Ken Young talks to Terry Mullen
Ken Young, of FDS Midlands, talks to Terry Mullen, Marketing Director at Revive!
Ken Young: Why did you start Revive! and how has franchising helped the growth of your business?
Terry Mullen: Revive! started in July 2004 and has grown to a network of more than 70 franchise owners operating over 100 vans across the UK. Our head office is in Rugby so with franchise owners situated as far away as Inverness and Portsmouth, management of employees would prove quite a headache. Instead we have grown in partnership with franchise owners who share a passion for our brand as well as our vision for top class service.
Ken Young: Has the current economic climate affected your business in any way?
Terry Mullen: The current economic climate has brought its challenges but there is always work out there for good businessmen. Tightening of the car dealership market – our primary customer base – has made us work even harder at being the best in what we do and has also encouraged us to open up other markets, such as fleet customers, who may not have been aware of our service in the past.
Ken Young: In what ways has the Revive! franchise model evolved over the years and for what reasons?
Terry Mullen: We have always wanted franchise owners to become businessmen rather than just painters, so we set out our stall from the start to offer very large territories that allowed the opportunity for growth.
We are, I believe, becoming better at getting this message across and have worked hard to develop our system so that our franchise owners have an excellent blueprint to follow.
The upshot of our hard work and investment in the brand is that we have a fabulous network of franchise owners, who we are proud of and who work in partnership with us to continue to develop the Revive! brand.
The proof can be seen in the fact that at our seventh Annual Conference, the turnout was 97 per cent which, while not a complete surprise, was a lovely compliment.
Ken Young: What advice would you give to someone looking to invest in a Revive! franchise?
Terry Mullen: Look closely at what we do, how we do it and where we want to be in the future – then ask yourself what are your own aspirations?
Franchising is a long-term partnership and you have to believe in the brand you are buying into and want to work in partnership to help the brand reach its goals.
Ken Young: What kind of person do you look for when recruiting franchise owners?
Terry Mullen: Good communicators who have the interpersonal skills to build relationships with their customers.
Franchise owners must be ambitious with the desire to become managers of a business not just a ‘man in a van’, and must share our passion to be the best in our field.
Ken Young: How would you summarise the back-up and support services that you provide to your franchise owners?
Terry Mullen: Revive! won the HSBC sponsored-award for ‘Franchisee Support’ in last year’s bfa Awards, which was a wonderful endorsement for the hard work all of our team put in to support our network.
We support our franchise owners at each stage of their business right from the initial launch, where we help get them a foothold in their local market. We then assist in each stage of their business growth and guide them through establishing their business and then taking on employees.
On a national level, we are constantly building up customer faith in our brand and have developed a solid national account customer base, which we hope to expand over the coming years. This means that, as well as their local work, franchise owners are supplied with extra leads from head office.
Ken Young: What are your key objectives in terms of development for the next five years?
Terry Mullen: We are looking to double our franchise network from 70 to 140 but on top of this, we expect franchise owners to grow their own team of employees giving us a national network of over 400 vans.