselves in and out of the clinics throughout the remainder of the week. They have found that a happy medium of involvement but not “hovering over the shoulders” of their staff has produced the best results.
Tory explained that one of the best parts of the LIVE WELL program is helping people create long-term, actionable goals for their lives. One of her patients, a caretaker for his wife diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, was struggling in his ability to care for her before joining the program.
“He told me, ‘The reason I’ll be able to take care of my wife is because of LIVE WELL,’” says Tory. “Opening up that door for people is absolutely the reason we’re in this.”
Andrew shared that he has seen members start coming to the clinic alone at first, and within a few weeks they have their whole family involved.
“This is a good illustration of what we are trying to do at LIVE WELL, which is build a community,” he says.
While they have the unique opportunity to better their community and directly impact the lives of their members, they also benefit from the LIVE WELL program themselves. Once they became franchisees, Tory and Andrew both became members of the clinic. By practicing what they preach and getting to know their members personally, they are able to further their impact by becoming role models in the community.
As Andrew says, “We live and breathe it every minute of the day, in work and in our personal life. 30 years down the road, I’ll be able to play with my grandchildren.”