Jamie Playle was a stockbroker for “far too long” and always yearned for more control of his working life. Having looked at a number of franchised businesses, CeX fitted his ambitions perfectly. Gareth Samuel explores how investing in the wildly popular gadget franchise has so far been the decision of Jamie’s life.
Before Jamie invested in his CeX branches in Dartford and Chelmsford, European Equity Trading was his life: “I loved it and hated it – the hours were too long,” he explains. “As long as the commissions kept rolling in, that’s all the bosses cared about. I did not identify with the way that equity trading is executed, it has been taken over by machines.”
Jamie had decided that it was time for a change and began researching the franchise market. He adds: “I asked myself ‘Why spend years trying to succeed when you can benefit from a business that has been proven?’ I have investigated franchised businesses for years and CeX is the first and only company that ticked all the boxes. They are professional yet relaxed with a very open approach.” Jamie was looking for a business with good margins and strong support that would give him an enjoyable lifestyle. “I first came across CeX in Basildon,” he recalls: “The store was always busier than other stores. The staff were happy and motivated and I loved the concept. I couldn’t believe my luck when I discovered CeX offered franchises.”
His appetite was whetted, but when he dug a little deeper into what exactly CeX offered potential investors, he was overwhelmed: “The completely candid approach by CeX accelerated my decision to commit. Everything you need to know is there on a plate to see – model profit and loss accounts for different sized stores, all store actual data from sales, rents, store sizes and profits. The commitment from CeX to support you ensures your success.”
After registering his interest he embarked on a ‘four-day 360 interview process,’ which allows interested franchise owners to immerse themselves in the operational procedure of CeX, to see if it is for them. Jamie continues: “Next is a store placement position for a minimum of 400 hours. During this time you have access to various training courses, which proved invaluable. The training offered is ace. The Head of Training tries his utmost to fit in with your schedule and location rather than the other way around.”
Since he made his investment, Jamie has enjoyed rapid progression. “It is easier than I thought it would be,” Jamie adds. “Initially I worked seven days a week but the combination of CeX’s efficient systems and managing staff meant I soon had a good work/life balance. I now have two stores so it is all hands to the pumps again.”
He is positively glowing in his praise of CeX’s comprehensive business plan and the effect it has had on his life. He concludes: “It has improved my lifestyle and I don’t have to wear a suit to work ever again. During my career in the city, I felt I had limited control of my destiny. Now I am completely in control. I love everything about it.”