Exclusive Interview: "I am building a secure future for my family"
Name: Steve Lamb
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise business?
I’ve been married to my Wife Allison for 28 years and we have 3 great children; Olivia (19) and Declan (18) are at university while Harrison (14) is at High School.
Both Allison and I come from the Manchester area and moved to Scotland in 2001 when I joined Scottish & Newcastle. Prior to this I’d held senior sales positions with both Pepsico and GlaxoSmithKline.
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose InXpress franchise?
"After being made redundant, I didn’t want to uproot my family again to move back to England so we decided to look upon it as an opportunity to secure and control our future by working for ourselves."
We considered a number of opportunities but felt that the InXpress model and nature of the business best suited our skills and competencies. Allison previously managed a telesales team for both a national and regional newspaper.
How did you raise the finance?
My redundancy package
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
For our training, we undertook a 5-day sales and motivational course followed by a 2-day software and administrational workshop. Annually we have three regional meetings along with a National Conference and a Sales Conference where relevant topical training is provided.
What is a typical day for you as an InXpress franchisee?
We have 2 full time Customer Service Assistants (Gillian & Candice) so we’ll have a quick briefing at 8.45am covering targets, new systems/processes, issues and opportunities.
We’ll have all our own individual objectives for the day with Gillian, Candice and Allison focused on managing the existing customer needs while looking to increase the breadth and depth of business we do with them.
My primary role is to secure new business so I’ll either be meeting with potential new clients or in the office cold calling.
What challenges have you faced?
The variety involved in this industry means that we face new challenges on a daily basis. Thankfully we have strong relationships with our carrier partners and as a result we can normally resolve and remedy the majority of issues that we face. Key challenges that we’ve faced over the last 6 years are;
1. Recruitment, training and development of staff
2. Office location
3. Introduction of accountancy software
4. Work/life balance
Has becoming an InXpress franchisee changed your life, if so how?
"To a certain degree we are in control of our own destiny, while the success of the franchise has afforded us some financial freedom."
What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?
Have a robust business plan and ensure that you get your accountant to critique it.
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
Someone who has a strong work ethic, a “can do” attitude and who’s self sufficient.
What are your plans for the future?
Look to purchase a franchise in the USA while maintaining the current UK franchise, which could be managed by either staff or our children, once they’ve finished university.
Would you do it again?
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Interested and want to know more about InXpress?
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