Ex-Business Development Manager of whichfranchise joins Driving Miss Daisy team
Franchisee name: Ann Overdijking
Location: Glasgow South
Franchise: Driving Miss Daisy
Tell us about yourself
I live in the south side of Glasgow, Netherlee, with my two beautiful kids, Grace and Ross, and husband John. I had previously been involved in the franchise sector for 7 years, I was the Business Development Manager at whichfranchise, and so had a thorough understanding of the industry before starting my research. To be honest, I have always kept an eye on new opportunities, including Driving Miss Daisy when it first launched in the UK, but the time was never right for me. Having watched the progress of Driving Miss Daisy in England, and with my youngest now at high school, I decided the time was right to go for it and do something for myself.
Every role and job I have embarked upon during my working life, and there have been a few changes over the years, has actually prepared me for the Driving Miss Daisy opportunity; my RGN nursing qualification and hospital experience, being a mother, being a daughter, being a wife of 23 years and my business degree . Then with my Business Development skills and work experience in various sectors, being self-employed running a successful direct sales business as well as working in small and multinational businesses. Finally understanding myself and what makes me tick is something I didn’t have in my thirties and I now realise that all the skills and experiences I have had in the last 30 years has led me to the Driving Miss Daisy opportunity.
Why did you decide to buy a franchise?
I like being part of something bigger, I felt it was the best way to help me get into business without going through the painful phase of a new start-up.
I know my strengths lie in my ability to market, promote, sell and support the management of a business, not in being the entrepreneur to start it all. I do believe I have oodles of entrepreneurial spirit, and business owners I have worked with in the past said they would always want me on their team because of my enthusiasm, my “let’s do this and can-do” attitude.
18 years ago, when I became a mother, I dived into the world of self-employment and haven’t left it, I believe it would be too hard for me to go and be employed and work FOR a company. I wanted a team around me who I can work WITH and by buying a franchised business, I felt I would get this almost instantly.
Why Driving Miss Daisy?
Honesty, integrity and loyalty are important to me, and the people in my working life need to have the same values as me. I can’t function properly if the majority of people around me don’t get that life is far too short not to do the right thing or to be nice. I like doing things that make a difference to people’s life experiences and I want to work alongside people who have this desire to make a difference to be part of their purpose. Driving Miss Daisy exudes this and everyone I have met reflects these values.
In a previous self-employed role, I attended every franchise exhibition in the UK for a period of 5 years. I knew of every franchise opportunity available in the UK, both ethical and unethical opportunities. One of the things I observed with successful franchised brands, was when there was a mirror reflection of franchisee to franchisor with a shared expectation of how the other will behave then success naturally followed. I know my journey will not be without challenges but it’s how to resolve those challenges with actions which are based on shared values that’s important. I know that with Driving Miss Daisy, I have definitely found the right opportunity for me.
Driving Miss Daisy offers me an opportunity as small or large as I want through the flexibility to scale the business. I also wanted a business that has to offer excellent customer service as an integral part of being successful. I know what it takes to deliver an excellent customer service experience and I know that is what motivates me to keep giving the DAISY WOW. Nobody wants to be average, or to receive average, I want to have fun and really enjoy what I do every day and be special.
Who helped me make the decision?
The banks were an incredible source of information and can offer invaluable advice, Donna King at HSBC and Richard Holden at Lloyds were terrific in their support. Knowing they would lend me up to 70% of the initial franchise fee is a great security. I also sought legal advice with a franchise specific Scottish lawyer, David Kaye from Harper Mcleod. The information they all shared made me more secure with the decision and business I was taking on.
whichfranchise.com and the bfa were the best sources of impartial information, to make sure my personal judgement and knowledge was going down the right tracks.
I spoke to lots of other franchisees within Driving Miss Daisy and was exposed to a wealth of information and finance data. I also spent 3 days with the Driving Miss Daisy franchisee team down in Malvern. I visited the UK Head office to meet the people behind the brand and those who will support me and they really impressed me . This was all before I signed and parted with my cash.