Justin Holloway, Prokill, Swindon

Prokill is a recession-proof investment

Formerly a VP of Sales & Marketing for a North American company, I began to crave more control over my destiny and decided to take a sabbatical to review my options. Although I did not set out to invest in a franchise, while researching a new career path online I came across a franchise website where an advert for Prokill caught my eye. I was struck by the great investment opportunity afforded by the franchisor and decided to take a closer look.

The initial appeal was the proven business model, the recession-proof nature of the opportunity, naturally limited competition and the opportunity to leverage my prevailing business development skills in developing long term customer relationships and contracts. Prokill is a recession-proof investment because people will happily pay to get rid of pests in any economic climate. In particular businesses within the food industry, as the expense of removing the pests will be less than the cost to their livelihoods, if word got out that they had a pest infestation.

After a confidence building discussion with the Prokill founders and existing franchisees my wife Alexandra and I had the confidence to invest and our franchise was launched in November 2007 embracing Swindon, Cirencester, Oxford and Didcot. The build up to the launch involved a six-week training course that covers theory and in-field exercises for the safe control and exclusion of pests including rodents, insects and birds.

As part of the requirements to run my franchise I had to sit and pass the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health Level II exam, which ensures franchisees looking to enter the pest prevention industry have the right knowledge and skills to be able to deal with pests effectively. It also ensures that you do so with regard to all safety legislation. It, along with many other valuable accreditations the course delivers, demonstrates to customers you are qualified and competent to deliver whatever solution they may require. I understand that Prokill has achieved the highest pass rates in the RSPH exams with one of my colleagues being awarded recognition as the highest scoring individual in the country - testament to the thoroughness of Prokill's training course.

Establishing the business has been hard work and I willingly invest a lot of time and effort in growing our customer base. However, as my own boss I know that the more time and energy I invest now, the bigger my rewards will be later, which is a big incentive. I really enjoy running my Prokill franchise - every day is different and because we deal with a variety of pests and range of problems I never get bored. With a £100,000 first year turnover in sight (even before I appoint staff) I have high hopes for the future.