Step up to your future

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If you are interested in helping people in pain get back onto their feet, a new retail franchising opportunity may be just the thing.

It’s being launched in Australia by Jarrod Blamey, who came across the concept while travelling in the US.

Having suffered ongoing back pain for years and finding no relief from chiropractors and physiotherapists, Blamey visited a Good Feet Store in the US and tried its orthotics (a proprietary line of arch supports). His life soon began changing, one step at a time. Within six months, his pain had disappeared.

But when Blamey returned home, he discovered he couldn’t buy anything similar in Australia. After obtaining the master franchise rights for the Good Feet brand in Australia and New Zealand, he opened his first store in Newcastle in September last year with his wife Rebecca.

Sales soon grew as news of the benefits of the Good Feet orthotics spread.

They solve a growing problem: people searching for relief of foot, knee, hip and back pain. Your body is like a large, interconnected chain; movement at one of your joints affects movement at other joints. If your feet have imbalances or weaknesses, they travel all the way up your body.

One reason for this is that our feet are spreading to support our steadily increasing waistlines. According to a 2014 study by the UK’s College of Podiatry, the average foot has increased two sizes since the 1970s.

Eighty percent of people develop some type of foot imbalance by the age of 20, and virtually everyone has foot imbalances by the age of 40. After years of standing, walking, and wearing shoes, the arches of your feet gradually weaken and are not able to provide the necessary support for your body.

Research in the US shows that 75 per cent of the population will experience foot problems at one time or another in their lives and 10 per cent will suffer from plantar fasciitis (heel pain). Sadly, foot disorders are most commonly found in the elderly and can be the cause of pain, disability and even the loss of mobility and independence.

Yet finding a solution isn’t always easy. In the US, 60 per cent of Good Feet customers bought insoles or over-the-counter foot pain relief products from a chemist before getting serious about their pain relief and coming into a store.

Good Feet arch supports are designed to place the feet in the “ideal” position by supporting all four arches – thereby promoting even body weight distribution. They come with a free, no obligation personalised fitting and test walk, lifetime manufacturer’s warranty and a 30 day re-fit warranty.

Customers of any age can benefit from the service, but the core demographic is 39- to 69-year-olds who spend their working lives on their feet, typically in retail, hospitality, nursing and the mining industry.

According to Blamey, an ideal franchisee would be a mature, empathetic, perhaps ex-corporate, individual who may themselves have suffered foot, knee, hip or back pain.

Good customer service is at the heart of the business: helping customers through the hour-long fitting process, assessing their shoe preferences and pain points, and aftersale phone calls to ensure customers are correctly wearing the orthotics.

In the US, Good Feet started as a family business in 1992 and has grown to over 120 individually owned stores around the world, thanks to a proven formula that works.

Its product allows for a small store footprint. No major capital equipment or significant upfront inventory is required. In the US, it’s a category leader with few direct competitors and because of the personalised customer service required, its products will not be sold online.

Blamey expects to open about 30 stores in Australia and a further six in New Zealand.

Has this sparked your interest? Take one small step and find out how you can make a huge stride to improve your future.

 
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