Tandi Gruenbaum, Pentagon, West Midlands

"Pentagon came across as a morally and ethically sound business... knowing I would be giving something back was very appealing."

Lacking the confidence to start her own business from scratch, Tandi Gruenbaum decided to invest in debt management franchise Pentagon. With a proven-track record spanning 13 years and access to an ongoing comprehensive support and training package Pentagon was the perfect choice for Tandi.

'I used to operate my own tax and consultancy business in South Africa,' recalls Tandi. 'However, I decided to move to the UK a few years ago and starting up another business completely on my own was out of the question as the country and everything about it was new to me. So I got a job as an online Energy Product Manager, but I soon grew restless and realised I missed being my own boss. I was also keen to regain control of my life - especially being able to work flexible hours and take holidays when I wanted to - and hated commuting to work, so I began researching ventures where I could work from home.

'Pentagon came across as a morally and ethically sound business. I liked the fact that Pentagon helps debt-riddled Britons manage their finances and where possible, devises affordable payback plans. The role of the franchise owners suited me - I liked the thought of making the initial contact with the prospective clients, meeting them in their homes and suggesting a way to resolve their financial situation. For me, knowing I would be giving something back was very appealing.'

After a meeting at head office with Pentagon Franchise Director Graham Dennis, Tandi has not looked back. 'Since taking on the West Midlands territory in November last year, I have managed to build up my business to the point where I am now working towards taking home the same salary I had when I was working, which is more than enough for me.

'The training and support has been brilliant - initially I went on a five-day training course at head office and after that I had a couple of months where a mentor would sit in on my appointments and advise me on the best way to tailor my advice given the individual's financial circumstances. Also included in the franchise package is access to a comprehensive database, where we log all of our prospective customers' details, and a marketing tool kit which includes flyers, letter templates and leaflets. The call centre provides ongoing support by generating initial appointments while a team of account managers and legal advisors are to hand to help if we have any queries. We also have the support of a regional business development manager and a regional business support manager.

'The great thing about Pentagon is that the amount you earn depends on how hard you work. I have control over my work/life balance and I am able to continue helping people within my territory.'