Furniture Medic: 'No Day is the Same'

Combining business acumen with creative flair has provided Furniture Medic franchisee Richard Audsley with a business he loves. Adam Browning interviews

'The business concept has been developed over 15 years to provide low overheads, great profit margins and repeat business,' reports ServiceMaster Franchise Sales Director Ken Dennis.

'It can be run from home by anyone with good DIY, woodworking, upholstery or polishing skills, who will benefit from leads taken in our call centre by our central sales team. Furniture Medic franchisees provide a professional service to catalogue furniture providers, manufacturers, importers, retailers and the general public using environmentally friendly products.' Offering onsite furniture repairs and restoration with Furniture Medic immediately appealed to woodwork enthusiast Richard Audsley. With a varied background that included working in construction and IT, Richard says he always had a passion for DIY since working in his father's cabinetmaking business as a child.

After being made redundant, Richard says he was forced to ask himself what to do next. 'My first instinct was to work for myself,' he reveals. 'When I chanced upon Furniture Medic, I knew straight away that it would be the opportunity for me. I researched the franchise, as well as ServiceMaster, and found it to be a business I knew I could make work. In speaking with other franchisees my thoughts that my future lay with Furniture Medic were confirmed.'

With two weeks' intensive training, franchisees benefit from a course that covers all the technical aspects of the business. Even though Richard had prior experience of restoring furniture he reveals he was glad to re-learn many techniques in close detail. 'I was pleased to receive training that focuses on the many aspects of running a business,' he adds. 'I've never been my own boss before but the training has ensured that my business runs as smoothly as possible.'

Launching over seven years ago, Richard recalls that the nerves of getting started soon disappeared. 'The franchise has a great reputation and for good reason,' he says. 'Backed by ServiceMaster, Furniture Medic works hard to help its franchisees. I've since found that there's also a great network between the franchisees themselves. Everyone is willing to help each other.'

Based in Ascot, Richard's business has been assisted by the national accounts secured by Furniture Medic. 'I can count some big names in retail as my customers,' he reveals, 'which has been great in supplementing my own canvassing.'

Enjoying the independence and variety of his business, Richard is delighted that Furniture Medic has given him the opportunity to turn his hobby into his work. 'I'd strongly recommend this franchise to those with the right abilities,' enthuses Richard. 'I love using my skills to help others restore their treasured possessions. The work is extremely rewarding and you're able to see the results of your hard work. It's wonderful if you're a people person - no day is the same.'