Enjoy the financial rewards of a seven figure turnover

Investing in the Recognition Express franchise has enabled franchisee Paul Mitchell to finance holidays of a lifetime

Former airline cabin crewmember Paul Mitchell is now enjoying the financial rewards of being his own boss after working under the guidance of Recognition Express. Paul invested in his franchise 28 years ago and over the years has built up the business from a small home-based badge printing franchise to a thriving business with a £1.3 million annual turnover.

He now operates the largest manufacturing facilities in the UK franchise network and helps his peers with their manufacturing needs. The development of his business has enabled Paul and his wife a better quality of life and more than one 'holiday of a lifetime', including an African safari, a month on a cowboy ranch in Arizona, following the Inca trail to Machu Pichu and numerous trips to Europe and USA.

'I first came across business-to-business franchise Recognition Express in America when I was working as aircrew,' reflects Paul. 'Back then the brand was known as BadgeMan and it was re-branded as Recognition Express a few years later. When it re-branded it also increased its income streams so its franchisees were able to manufacture and supply an array of personalised or corporate branded products. I had always wanted to work for myself but lacked the relevant experience, skills and money to start up a business completely on my own.

'I was attracted to Recognition Express because I have always been interested in the print and manufacturing industry and I liked the fact I could initially operate the business from the comfort of my own home. I owe my success so far to the tried and tested business model, the ability to work under a well-known corporate identity and my fantastic staff who have been behind me every step of the way and who have looked after the operation when I have been out of the country.

'My business has already survived one recession and I am confident that it will survive the current economic downturn. This is because my franchise manufactures and supplies promotional products that are needed by consumer-facing businesses and even public sector jobs. These businesses will still need name badges printing and the fact that I am able to print a design or logo onto something as small and as cheap as a pen means businesses will still be able to continue purchasing personalised products for when they meet other businesses and attend functions.

'My advice for anyone looking to go into business is not to see franchising as a get rich quick scheme. Although it is a safer route into self-employment it is by no means easier. It has taken a lot of hard work, time and energy to get the business to where it is today and even now I often work a six-day week in order to ensure my business is running smoothly.'

Interview by Jess Sturman