Q&A with Molly Maid franchise owners,siblings Emma and Philip Holt

Q: Where did you pick up your copy of The Franchise Magazine?

Emma: I purchased the April/May (2006) edition of the magazine from W H Smiths. A friend had recently opened a Subway franchise so that gave me the idea to start looking at franchises.

Q: What made the MOLLY MAID profile stand out?
E:
"It is very professional and well branded. When I spoke to MOLLY MAID over the phone they came across as a lot more professional than the other companies I had spoken to."

Q: What was your initial impression of the MOLLY MAID management?
E:
They were very professional but friendly and welcoming. The team was very helpful and answered all of our questions.

Q: What territory do you own and what are your targets for the business?
E:
My brother Phil and I launched our franchise in October 2006. The main area of our territory includes Southport and surrounding areas stretching to the edge of Wigan. Our targets from a business point of view are to make Molly Maid an established, respected and professional brand with continuous growth by maintaining our customers with a high quality and reliable service.

Q: What was your previous occupation and was it easy to make the transition to franchise owner?
E:
I owned a cosmetics retail shop in the centre of Southport so the transition was easier. Phil had been a student, studying computing at college. He had already worked in our family's businesses in the past, although becoming his own boss was a new learning curve.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being your own boss?
E:
I enjoy having more control over the direction of the business. It is also rewarding when a job is done well and because Phil and I operate the business together, there is more flexibility around when we have free time. Because it is not a nine-to-five job you have the flexibility to put the extra hours in when you want to.

Q: Have you been able to reward yourself now that you are your own boss?
E:
At the moment we are committed to maintaining and growing our business. While we have had the odd holiday, we have not splashed out on anything exciting.

Q: What are your interests outside running your business?
E:
My partner and I have recently bought a VW Campervan, which has had a lot of use over summer! I also enjoy a variety of music and concerts - for example I saw U2 in Cardiff recently. Phil's new hobby is going to the gym. He also enjoys playing and watching football, watching movies and socialising with his friends.

Q: Who are your heroes in the business world?
E:
Our grandparents, who started their own business on a market stall and taught us not to be afraid of hard work. Our grandmother's saying was: "Work will never kill you, but the thought of it will."

Q: When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
E:
As a young child, a racing car driver - my dad influenced me because he had a few classic cars. Phil wanted to be a professional footballer, but soon realised this would not work out as he has two left feet!

Q: What qualities do you think you need to be successful in business?
E:
You can't always guarantee success but if you are dedicated and hard working, have patience and a sense of humour you will be on the right track.