Be one step ahead of the competition & save £5,000

Netstationers franchise owner Ross Edmonds has built a substantial business in two years by introducing staff sales incentives and using the comprehensive head office support

With his business experiencing month-on-month growth and a £1.5 million annual turnover in sight, Netstationers franchise owner Ross Edmonds is ecstatic. "My ongoing success is due to the fantastic back up from head office and my team's hard work," says Ross. "Head office takes care of the invoicing and credit control, holds the stock and delivers the goods straight to the client. This means my team and I can focus on winning the business and retaining the custom.

"The market is now highly competitive because of the recession. For every client we meet, we are up against at least six other companies. However, our USP - the online ordering technology - puts us one step ahead of the competition, 90 per cent of my customers order online and the service sells itself!

"The fact I have introduced a new sales incentive for my staff ensures they remain motivated. For every sales target smashed, I take the team out for the day. Earlier this year we went out for a meal and if we smash the next target I have promised an outdoor activity such as go-karting or clay pigeon shooting, which are both great team building exercises. If my business keeps growing the way it is, I am confident we will push up sales to £2 million next year."

Ross joined Netstationers in February 2007 armed with a wealth of experience as a sales executive and an ambition to build his own profitable business. "I had come across Netstationers on several occasions and had always been impressed by how professionally they conducted themselves," he remarks. "Netstationers appealed because they are technologically advanced - they were the first company to take stationery ordering online and since then have always seemed to be one step ahead of the rest of the market."

Established in February 2000, Netstationers was the first online office supply company in the UK. It began franchising in 2003 and to date has 30 franchise partners nationwide. The company is looking for prospective franchise owners who have either a professional business or sales background.

All franchise owners have access to an initial classroom-based training programme and ongoing in-field training and support as part of the franchise package. "The extensive training and support programme on offer to franchise owners is impressive," comments Ross. "As I was investing a substantial amount of money it was important to know that I would not be abandoned once the cheque was signed - knowing I have backup every step of the way has given me confidence."

In his first year as a franchise owner Ross recruited two members of staff and experienced substantial growth, which was acknowledged when he was presented with the Netstationers' Partner of the Year award. Ross says: "I was overwhelmed when they called my name out at the ceremony. It was real recognition of my hard work, drive and success in bringing in lots of business.

"I absolutely love what I do and can see myself doing this for the next 20 years. One of the great things about being your own boss is being in control of your timetable, especially now that I am a dad. It means I am now able to easily work around any family commitments. Long term, my plan is to build up the business until it is a valuable asset, sell it, then retire at 50 and live out my retirement in California."

SAVE £5,000

If you're looking to get into business for yourself with a Netstationers franchise, you have the opportunity to save yourself 17% off the initial investment, that's a saving of £5,000. Netstationers has introduced a limited special offer for franchise owner prospects looking to join before the 31st October 2009, where the initial investment fee for a Netstationers franchise - normally £29,500 (plus working capital) - has been reduced to £24,500 for this period.

Interview by Jess Sturman