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Description: MBE is unique in UK franchising. We are the only High Street chain offering local companies and consumers a diverse range of business services in one location – everything from international parcel delivery to mail box rental. Opportunities: Opportunities available across the UK and Republic of Ireland Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Investment: £60,000. Financing Assistance: Yes, through a third party. Training Provided: Yes. Part-time: Yes. BFA Full Member: Yes.


FRANCHISE ASSOCIATIONS

BFA Full Member

MBE Husband and Wife Team Win Top Award for Customer Care

Portsmouth franchisees, Christine and Russell Sykes, have received MBE’s coveted “Outstanding Customer Care” award.

They were selected from the UK network of more than 100 High Street business services centres, in recognition of their exemplary standards of customer care and to mark their dynamic approach to business.Christine and Russell Sykes

Presenting the award at the franchise’s conference, MBE’s recruitment consultant, Chris Gillam, said: “As well as recognising Christine and Russell’s achievements, we want to acknowledge the big contribution this couple has made to the overall growth and success of MBE in the UK and Ireland.”

Russell and Christine were thrilled but very surprised and said: “When we started, we set out to differentiate ourselves by offering a high standard of customer service.  It is fantastic for us that our commitment to our customers has been recognised through this award.” The Sykes opened their MBE centre in December 2003 and had to overcome a major set-back when serious illness struck just two months later.  They survived the crisis and went on to build an exceptionally strong business.

Previously, Russell always had ambitions to start a business of his own and when redundancy was offered he saw it as the golden opportunity to finance his dream.   However, at that time, neither he nor Christine had considered franchising or knew nothing about it.  Russell sought advice from an outplacement counsellor who gave a very positive view. Russell explained: “It was a revelation and very encouraging.  We soon discovered the many advantages that franchising offers - of being in business for yourself, but not entirely on your own.  There is training and on-going support."

"I read about MBE and its many facets in a Financial Times article. Understanding the way that old-style corporate life was changing, with the growing trend towards more outsourcing, I could see that with MBE there would be plenty of opportunities for a range of different income streams,” Russell continued.

Christine and Russell really liked the people at MBE and agreed that the franchise met their criteria, so they decided to go ahead.  They were delighted to have found a business where they could work together and that offered enough flexibility to fit around family commitments.

Unfortunately, Christine became seriously ill within weeks of opening the centre and was unable to work.  Russell says: “MBE was extremely supportive during this time, which was invaluable while I was juggling running the centre with hospital trips and looking after our two children.  It made me realise how glad I was that we had bought a franchise and not started a business from scratch.  I don’t think we would have survived if we had been entirely alone,” Russell said.

Christine recovered and was back again after a year when the business really began to take off.  Over the next two years, the business doubled in size and continues to achieve healthy year-on-year growth.

Russell concluded: “We are very pleased indeed with our franchise and, naturally, with our award.  I don’t think either of us would ever want to be employees again.”
 

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