My Future in Franchising

After setting up and running a logistics business in South Africa for five years, Peter and Anna Wyss decided to resettle in the UK. As a completely new start, the couple thought about becoming employed again but as Peter admits: "After working for yourself for a few years it would be quite difficult to work for a boss again!"

This thinking led them to consider starting up a new company but, with few business contacts in the country, they realised that this could turn out to be a lengthy and difficult challenge. 'We started to think of franchising and in speaking to a number of franchisees it dawned on us that this was the route for us,' explains Peter.

The coupled attended the National Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham and this was where they first discovered the restoration franchise Rainbow International. 'We had a good talk with the franchisor and it was apparent that this was a solid business with a proven concept,' reveals Peter. 'To us, the potential success of a business was the most important aspect over anything else and we could see plenty of potential in Rainbow. The appeal was that, to us, Rainbow had the best system with a sound support structure in an endurable and secure industry.'

Their launch in March 2005 was preceded with a three-week period of intensive training but, Peter confirms, that the real learning happens out in the field: 'I think that's where Rainbow's strength is - you can call them anytime from anywhere and they will guide you through the job until you reach a comfortable level. Regular regional meetings also serve as a constructive forum for learning how to make the most of your business.'

Just over one year in, their Chigwell business has already acquired its third van and is currently going through a recruitment drive. 'I'm looking to double my turnover and get my fourth van by the end of the year,' asserts Peter. 'Although this may seem ambitious, you're never going to get anywhere unless you set your sights high!'