O2: A leading brand in the mobile phone industry
By becoming a franchisee with a nationally recognised high street brand, Neil O'Boyle owns a business that is not only enjoyable to operate, but also expanding rapidly
Text: Derin Ibrahim
Within the first year of trading many franchisees are focused on building up their first location and growing their business is a future plan. However in less than a year O2 franchisee Neil O'Boyle has already opened three stores. This success is partly down to O2 being one of the most well known brands within the mobile communications industry, Neil explains. 'O2 first appealed to me because it is a market leader and it is at the top of its game. This is the first mobile communications business in the UK to offer franchises, which has enabled the company to grow rapidly. As well as this on the high street O2 is seen as a trusted and open brand that makes sure its customers are looked after.'
Before joining the O2 franchise Neil previously worked within the mobile communications industry, however when he became disillusioned with the roles he was being offered he decided to look into franchising. 'I had always wanted to run my own business and I chose to join a franchise as you get support from the company,' reveals Neil. 'Setting up your own business is daunting so its good to know that there is always help at the end of the phone.'
Although Neil had experience of working within the mobile communication industry he still went through the O2 training programme prior to opening his first store in May 2007. 'The training included spending time in an O2 store and one week at the O2 training centre in London, which covered all aspects from what the O2 brand represents to the every day running of the franchise,' he remembers. 'When I first opened my store I needed a lot of support and as well as having a personal support manager I always knew there was someone at the end of the phone whenever I needed help.'
As well as providing Neil with a successful business the O2 franchise is also enabling him to do a job that he loves. 'I still enjoy meeting new people and interacting with the customers by spending time on the shop floor,' says Neil. 'With this business I get the opportunity to do something that I love doing.
'The great thing about my franchise is that it feels like a small company within a big brand. My staff care a lot more about their jobs because they know they are working for a person and not just a brand. In the future I want to grow to five or six stores however at the moment, as this industry is constantly changing, I'm taking each day as it comes.'
'The first month was fantastic and exceeded expectations. But we couldn't have done it without the training and support from O2 - we couldn't have asked for more. The training was for six weeks in one of the local branches, which was invaluable. When the business opened we had full-time support for the first four weeks and now have access to experts in operations, marketing and IT.
Franchisees are delivering excellence within the business model because of their hands-on approach, local market knowledge and eye for detail. We can deliver customer service excellence, as demonstrated by our first mystery shop of 98 per cent. We're already working with O2 to identify premises for our second store and there may even be a third. We're thoroughly enjoying it.'
Gordon & Yvonne Smith, Irvine, Ayrshire (pictured top
'O2 treat you from the word 'go' as if you've never dealt with the general public. They teach you the sales process which involves finding out what customers want rather that telling customers what we think will suit them. We then demonstrate the hardware to them so they can make up their own mind. We're over the moon. O2 have delivered everything they said they would and more. We're really looking forward to making our business a success.'
Andrew & John Russel, Bangor
Make O2 your business
O2 is one of the UK's best loved brands and the leading mobile operator.
If you are looking to start up your own business, O2 Franchise offers an outstanding chance to share in our success.
There are a wide range of opportunities in London, the South, the North East, and Scotland.