Franchising after redundancy: FASTSIGNS Guildford
John Harvey, is married with two sons. He left school at 15 and took an Apprenticeship with British Gas. In 1965 his career began with British Gas as a gas fitter and in 1995 he was still with them but had progressed on to middle management sales when redundancy began looming its ugly head.
John explains how his franchising journey began: “I was 45 and didn’t want to look for another job. One of my friends had recently bought a single-unit van franchise and he recommended franchising to me. Having been in such a protected environment, like British Gas for so many years buying a franchise seemed like a safer option.”
“So I began to do my homework; I visited a franchise exhibition at Olympia and that’s when I found FASTSIGNS – it ticked all the boxes for me and seemed like the best option in terms of business model, financials and support. I then went on to visit all the team at the head office and it took me just one month from first meeting the team at the exhibition to buying the franchise!”
“The initial training took me to the US where the franchise had started but I also had additional training at the UK headquarters prior to the launch of the business. Since 1995, we have received ongoing support, especially as new revenue streams and technology comes along. We’ve always been happy with the level of support as you can know that help is only a phone call away if you need it.”
“Since then, I have also started another company that provides corporate clothing- starting this company from scratch was considerably more difficult than my FASTSIGNS franchise!
“It has been over 20 years since we joined FASTSIGNS and I’m now looking towards a comfortable retirement. My favorite past time is sailing and I have a boat moored in Christchurch, Dorset. My FASTSIGNS franchise has provided an interesting business for me to grow, financial support for my family and the opportunity to either sell on at retirement or pass on to my sons.
“My advice to anyone who is looking to start their own business and wondering if franchising could work for them is: Go for it!
I’ve had the experience of starting both a business from scratch, on my own and starting a franchised business. With the head office support, brand recognition and proven business model that a franchise brings makes franchising a sensible choice for anyone.”