Last Updated: 13-January-2021

Interview with Rachel & Julian Staddon, Driving Miss Daisy, Bognor Regis

Name: Rachel & Julian Staddon
Location: Bersted Park, Bognor Regis
Franchise: Driving Miss Daisy
Date launched the franchise: June 2017

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying your Driving Miss Daisy franchise business?
Originally from the UK, we went to South Africa on honeymoon in 1989 and ended up staying for 29 years! Julian worked internationally for oil & gas companies as a Health & Safety Consultant, I have worked in marketing, logistics and latterly ran my own “Virtual Assistant” company along with two close friends. We decided to move back to the UK to be closer to my elderly parents, who have a few health issues and as both our kids have flown the nest.

Can you also tell us about Driving Miss Daisy?
The ethos of DMD appealed to us and from the outset the positive and helpful attitude shown by the DMD UK management team meant that getting our franchise up and running went quite smoothly after we’d done some research and selected our area of operation

Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose the companionship industry? And why did you choose a Driving Miss Daisy franchise?
As we are both over 50 and our productive business life is limited, we didn’t want to waste time re-inventing the wheel. We wanted a business model that we could both work at using our different skill sets in what we believe to be a market segment with huge potential for growth and working with people that give us a great ‘feel good’ factor.

How did you raise the finance?
Savings

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Basic training and ongoing support through our DMD Operations Mgr and other members of DMD UK management.

How would you describe your day-to-day role as a franchisee?
Busy!

What challenges have you faced?
Trying to get a new business up and running at the same time as relocating from Cape Town to the UK.

Getting to grips with UK company rules & regs and learning the ins & outs of the antiquated Private Hire industry legislation here in the UK.

As a consequence of being out of the UK for 29 years we had no recent credit history here and as such did not qualify for any personal or business line of credit.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
It’s keeping us busy, but we’re working together as a couple and have a great & growing business supplying much needed services that we believe in.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?

  • You need to be passionate about what you decide to get into – if you don’t believe in the business it’s going to be difficult to make it a success!
  • Do your market research to find a suitable area.
  • Check what support and ongoing back up the parent company offer.

In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?  

  • Passion and belief in what you do.
  • Your people are your business, so take great care to select the right ones!
  • Not being afraid to expand when the opportunity arises.

What are your plans for the future?
To consolidate what we’ve achieved in our first year and to keep building up our base of regular repeat

If you had to do it all again, what would you do differently?
We’re learning every day!

Interested and want to know more?

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