"All Trades is a great opportunity to build a successful business"

With a solid foundation in the construction industry to call on, Steve Gray is now building a successful career as a franchise owner with All Trades Network.

When Steve Gray was researching franchise opportunities, his decision to join the All Trades Network was made somewhat easier by the fact he'd already operated his own business in the construction industry for 15 years.

"I really wanted a change because I'm not getting any younger," he remembers. "Working on a construction site is hard graft and physically demanding. I wanted to take a step back from that while continuing to be in overall control of a successful business. Taking on a franchise seemed an ideal way of achieving that."

Steve looked into several franchise options, and was attracted to the All Trades Network as the work suited his background and the business prospects matched his plans for the future - although he's keen to stress that a background in the building trade isn't an essential requirement for potential franchise owners.

"All Trades provides a comprehensive training package," he says. "What you need is the commitment to work hard and the determination to succeed. If you've got that, then it's a great opportunity to develop a successful business."

Like all new franchise owners, he received a week's training at the All Trades headquarters in Blackburn, which is designed to cover all aspects of the business, tailored to meet the needs of the individual, taking into account their background and experience.

Covering Derby and the surrounding East Midlands area, Steve's business launched last January and he was soon literally inundated with work.

"To say I hit the ground running would be an understatement," he explains. "We immediately had a lot of work involving flood damage and damp issues that really put us to the test. It was challenging, but there's nothing like hands-on experience to learn the business!"

Since those early days, Steve's business has gone from strength to strength. "We've continued to see a steady flow of work and I'm currently still on target to meet my projected first year turnover of £200,000," he says. "People will always need our services because strong winds, heavy rain and severe frosts don't care if there's a recession or not."

As for the future, Steve is looking to develop his services and increase his customer base. "I'll be looking to expand the business as much as possible and as much as the work allows," he says. "Eventually I want to have a whole fleet of vans covering the whole area - and that's something I'm already working towards."

Reported by Eric Secker