Franchisee Zuber Patel, Huddersfield
I had been working in the family newsagents business for 12 years so working for myself was not a new concept. I made the transition to CeX when I was forced to close down my Leeds based newsagents shop after the lease had expired and could not be extended. I sought a new challenge in a diverse market with a large customer base that could be put on the high street and CeX fitted the criteria.
With seven main product lines ranging from DVDs, Video Games, Computing to Electronics, Mobile Phones, Vision and Music CDs, CeX stocks brand new and second hand entertainment that appeals to all ages and budgets. I knew the concept worked because not far from my old newsagents business there was a CeX store. Walking past I was always amazed at the number of customers and the length of the queues.
After a meeting with CeX's Franchise Co-ordinator Hugh Man I decided the investment was right for me and signed the franchise agreement. I launched my Huddersfield based franchise in May this year. Although I am an experienced business owner, the thought of using a proven business model, the franchisor's product knowledge and having support to hand was appealing, especially as I had no prior experience of the entertainment market.
By the time my store launched I felt confident in my ability to manage and run it thanks to the initial training programme. I had three weeks of training, which covered shop floor experience, management training and the store opening. The benefit of being part of the franchisee network is knowing you are not completely on your own - other franchisees are facing or have faced similar problems and we all help each other.
Launching a store is hard work, in order to get the business up and running effectively I was working 18 hours a day to get the store open as quickly as possible. However, I am more than happy to put in the hours now in order to reap the rewards of the business in the future, when I hope to have more time to spend with my wife and be in a position to treat us to holidays.
In terms of turnover it's early days, but with £17,000 in my second week, I hope to exceed £20,000 in a few weeks and be on target for my £1 million first year turnover. I enjoy running the CeX franchise because I have a great team working for me and I have the opportunity to meet a wide range of customers.
From a business point of view, I am interested in expanding the business in the near future and having the scope for multiple unit ownership within my territory is exciting. My long-term goal is to build up the business to the point where my team manages the day-to-day running of the store.
Interview: Jess Sturman