'I am already earning more than I did in the Army'

Since becoming a Cash Generator franchise owner, former Army Warrant officer Alan Purdue has increased his earning potential and improved his work/life balance

With its comprehensive training and support package, Cash Generator helped Alan Purdue adjust to civilian life after serving as a Warrant officer in the Army's transport and logistics corps for 22 years. Two years into his franchise term, Alan has built a successful Cash Generator franchise in Port Talbot and is contemplating expanding his business.

'I joined the army when I was 16, so the military was all I knew,' explains Alan. 'I even met my wife Natasha in the Army and for several years the lifestyle suited us until she fell pregnant. I hated the thought of going on tour for six months and not being able to see her or our children on a regular basis, so I began to consider my options outside the military. I had always wanted to be my own boss, but was apprehensive about starting up a business from scratch completely on my own - so investing in a franchise was a logical solution. The thought of having access to ongoing support, training and a tried and tested business model was very appealing.'

After a lot of research, Alan concluded that Cash Generator was the ideal franchise for him. 'Although it was at the top end of my budget, I kept going back to Cash Generator because I could see it had potential,' continues Alan. 'Especially as it had a unique business model based on multiple income streams, which include buying and selling pre-owned goods, cheque cashing and pawn broking to payday loans, currency exchange and Western Union international money transfers.'

Alan and Natasha decided to visit head office and were impressed with the company's professionalism. From there they arranged to work on the shop floor of an existing store to get a feel for the business and also spoke to existing franchise owners with regards to their experiences and received positive feedback. 'The great thing about Cash Generator is that throughout the whole process I did not feel under pressure to make a decision,' comments Alan. 'In fact it was down to me to contact them again if I wanted to go ahead and invest.'

Before the launch of his franchise, Alan attended the eight-week NVQ-approved training course at head office, which covered every aspect of running the business including time spent on an existing store's shop floor, first as an employee, then in the last week as a manager. In terms of support there is always someone on the end of the phone if he has any problems.

'Business is going really well,' enthuses Alan. 'We have definitely noticed more footfall in our store since the UK went into recession because we provide services and goods that are popular in most economic conditions. My business is ahead of target and I am already earning more than I did in the Army - so another store is definitely on the cards. My family life has also improved as I now have the weekends and evenings free to spend with them. My one regret is not investing in a Cash Generator franchise sooner.'

Reported by Jess Sturman