Franchisee enjoys rapid expansion

After only two years franchisee Arthur Keighley expanded his business and took on a second franchise area in Leicester. Together with his Peterborough territory he has high hopes for his future with Recognition Express.

With 48 franchised operations in the UK and four other European countries business-to-business franchise Recognition Express is one of the most successful franchises in its sector. For over 28 years, award-winning Recognition Express has been a manufacturer and supplier of corporate and personalised promotional products to businesses in a thriving market worth in excess of £2 billion per annum.

The Recognition Express franchise is sales and marketing driven. The franchise package, with its extensive training programme and support network, provides franchisees with everything they need to know in order to run their business effectively. A background in sales or marketing can be beneficial, as Peterborough franchisee Arthur Keighley (pictured, right) has found.

'I have been a Recognition Express franchisee for almost four years now and 18 months ago decided to buy a second territory and existing business in Leicestershire, focusing on badge and signage manufacturing. The 2006 financial year saw my turnover for the Peterborough premises quadruple. The turnover is on course for this year, my aim is to expand and develop my business into a million pound company within the next six years.

'I have always wanted to work for myself but at 45 felt I did not have the time or the experience to be able to set-up a business from scratch, or develop the necessary supplier contacts in the Middle East or China. One of the benefits of a Recognition Express franchise is its extensive list of supplier contacts. My company is able to brand any product request from a ballpoint pen to underwear.
'Recognition Express has provided me with the opportunity to run my own business and utilise my 20 years of sales experience. Before I invested in the franchise I was working as a Business Sales Manager in London. I gave up this career as I hated the long commute and moving to London was not an option.

'I wanted to invest in a business-to-business franchise network, as I believe at least 99 per cent of businesses use promotional products at some point in their lifespan. In my previous position I used to give away promotional branded items so I had first hand experience that the concept worked.

'Recognition Express has a good support network and I know that if I have any query I only have to pick up a phone. The initial training covers all aspects of the business and Recognition Express provides other courses throughout the year. For example I recently sent a few of my staff on a Sage Accounts course. My sales experience has proven invaluable and the sales side of the business is flourishing. Running the business is a lot of hard work but I do enjoy being my own boss, making the decisions and working with people. I have always enjoyed meeting new people and am pleased that my franchise enables me to continue to do so as part of my job.'

'When you go into a franchise, you need to be sure it's a business you can trust, with a proven track record. With Recognition Express you can be part of a major success story.'
Nigel Toplis - Managing Director, Recognition Express

'I have always found Recognition Express to be a model franchise. It is an outstanding example of a company which takes ethical franchising seriously. The benefits are shared by Recognition Express, its franchisees and its customers. And that is why it is successful.'
Sir Bernard Ingham, bfa President

Keith Walker, Recognition Express, North Stafford
The opportunity to start our own business arose when I retired from my position with Staffordshire Police as a Superintendent after 30 years of service. My retirement coincided with my youngest son Rob's search for a new job. We were both looking for a new challenge so we decided to set-up a business together.

We chose Recognition Express because of its excellent reputation, extensive range of products and credibility. We also felt the concept was recession-proof and so would be a safe investment. We believed a franchise would provide us with guidance, support and a proven sellable concept that we needed to launch our own business and have not been disappointed. The flexibility of this franchise has enabled us to take control of our destinies.

Recognition Express prepares its franchisees with an initial training course that covers all aspects of running the business. This training, coupled with the help of a solid, close-knit support network, has been very reassuring. We do not feel completely on our own and if we have any problems all we have to do is pick up a phone and call either our colleagues at head office or another franchisee for advice and guidance.

My son and I have been with Recognition Express for almost a year now and are delighted that we are on course to achieve our first year targets. Next year we aim to increase our turnover and already have plans to expand the business.

Written by Jess Sturman