Mother and daughter team have built a thriving Northwood business

Since launching their Northwood franchise in 2002 Patricia and her daughter Nikki have built it into a thriving business

Single mum Nikki and her mum Patricia have grown their Northwood business from just the two of them in the office to having a team of six employees. "It's a fantastic thriving business," Nikki reveals. "We have about 170 landlords on our books and the Northwood Platinum Guaranteed Rental Scheme is a unique selling point that appeals to landlords. 70 per cent of our landlords are on this scheme."

Not only has Northwood allowed Nikki and Patricia to establish a successful business, but the franchise has also fitted in well with Nikki having a baby. "When I had my baby I was off for about eight weeks and when I came back to work it was for only two and a half days a week, which I wouldn't have been able to do in my previous job," Nikki explains. "Now when I'm in the office my mum is off looking after my daughter, so it means that I don't have to have a stranger taking care of my child."

Nikki previously worked in sales and it was while working at a radio station selling advertising that she came across the Northwood franchise opportunity. "I met Andy Goodson, the founder of Northwood, while working at the radio station when he came in to discuss an advertising campaign," she remembers. "I told my mum, who was going to be made redundant from her job as a technical engineer, about the opportunity and we had a meeting where we decided to set up a Northwood franchise together. As I was only 21 at the time my mum initially launched the business on her own, with the plan that I would join later. Three years after the launch, in 2005, I joined the business.

"We found it quite difficult in the first couple of years of running our business, however with the 100 per cent support we had from the Northwood franchise office and gaining more experience we turned the business around. The business is fantastic now and we have made break-even.

"It is not just the financial aspect that is great but also the flexibility it provides. If my daughter is ill or needs picking up from school, between me and my mum one of us can stay at home with her while the other can carry on running the business. As well as this we have a good team of staff in the office who have been with us for a few years and they know the business inside out. We have also installed a computer system, which is great as I can dial in from home and do everything I could do in the office."

Now that their business is in a strong position, Nikki and Patricia are keen to expand it further. "We want to grow the business, but at a rate that we can manage," Nikki says. "In February we re-launch the sales side of the business, which we used to do but stopped last year. Along with the sales we want to continue to steadily increase our lettings and we are targeting to have 200 rental properties."