Interview with Charles Trevor of No Letting Go, West Berkshire
Franchisee: Charles Trevor Roper
Territory: West Berkshire
Franchise: No Letting Go
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose a No Letting Go franchise?
When I came to franchising two years ago it was quite a departure from my previous career experience. I had spent a career in the hospitality sector owning and running a nightclub, restaurants and finally a country house hotel. My last role involved providing management consultancy and training to other businesses in that sector.
Once we had decided to relocate I gradually wound up my training contracts and started to explore other business opportunities. I looked at a number of online businesses and I liked the idea of the freedom that technology provides through remote working. Additionally, the concept of a franchise appealed; being able to hit the ground running with a proven business model and I was excited by No Letting Go’s inventory management service. It is technology focused and I would be developing a business in a thriving sector.
I liked the potential that the No Letting Go franchise presented. It appealed to me that I would grow it and that over time I would step back from the delivery of the service into a management role focusing on running the business.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
As a new franchisee I received an initial four days training at head office, followed up with phone support as I was learning the ropes. Since then I have had training on the tablet and a day’s training for the MAPIP exam.
I also attended a standard training day for clerks, which head office runs regularly. More important perhaps is the fact that you can contact people in Head Office for advice at any time, get a quick response, and if necessary a support visit to your territory.
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
During a typical day on waking I will check my emails and diary, and prepare job sheets and maps for my day’s work. I will also check if any jobs have been exported by clerks and need sending on to clients.
I will then have breakfast, shower and get dressed for the day. I check I have everything in my trusty bag, from tablet, diary and phone.
Covering West Berkshire some days I will have more time spent in the car, than in houses. I drive about 1,500 miles a month. I try to get back to the office by 5.00pm, and spend another hour or so finishing and exporting my reports, dealing with any bookings I have taken while out, and checking the reports from my clerks.
Early in the week I try to manage a clear day to do accounts, credit control and look ahead to ensure that we have all the information we need for the coming week to 10 days.
What challenges have you faced?
As with any business you start out providing the service yourself because it is, after all, just you. For the first nine months business was gradual. It takes time to persuade an Agent to change his or her existing supplier; the majority (if not all) have existing providers and if they have an inventory management service that is not causing them any problems why change? So this was my challenge. My love of people and communication has stood me in good stead and I embarked on visiting every agent in a 50 mile radius to establish and build relationships face to face.
Over the last 12 months I have steadily grown the client base so that we are now carrying out around 50 inventories each month and work with a number of major clients with large portfolios. I am now supported by three inventory clerks who deliver the service, with the recruitment of two further clerks in the pipeline
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
For anyone considering a franchise business I would suggest that before you start, decide on what you want out of the franchise. Ask yourself ‘why are you looking at franchises at all’? List your priorities in terms of money, lifestyle, workload, type of business etc., and use this checklist when you look at any franchise, and make sure that the franchise in question meets your requirements. Once you start looking you will be inundated with information from franchisors, and you will need to keep your head above water and quickly reject those that do not meet your criteria.
What are your plans for the future?
My personal vision for the future is to continue growing the business to a £100k + turnover and to run the business with some flexibility to travel. I think I must be doing things pretty well as I’m pleased to have been selected as finalist in this year’s bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards in the category ‘Olderpreneur’."
Interested and want to know more about No Letting Go ?
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