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From Cruise Ships to Franchising

Glynis Santos
Mail Boxes Etc
Woodlands Road, Glasgow

After ten years working on cruise liners, Glynis Santos was ready for a complete change. She wanted to settle down in a permanent home and to work regular hours, preferably in her own business where she and her husband, Paulo, could pool their talents. Paulo, a headwaiter, also worked on cruise ships.

Glynis, a professional photographer, managed the photographer's shop on board as well as taking the pictures, so she had some experience of running a small business. Glynis and Paulo were familiar with franchising and felt it offered a safer route to self-employment. While they were considering this option, Glynis took a temporary job managing her brother's playgroup franchise.

"My temporary job turned out to be a long-term assignment and I was actually there for two and a half years, while Paulo continued to work at sea. However, franchising was always in the back of our minds," Glynis explained. "I enjoyed the work at the playgroup very much but we recognised that the time had come to move on. We began proactively researching franchising again.

First, we went to two exhibitions to see what was on offer. A couple of things interested us but we were especially keen on Mail Boxes Etc. from the start because we were already familiar with the business and its services, having seen their centres around the world. We knew first-hand how valuable the services are, especially for people when they're travelling.

We talked to Mail Boxes extensively and to franchisees in their network, before deciding to go ahead. The training was very thorough, over several weeks and covering every aspect of the business. The on-going support has been invaluable ever since we opened the centre six months ago. Even though we're up and running now, it's comforting to know that there's always someone to offer advice if you need it.

Everything's going well and to plan. I enjoy the variety of the work and meeting so many people every day. I want to build the business as quickly as possible so that Paulo can give up the sea and we can realise our ambition of working together," Glynis said.

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