Ken Young - Q&A: 'Every day is different'

Jaguar Couriers Managing Director Dave Cheeseman answers Ken Young's questions

Ken Young: Could you define the courier industry?

Dave Cheeseman: Courier is the top end of the distribution industry. The service has to be high quality and fast. It involves the direct movement of goods from one location to another, usually on a same day delivery basis.

KY: What sort of goods are couriered?

DC: A wide variety of items need a courier service, but what they all have in common is that they are required urgently. For this reason the customer is willing to pay a premium rate. For example we could be talking about a machine part needed to repair a production line or a tender document for an important contract.

KY: How long have you personally been involved in the business?

DC: I started work as a biker delivering for other carriers but quickly decided that I would prefer to be my own boss - so it was in 1994 that I launched Jaguar Couriers based in Telford. The company went limited in 1996.

KY: When and why did you decide to franchise the business?

DC: I had in mind to franchise the business from its very early days but needed to wait until every aspect of the system had been thoroughly tested and proved. The courier industry is very fragmented and I realised that there would be great advantages in creating a high quality national network. Two years ago I decided that the time was right and I sought expert help.

KY: How did you find the help you needed to franchise?

DC: We talked to a number of franchise consultants and chose FDS Midlands because we felt confident they had the necessary experience and ability.

KY: What was involved in the preparation for franchising?

DC: Preparing for franchising involved much more than I had anticipated. In essence, we needed to analyse all the elements that made Jaguar Couriers so successful and ensure that each one of these elements would be correctly reflected in the Franchise Package.

KY: When was the franchise launched?

DC: Jaguar Couriers was first offered as a franchise in December 2005.

KY: How many franchisees do you plan to launch and over how long?

DC: We intend to recruit 50 franchisees over the next three years. Being a logistics company, it is essential that we secure nationwide coverage in order to fully exploit all available synergies.

KY: How many franchises have you awarded so far?

DC: We have trained and launched our first three franchisees, which was our target for the first half year. In the remainder of the year we shall limit expansion to a further five franchises because we have to be absolutely certain that everyone is correctly trained and supported.

KY: What training and support do you offer to franchisees?

DC: We provide full initial training at our Telford Head Office which covers the three main areas of the business: sales, operations and finance. Ongoing training is then provided by the management team at a local level.

KY: How much is the investment for a Jaguar Couriers franchise and what does the package include?

DC: The current price for the Franchise Package is £17,500 plus VAT. This includes all training with hotel accommodation, computer, signage for premises, an initial launch package, marketing materials, business stationery and the first three months' lease of a fully liveried vehicle.

KY: Finally, what is it that you and your team enjoy so much about the courier business?

DC: With Jaguar Couriers every day is different - it is all about finding the best solutions for customers' requirements. To do this we must understand our customers' businesses and work closely with them at every stage of the process. This can sometimes be very demanding but it is always extremely satisfying!