Be the Master of your own Destiny Countrywide Signs franchise is 'highly recommended'

A decade on from launching their business and franchisees Martin and Angela Attwood are thriving, with their Countrywide Signs franchise generating a six-figure turnover

The downturn in the housing market has not affected business for Countrywide Signs franchisees Martin and Angela Attwood (pictured right). Since the couple launched their Newmarket-based franchise in July 1998 the business has experienced year-on-year growth and in 2007 the couple enjoyed a turnover of £150,000.

With the estate agents' demand for the supply, erection and maintenance of 'For Sale' signs unfaltering, Martin and Angela are confident they will reach their targets outlined for this year. 'We decided to invest in a franchise when we moved from London to the Newmarket area,' reflects Martin. 'Initially I intended to continue running the landscaping business I had established in London. However, I soon realised that there was not the market for this service in Newmarket and so researched different business ventures.

'The notion of franchising appealed because we believed joining a national brand would enable us to establish and grow a new business quickly. Countrywide Signs caught my eye in The Franchise Magazine because as a van-based 'For Sale' sign supply, erection and maintenance company I would have the freedom to continue working outside. The fact the company is a full British Franchise Association member was also attractive.'

After meeting the management team Martin and Angela launched their franchise. As part of the franchise package they were put on a nine-day training course, which covered the theory, practice and marketing aspects of running the business. Since then, the couple has received ongoing training as the business has moved forward in terms of new products, systems and ideas.

Martin and Angela also have access to a support network. 'The support is excellent,' enthuses Martin. 'The franchise team has three departments: sales, operations/IT and administration who are always on the other end of the phone if you need them. I have found the IT systems beneficial because they allow clients to send work directly to my computer and sort out my job sheets and invoicing automatically. While I am a firm believer that you get out of life what you put in, the Countrywide Signs franchise team are working hard behind the scenes to benefit all 56 franchisees' businesses within the network.

'Running your own business is satisfying both in terms of income and knowing you are in control of your destiny. I love the fact my wife and I have built up the business to the point where we can support our family comfortably. We have a nice car and are in a position to offer our children a better lifestyle. I would highly recommend a Countrywide Signs franchise to anyone who enjoys working outdoors and wants to be the master of their own destiny.'

With two vans on the road generating their present income, Martin and Angela plan to become more involved in other aspects of signage over the next 12 months especially within the growing commercial market.