Richard Bradshaw, franchisee at Driver Hire Guildford, was a 'highly commended' finalist in the 'Franchisee of the Year' category at the 2017 'Startups' awards.

The results were announced shortly before Christmas. Established in 2004 by startups.co.uk, the awards celebrate inspiring, exciting new businesses launched within the last four years. 2017 saw a record number of entries with 77 finalists competing in 16 categories.

Awards' judges include beauty entrepreneur Liz Earle MBE, Dragon's Den investor Touker Suleyman and Paul Lindley, founder of Ella's Kitchen. The overall winner was Hannah Drury, franchisee of Caremark (Sutton), a provider of domiciliary services.

Part of a nationwide network of franchised offices, Driver Hire Guildford provides temporary and permanent drivers and other logistics staff to both local and national businesses. Its services help customers when they need extra staff to deal with holidays, illness, peak trading periods or business expansion.

Before buying his Driver Hire franchise, Richard Bradshaw spent the previous decade working in the hospitality industry in Florida. He moved back to the UK with his family in 2013 and bought Driver Hire Guildford in 2014. As his 'Startups' success suggests he got away to a flying start, rapidly increasing both turnover and profitability.

"I decided to buy the Driver Hire Guildford business because I felt there was huge untapped potential in the area," says Richard. "This has been vindicated as my growth story is continuing. The business is very much on course for another record financial year with turnover currently 10% up. Of course, as with any successful business, it comes down to the hard work and dedication of the owner. But I must add my thanks to Driver Hire, whose support throughout has been exemplary."

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