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Description: With this improved franchise opportunity you will be providing tasty treats to your customers by siting eye catching point of sale boxes in various locations such as pubs, offices, hair salons – the opportunities are endless! Opportunities: Single and multiple unit franchise opportunities available in the UK and Republic of Ireland Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Investment: £3,332. Training Provided: Yes. Home-based: Yes. Part-time: Yes.

Jenny Loach, With Thanks Kingswinford

Jenny Loach based in Birmingham talks with Mark Winter-Goodwin, National Franchise Development Manager, about her back ground and experience so far as a With Thanks franchisee.

Mark - Jenny could you tell me about your background?

Jenny - After graduating in 1998 I worked as a Trainee Manager at Marks and Spencer. After a year I realised retail wasn't for me so I embarked on a career in sales. I started at Lyreco selling stationery B2B; I worked there for 6 years, got promoted 5 times and became a Key Account Manager. I then worked as a National Account Manager for Cannon Hygiene.

After having my first child I started working part time at Cannon and went back to being a Sales Representative. After a couple of years I went back to work full time and worked for Mars Drinks selling coffee machines. I stayed at Mars Drinks for 7 years and the last 4 years were part time as my second child was born. Again this job involved new business and account management roles.

Mark - So a varied and interesting career with plenty of business and management experience. How and what lead you to With Thanks?

Jenny - I was looking for a flexible role that could fit around family commitments. It started off as stab in the dark to try and find something that would suit me, so I looked on Franchise Direct. I knew I couldn’t afford a massive franchise and I needed something that was easy to do and I could understand. I saw a few franchise opportunities for servicing charity boxes, this appealed to me straight away because I believed it would be a simple business model with a low investment.

Mark - What happened next?

Jenny - I looked into a couple of opportunities but was instantly attracted to With Thanks because of the support they gave and the fact they were an established confectionery company. I contacted them and received a welcome pack through the post. I also arranged to visit them at their Peterborough Head Office. It all sounded too good to be true, so I spoke to a couple of franchisees and discussed it with my family and accountant. I was convinced and went ahead with the franchise. I haven't looked back.

Mark - How relevant was the training?

Jenny – Very. It enabled me to understand the day to day processes; making the boxes, using the coin counter, working through the database and understanding the information Barnack required monthly. I also went out with another franchisee to a few of his sites, which enabled me to see the job in action.

Mark - How was the launch?

Jenny - The launch was well organised with each team having a map of my area and a clear understanding on where they needed to go to try and place boxes. I had a 450 box launch and by Friday lunchtime all the boxes had been placed, which was just incredible.

Mark - Where are you now in terms of box numbers?

Jenny - I started off with 450 boxes but this has dropped to 380. I recognised the need to ensure I keep resiting boxes otherwise my sales would reduce. I arranged a day out with Simon, the Assistant Franchise Manager, to help place some more boxes and we managed to place 25. I also now aim to place an additional 2 boxes each day to ensure I keep my numbers up. I am now at 410 boxes and my sales are £4,000 per month.

Mark - What are your plans from here?

Jenny - I would like to get back up to 450 boxes with 23 sweets per box. I couldn’t manage anymore myself because of family commitments therefore I would like someone to take on 400 boxes on my area or my husband may quit his job and do it as well!

Mark - Thanks Jenny, great to hear.

GREAT! WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?

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