Description: We will show you how to maximise the opportunity and minimise the risk with Recognition Express, winner of the British Franchise Association's Franchisor of the Year Award. Opportunities: Franchises available in all areas of the UK only. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Investment: £15,000. Financing Assistance: Yes, through a third party. Training Provided: Yes. Home-based: Yes.
Recognition Express Franchise Video
Stephen and Ciorsdan Price, Recognition Express West Scotland
‘The best thing we have ever done!’
Stephen and Ciorsdan met on a blind date on a night out in Ayr and married in 1989. They have a 21 year old son David James Price who is studying Chemistry at St Andrews University.
They bought the West Scotland franchise of Recognition Express in August 2003, from Ciorsdan’s mother, Shonach McFarlane, who had started the business in 1981 from her front room.
From that point on their life changed for the better.
Ciorsdan said: “It’s the best thing we have ever done in 20 years of marriage. Our skills complement each other very well and we have grown the business to such a point that we will hit £500,000 turnover within five years.. That is more than a threefold increase from where we started in 2003.
“As a result we have a much better standard of living and are now the proud owners of a lovely detached chalet bungalow”
Before setting up their own business, Stephen worked for 10 years in the insurance industry, selling life and pension policies. When he was made redundant in 1998 he went on to work for a golf holiday company, where he travelled and headed up a team of six sales staff.
Ciorsdan was working part-time for her mother, whilst bringing up their son David, so she had a good handle on the workings of the business. When her sister started expecting her first child, Shonach thought it was perfect timing to sell the business and retire, and that’s when Ciorsdan and Stephen decided to buy.
Ciorsdan: “Working for my mother I could see the potential in the business, the growth in company and corporate branding. It seemed like a good idea and Stephen was disillusioned with his job, so when my parents decided to sell we made them an offer to buy the business.”
Stephen said: “My background is in sales and I was used to meeting clients. Ciorsdan is good at production and getting money in, so we make a good team.”
When they took over the business it was ticking over but not really reaching its full potential, so they put their heart and soul into growing the business. Testament to their success, the business has grown by 30% year on year. Even in the midst of a crippling recession, they have experienced double digit growth throughout the past 5 months
Stephen attributes this to the being “tuned in to what is going on around us.” He goes on to add “I’m a great believer in making your own luck. We focus on fostering close relationships with our customers. Speed and professionalism are paramount to our success.”
Innovation and developing new product lines is also key to staying afloat during difficult times. Stephen says it was a ‘masterstroke’ by Recognition Express managing director Nigel Toplis, to expand the business offering to include clothing.
Stephen explains: “Promotional products are often a discretionary spend, whilst clothing is more of an essential purchase – schools, hospitals and caterers require uniforms and most clubs, restaurants and pubs have branded clothing as do many other businesses.
We have built a very sound business through personalised name badges and promotional products and our next step in our development is a real focus on corporate and embroidered clothing.”
To launch his clothing line Stephen is sending a complimentary polo shirt or fleece embroidered with their logo to each of his top 40 clients.
Son David has also benefited from his parents success, as they were able to move him to the fee paying High School of Glasgow to help prepare him during his final two years before going on to University. Stephen and Ciorsdan are bursting with pride at David’s achievements.
Stephen said: “At the end of year end prize giving the head teacher said ‘I wish we had more David Prices at the school’.”
Investment level: £35,000 + VAT
Business type: Business to Business
Franchise Contact: Janet Matthews
Recognition Express Ltd Unit 2, Cartwright Way, Forest Business Park, Bardon, Coalville LE67 1UE
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