6 figure turnover targets for 2009

Making use of their ability to set their own pace of growth, Sliding Sash Solutions franchisees Clive Wales and Richard Benge have set ambitious targets to build their businesses

Annual turnovers of £100,000 in 2009 are the targets for Sliding Sash Solutions franchisees Clive Wales and Richard Benge. Both started their businesses within a couple of months of each other at the end of 2007/early 2008, and with a year of steady growth both are aiming high for their year two growth projections.

Disillusioned with his occupation as a stonemason, Twickenham-based Clive began researching viable business opportunities in order to become his own boss and shape his future. 'Investing in a franchise was a logical step for me to take,' he reflects. 'This is because with a young family to support I needed the reassurance that I would get a return on my investment, so starting up a business from scratch completely on my own was out of the question. Since becoming a Sliding Sash Solutions franchisee my work/life balance has greatly improved. Now I am able to work flexible hours and can pick my daughter up from school!'

Leaving his former career as an International Licensing Manager, Richard was attracted to invest in the Sliding Sash Solutions franchise for Bath by the prospect of a proven business model, quality product and ongoing support. 'The best thing about being a Sliding Sash Solutions franchisee is that you can grow your business at your own pace,' he enthuses. 'For once, I am in control of my timetable, so I can work hours that fit around my family commitments and am able to set my own targets. Running my own business is a refreshing change from the corporate world - I wish I had done it sooner.'

All Sliding Sash Solutions franchisees are provided with a four-week training course where they learn how to run the business effectively. Carpentry, joinery or construction experience is not essential although basic hands on practical skills would be advantageous. Franchisees are trained to carry out the Sliding Sash Solutions services. These include a specialist repair and improvement service for traditional sash windows and the reinstating of sash windows to properties where the original windows have been removed. 'Sliding Sash Solutions offers personalised support,' reports Clive. 'Someone is always on the other end of the phone to help resolve any problems or to order new stock for you. The head office team are incredibly helpful and reliable so you never feel alone.'

For Clive and Richard the future plans for their franchises involve expansion and staff recruitment. Richard aims to recruit three new members of staff and have two extra vans on the road by the end of 2009. He comments: 'While I enjoy the manual work, I would prefer to take on a managerial role and oversee the development of the brand within my territory.'

Clive, however, is keen to continue to use his practical skills developed as a stonemason: 'I enjoy the work and driving around in my van as the face of the business. I realise that in order to expand successfully I will need to take on a member of staff to help me with the workload and intend to action this in the spring of 2009.'

Reported by Jess Sturman