The universal soldier

John Hollins’ varied career had seen him transcend a range of different sectors but it was with CeX that he found an enjoyable career with a bright future. The Franchise Magazine explores how a CeX opportunity proved the perfect business to settle down in for a seemingly innately restless entrepreneur.

John has an intriguing CV; he started out in the Armed Forces before taking over the running of a large hotel. His variety of experience therefore lends itself well to the demands of owning a business. John says: “It was important to me that I could have the independence of running my own business and being responsible for my own destiny.

He began looking at various franchise opportunities on the market and eventually came across CeX and liked what he saw. “I saw CeX as a well organised business that knew its market and its customers,” he continues. “I was fascinated at the queues of customers in the stores I visited. It was reassuring to me that they ran their franchise stores seamlessly alongside their company owned stores, and that if I followed their business model I could share in their global brand success.”

It was 2008 when John became a CeX franchise owner and his business has blossomed under his guidance with the constant support of head office, which John uses as and when he needs it. John adds: “I have just opened my fourth store in the North East. Becoming a multi-site franchise owner has enabled me to manage the growth in a more strategic way. I now employ my own Managers that work for me that I can trust to run things to CeX’s standards while I am at another store.”

As with any franchise opportunity, raising the capital for a CeX franchise requires planning; for John, CeX provided assistance throughout: “I’ve had support from my bank who have helped to finance my business growth,” John adds. “CeX has given me detailed financial advice at every key stage of the process and has offered me specialised assistance, should I have needed it. Perhaps most importantly, they have encouraged me to make sound long-term business decisions.

“It’s enabled me to develop a successful group of businesses in a brand that I have confidence in,” answers John when asked about the impact CeX has had on his life. “I can organise my work routine around a timetable that suits my family and I, which is very important to me.”

Looking to the future, John has just opened up his fourth store and is currently concentrating his efforts on getting this establishment up and running before looking to expand further. He is, therefore, well placed to conclude with this advice for interested investors: “Do your research, talk to the Franchise Managers and understand the responsibilities involved. Do something that you will enjoy and you can see yourself being successful at. I, thankfully, have found that for myself in CeX.”