Four years on from launching his Auditel franchise, Adrian Burton has established a successful business that he is keen to grow further.
Before joining Auditel, Burton worked for 22 years in the IT industry in a variety of roles including project and sales management. This breadth of experience provided him with an extensive background for managing costs. At 46 he was made redundant and had to decide whether to go back into employment or find his own business opportunity.
Burton said: “I quickly reached the decision in January 2008 that I wanted to find a business that provided some independence, was going to be fun, provided a reasonable income, and allowed more time around the family.
"Could I launch a business on my own or seek support possibly through a franchise?
“I discovered Auditel via the internet. Following a meeting, I realised the best opportunity for success would be with the support of a franchisor. What appealed to me about Auditel is that they shared many of my values. They were helpful and patient with my many requests for information. I never felt I was being sold to or being rushed into making a decision. I attended my first day of training in April 2008. This was comprehensive but organised in such a way that you were not overloaded with information.
“What Auditel provides is a really good grounding and support which allows franchise owners to create a successful business. Also at the heart of Auditel is a gem – the camaraderie between the franchise owners, offering advice and backing each other. This support was invaluable in the early days and continues to be a key component of my success – just talking with other franchise owners to sort out issues as and when they arise. Running your own business could be a lonely experience, particularly if you have moved from working in a team. I really enjoy events that bring franchise owners together such as National and Supplier Conferences and Regional and Local Meetings.”
Since launching his business in 2008, Burton has steadily built a substantial client base. He said: “There have been some great results and some wonderful clients, such as Busy Bees Children’s Nursery Chain, where we have delivered on water telecoms and energy. We are currently working with Birmingham and the Black Country Chambers of Commerce. The most recent project for a member resulted in a £45,000 utility rebate for Rical Holdings, an engineering company. Another partner is a care association, where we are helping their care and nursing home members reduce costs.
“My business has been built heavily around partnerships which provides for a great deal of variety in terms of the industry sectors we are working with and also the size of the business we are able to engage with.
“It has been humbling but extremely satisfying to be awarded the Auditel Newcomer Award during my first year, and being nominated twice for the Auditel’s Consultants Consultant of the Year Award winning it in 2009.”
Despite his success, Burton has plans to grow his business further. He said: “This year I reach the milestone of half a century. As I really enjoy what I do in terms of the freedom and variety that it offers, I plan to carry on and build the business. During the first year, I employed my son Elliott. This allowed me faster growth and more joint venture projects. These partnerships have been very successful in terms of expansion and I shall continue to nurture these relationships. However, Elliott is planning to go to university and so this may result in recruiting someone into the business to take care of billing and credit control.”