Name: Neil Saunders
Location: Chichester, West Sussex
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise business?
I worked as an Area Manager with BP Oil UK Ltd and managed an estate of retail forecourts with both direct employed managers and more latterly franchisees. The role involved me ensuring that sales targets were achieved whilst working within operating guidelines to ensure both a uniformed offer and to ensure that full compliance was met for both HSSE and legislation requirements. Having worked in a number of positions within the organisation for around 20 years, the opportunity arose for me to take redundancy and begin a new challenge.
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?
After working in a corporate environment for so long, I wanted the opportunity to work for myself but within a model that offered quality whilst maintaining a lower key management structure.
I wanted to be the key to the success of MACC in my area and to make the decisions accordingly.
I chose MACC because I truly believed that the products they manufactured were of a very high quality and the way in which they explained the business model to me. The invitation to the factory in France to meet the senior management team displayed to me that the company genuinely wanted, and needed, me to succeed and was as important to them as it was to me. I was treated very well and was given the opportunity to meet the entire office staff and was welcomed as a valuable member of the MACC team.
How did you raise the finance?
I made them decision to raise half the finance through savings and the funds required for the van through a bank loan.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Before I even went to France to meet the office team, I took a day out with one of the direct employed MACC salesmen who talked to me about the position and who allowed me to have open and honest conversations with the customers.
Once I had bought the franchise, I spent a week in France with the Franchise Manager on a very structured training package where I went through a thorough introduction to the equipment MACC manufactured along with time spent with each supporting department to the sales operation. The office structure was geared to ensure that the MACC franchisee was given whatever they needed to allow them to focus on selling.Following the week in France, I had a further 2 weeks in my own area with the Franchise Manager who worked alongside of me to demonstrate the MACC approach to operating and to build my own confidence in being able to operate on my own whilst making sales!. The 3rd week I spent on my own selling to my customers with regular contact with the Franchise Manager who then joined me again in my area the week.