David, 58, is the new owner of Recognition Express South West, which specialises in corporate recognition products such as badges, personalised clothing, signs, business gifts, plaques and promotional products.
“I decided to treat the recession as an opportunity,” he said.
David discovered Recognition Express whilst flipping through franchise magazines. “It felt like a great option. Statistically, the survival rate of a franchise business is higher than that of a stand-alone venture. There’s lots of support, less risk, and no need to reinvent the wheel,” he said.
His first customer was a paintball company which wanted wallets for its pass cards. Clothing orders are also on the rise for Recognition Express South West which covers Devon and Cornwall.
David added: “I thought the demand for small promotions wouldn’t be too affected by recession – people still want personalised pens and t-shirts. They’re at the ‘need’ end of the promotions market, rather than the luxury end.”
Recognition Express is a good fit with the business he’s been running with his wife Eleanor for 20 years, babybirthplates.com which provides personalised plates and mugs for special occasions from their farmhouse in Crediton, Devon.
“This is going back to my roots – selling direct to customers,” he said.
His wife Eleanor is managing the administration, whilst he handles the sales. In their spare time, they both enjoy walking , outdoor sports and scubadiving. David is a member of the Local Rotary Club.
The couple have a grown-up son and daughter who are both diving instructors in the Caribbean.
Commented Nigel Toplis, managing director of Recognition Express: “We are delighted that David and Eleanor have chosen to join Recognition Express. Their business experience so far will stand them in good stead as they grow and develop their franchise.”