With no experience, and in the midst of the recession in Ireland, Steve seized the opportunity to become a Brand Ambassador with the goal to become an entrepreneur. 10 years later, Steve is leading a successful business, and has helped 4 people become franchisees in the Geninc network.
Steve Shortt started his Brand Ambassador career in 2010 in Dublin. At that time, the recession had had a terrible impact in Ireland. Many companies had shut down, firing their employees. Steve, who was working for a recruitment agency at the time, became unemployed, with no real opportunity in sight in a country where no company was recruiting.
I was looking for an opportunity to create a new business in Ireland. But with the recession, it was really not the right time.
When offered the opportunity to become a Brand Ambassador, to control his income, and have the opportunity to start his own business, he immediately accepted. He had worked in many industries, such as retail, catering, television, cinema, but had no experience in direct sales. He was not really attracted by the industry, but he was seduced by the opportunity to become an entrepreneur.
Steve quickly became the owner of his own direct sales company and discovered his abilities as a sales coach, which helped him develop his business. In 2015, after 6 years, he opened his fourth office in Ireland, then started looking for new challenges, and thought about expanding his activities in France.
France is 16 times larger than Ireland, and the market is full of large companies which are stagnating and no longer attracting anyone. The new generation is looking for opportunities.
He took the decision to be a part in the creation of Geninc in France, with the ambition of making it the European leader in direct sales, thanks to product training and sales coaching systems that will allow independent salespeople to perfect their skills everyday and succeed.
He then moved to France, even though he did not speak the language, driven by his ambition, and the excitement of starting something new in which he believed. Steve then became the first Geninc franchisee, and began coaching brand ambassadors in France. After a year working on the development of the first Geninc coworking hub, located in Lille, alongside Arnaud Le Floch, the success is there thanks to the combined experience of the two entrepreneurs.
Steve chose to create a second Coworking Hub in Lyon, where he travelled with 30 brand ambassadors.
After a year in Lille, we were coaching 100 independent salespeople in the same coworking hub, and we were already representing international brands. It was time to start the expansion.
A few months after its opening, Lyon became the most efficient coworking hub in France, and Steve helped future entrepreneurs to develop there. 10% of the people who followed him are now Geninc franchisees.
After having renewed the Lille operation in a second city, and developed a large Coworking Hub, Steve lets the new generation of franchisees he coaches and supports take over on the expansion, and open new Geninc offices in Bordeaux, then in Paris.
In less than 5 years, Geninc has grown from an idea to being a well established company in Europe, collaborating with more than 400 brand ambassadors. Steve credits this rapid expansion to the franchise system and the support provided to both Brand Ambassadors and franchisees:
Franchise is the perfect model to create a huge brand. It allows entrepreneurs to succeed easily, thanks to all the support around them. It works in all industries. We have proven that it also works for direct sales.
Today, Steve coaches 4 franchisees, and several hundred brand ambassadors across France. His vision and ambition for Geninc never wavered. Its objective is to help other entrepreneurs become franchisees, and to establish Geninc in new cities in France and abroad.
His advice to a future franchisee:
- Be ready to learn, start at the bottom and be coached before you coach again.
- Develop your work ethic: our business requires a lot of work, and regularity.
- Be patient. To build something big, you have to take time. You won’t get any results in 24 hours.
- Always want more.
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