“FDS helped us grow into a national success”

Tony Williams, Managing Director at Countrywide Signs, describes how, with the assistance of Franchise Consultant Paul Hague, he expanded his management franchise into a nationwide success.

When Countrywide Signs began 14 years ago, we had plenty of experience as franchise owners, but knew nothing about how to become franchisors or how to expand our business. However, we did know that in order to efficiently and successfully develop our business we would need to seek professional advice from an experienced franchise consultant.

It was in 1998, at The National Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham, where I discovered Franchise Development Services (FDS) and met Managing Director, Roy Seaman.

After an in depth discussion about our long-term goals and objectives, he suggested we present our franchise as a managerial opportunity as opposed to a man with a van business. Eager to get the ball rolling, Roy quickly put me in touch with FDS consultant, Paul Hague.

The professional and efficient service that Paul provided was very impressive. It was immediately apparent Paul had an extensive and thorough knowledge of the franchise industry, which gave us a great deal of confidence in the development of our own brand.

We worked closely with Paul for 12 months, steadily building the foundation of our franchise and implementing his advice. Consequently, Paul soon had our business heading in the right direction. Following the business plan, which Paul originally set out for Countrywide Signs, we successfully endured the worst of the recession and have continued to steadily expand our franchise throughout the UK and Ireland.

We are now seriously looking at other countries where we can develop our franchised brand to enable us to become a truly international company. Since the launch of Countrywide Signs, Paul has continued to provide brilliant advice and support and, with his assistance, we have grown into a national success.

Today, Countrywide Signs is a full bfa member franchise with an impressive network consisting of 60 franchise owners throughout the UK and Ireland, Master Franchise rights for the Republic of Ireland and over 130 vans on the road. I cannot imagine how we could have achieved the success we have without having the benefit of Paul’s extensive industry knowledge.

I would advise anyone looking to franchise their business to use Paul Hague at FDS without hesitation.