Earley businesswoman up for franchise awardBy David Millward
September 12, 2012
An Earley businesswoman is flying the flag for local business excellence by reaching the finals of a national competition.
Sedge Gooding ,41, runs a franchise of Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs across Reading and is one of only 15 finalists in the British Franchise Association (bfa) HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards 2012.
Ms Gooding set up her franchise 17 years ago in 1995 and now runs 12 classes with over 1,000 members in Earley, Woodley and Caversham to help people loose weight and get fit in a friendly environment.
She said: "I approached Rosemary Conley about running a franchise at the age of 24, as I knew I wanted to do something physical. I thought that running diet classes combined with exercise would help to ensure that members keep coming regularly, even when they had reached their goal weight, and I was right! In fact, many of my members have been coming to the classes since the very first day I started the franchise! I love my ladies and my few men.
"It's so friendly. We have a really good laugh and the results are wonderful. The atmosphere in the classes are electric and everyone is so encouraging. I get lots of people that just come to the exercise part of the class.
"I love being my own boss, and I enjoy not being told what to do by someone else. Not many other careers would allow me the flexibility to have three children without it affecting my business and I get to see them much more than I ever would in a nine to five job."
Nominated for the awards by the Rosemary Conley head office, Sedge fought off some 35,000 other entrants to reach the finals.
Ms Gooding added: "I didn't realise what an achievement it was until I went up to give a presentation and everyone was saying how proud I should be to get this far as its against thousands and thousands of candidates."
She is now looking forward to the winners being announced at a prestigious black-tie dinner at the NEC in Birmingham on Thursday, October 4.