Why did you choose Recognition Express?
I had always fancied running my own business in some shape or form, and following a failed management buy-out I decided I did not want to look back in 10 years and wish I had taken the plunge. I researched purchasing my own business and found that was far too risky for a man with a wife, mortgage and two kids! I then started looking at franchises and went up to Birmingham for the National Franchise Exhibition. I wanted to move away from finance and do something different and came across Recognition Express. After having a good chat with Nigel Toplis, managing director, I thought the franchise had a good connection to the business I had been involved in for the last few years. So after discussing it with my wife, who thought I was having a mid life crisis, I took a bungee jump out of my comfort zone and purchased a franchise with Recognition Express in December 2007.
How have you found the training and support given by Recognition Express?
I can honestly say that the organisation does everything it says on the label: comprehensive initial training with refreshers if needed; great support from head office in terms of technical, marketing and sourcing enquiries; and a very helpful network amongst the other 46 franchise owners. In addition there are quarterly meetings with Nigel Toplis the managing director, which have been hugely valuable in helping me to focus on my business in the right direction. He is a great sounding board for
new ideas and opportunities. Recognition Express is providing me with the base on which I can build a successful franchise business, to achieve my personal and business goals.
How do you see your business progressing?
At present there’s just myself and my wife Bev part-time. I’m planning on bringing Bev more into the business as the kids become more independent. We’ve hit our first year target of £75,000 of sales (in 10 months) and we’d like to double our turnover and our profit in 2009. I would also like to double the number of clients wanting repeat orders and in 5 years time I would like to have built the business up to £500,000 turnover with a database of 200-300 repeat business clients.
What advice would you give to someone just about to commence their first year as a franchisee?
Enjoy it and work hard. Plan your time carefully because there are a million different jobs to do, from sales and marketing, to accounting, credit control and invoicing. Make sure you get your invoices out on time and keep a watchful eye on your cash flow. Lastly, network as much as possible!