Paul Latham joined the Army when he was 19 and served a 24 year term, including tours of duty in Kuwait, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He became a driver by trade, rose through the ranks and by the time he finished his non-commission he was one of only 21 Master Drivers, supervising driver training and road safety plans for 72 units. Nearing the end of his time in the Forces, Paul was looking for his next challenge and wanted to use the skills he had developed in his time in the army, including planning, project management, logistics, communication, training and development and, of course, driving!
The prospect of franchising in the logistics industry appealed to Paul as he “wanted to work for himself” so a franchise in logistics seemed to fit the bill. He looked around at the various options open to him and identified three potential franchise packages that were of initial interest. One he initially discounted as it seemed “very expensive for not much return” and for another his area was not available. He then proceeded to scrutinise the Diamond Logistics franchise package and talked to Kate Lester and others at Diamond. He was pleased to find that the postcode area that he was interested in, Derby, was available.
Paul says he was “very impressed with the training and support available, and the franchise was very good value for money.“ Also “Kate makes things happen” he said “I was impressed with her ‘get up and go’ attitude and wanted to be part of the Diamond team.“ With the help of Kate and the Diamond head office team Paul was able to get his business up and running within a couple of months, he booked the franchise in December and was trading immediately he left the services in March 2014.
Paul had already secured his business premises and, in February had employed a business development specialist (also with a military background) who had lined up two major customers even before the business had its first vehicle and opened the depot doors. In the three months that the Derby franchise has been operating Paul says that business is good. He had a three year plan to grow the turnover to £1 million but he’s now revising that timescale to achieve the milestone within two years rather than three. “It’s superb being my own boss” he says “but knowing that I’m part of a dynamic and fast growing network is a great motivator and tremendously exciting.“