Davinia Box, Northwood, Milton Keynes and Bedford

"I want to ensure we exceed our £2 million turnover"

Following the acquisition of a second territory based in Bedford, Northwood franchise partners Davinia Box and Steve Frost are looking to consolidate their two territories and increase their annual turnover by 10 per cent. "Steve became the first Northwood franchise owner in August 2000 when he purchased the Milton Keynes franchise," recalls Davinia.

"Initially Steve employed me to help with the administration side of the business. Over the years however, my role evolved to Lettings Manager and then finally, I joined him as a director of the company. Now I manage the day-to-day running of the business while Steve focuses on the marketing and development side of the business.

"I really enjoy running the business with Steve because the work is varied so there is never a dull day. The best thing about being your own boss is being able to maintain a good work/life balance - we make sure we always have Sundays off and rarely work late, that way we can keep our work and personal lives separate.

"Over the years Northwood has invested a lot of time and money into improving its franchise package. Its support is second to none - if we have a query regarding the Platinum Property scheme or anything else for that matter, all we have to do is contact head office.

"As we have just opened a second office and with 300 properties on the books in Milton Keynes and Bedford, extended holidays are out of the question for me this year as I want to continue building the business and ensure we exceed our £2 million annual turnover. I am more than happy to forgo long holidays now if it means once the business is established across both territories I can take a less hands-on approach. Although I do not have any dependents, I can certainly see why mothers looking to go back into work become franchise owners as when you work and how much you earn is down to you."