London House puts franchise owners on target for success

Two London House International franchise owners believe that coming from an Armed Forces background has given them the perfect foundation for success in business.

Commercial and financial investigations company, London House International, has proven to be a perfect fit for two of its franchise owners who were eager for an opportunity that offered a new kind of excitement while giving them the chance to utilise the skills they had acquired in the Armed Forces.

Former Marine Keith Palmer (pictured right, top) and his father-in-law Chris Woodward, are on target for a £130,000 turnover in their second year as franchise owners of London House’s Cleveland territory.

“London House is very different from the Forces,” explains Keith, who was with Royal Marines 42nd Commando Division for nearly three years before embarking on nine years with the elite Special Boat Services, with who he attained the living record for ‘Black Ops’ having successfully completed 17 covert missions.

“The adrenaline rush of my time in the Forces gave me a strong sense of discipline, how to use a methodological approach and be flexible to overcome any obstacles to reach a goal. You learn that if things get tough, you have to be tougher.”

Upon leaving the military, Keith was managing 20 engineers when he found out about London House, from a close friend who was the Cleveland franchise owner at the time.

“He needed another pair of hands to help with the business so I joined as a field agent and discovered I loved the work,” says Keith. “When the business came up for sale, Chris had just been made redundant, so we decided to join forces to buy it as we both saw what great potential it has.”

Both Keith and Chris are now planning on treating themselves to well-earned holidays and spending time with their families.

“It is hard work but it is also hugely enjoyable,” adds Keith. “Like my time in the Army, no two days are ever the same and that’s what makes life as a London House franchise owner so rewarding.” Another London House franchise owner who has used his military background to his advantage is Ray Bushell, who first undertook investigative work while serving in the Army.

Ray’s (pictured right, bottom) London House franchise has proved so successful that he had to move his operation to a new office in the heart of professional Exeter in June.

“My military training gave me the drive, determination and self-discipline to be organised, which is vital to running your own business. So, when I left the Army after 23 years, I always knew I wanted to work for myself and franchising offered the best of both worlds – you benefit from an established company’s expertise and support but also have the freedom to build your business how you want.

“London House stood out for the variety of work it offered and, after visiting their head office I was impressed by its founders Godfrey Lancashire and Brian Hughes. They encouraged me to contact other franchise owners and the feedback I received was so positive I knew joining London House was what I wanted.”

Although Ray had experience carrying out fraud investigations when he was in the Army, he emphasises that you don’t need any previous experience in the field.

“I believe the main criteria for being a successful London House franchise owner are to have good common sense and excellent people skills as you have to work with all manner of people in a variety of situations. The two weeks of training you receive is very comprehensive, while the support from head office and the entire network really is second-to-none.”

With the move to his new office and having to employ a member of staff such is the demand for his London House services, Ray now intends on developing his territory to its full potential. “My problem is not getting the jobs, but not being able to take on more business,” he beams.

Reported by Fraser McKay