'I can only say good things about Snack-in-the-Box'

Two Snack-in-the-Box franchisees reveal how they have built their successful snack-vending businesses with the help of the Cadbury brand name.

Absolutely Fantastic' - David and Neena Hills, Sussex

Picking up the Snack-in-the-Box (SITB) 'Franchisee of the Year' award for the self-service box franchisee category at the company's recent annual conference came as a complete surprise to David and Neena Hills, whose franchise territory covers parts of Surrey and Sussex. 'The convention is a very good opportunity to meet fellow franchisees and head office staff - it's a super day, which is done very professionally,' comments David.

'We learned a lot from the speakers, who included a motivational specialist and representatives from Franchise Development Services and Cadbury. To win was a very nice surprise because there's a lot of very good franchisees out there. We've worked hard to make a real success of our franchise which has improved the quality of our life - we have appreciated the support of head office and have a good relationship with the staff.'

A former sales rep, David was attracted to franchising by the chance to own his own business with the backup of a franchise company behind him. 'I met SITB at the National Franchise Exhibition,' he reveals. 'In fact, I'd spent the whole day at the NEC in Birmingham and almost missed them. As the place was clearing out a bit I found the SITB stand which stood out mainly because it was still so busy. A lot of the others were packing up and this stand was still buzzing!'

David launched his business to a 'flying start', in May 2003. 'SITB sent in a canvassing team with the objective of winning my first 150 customers,' he recalls. 'I went out with them to learn the ropes, and we came back with 30 customers on the first day! I knew then that it was going to work. In total they generated 180 customers which I thought was absolutely fantastic.

There's no problem getting customers at all and it couldn't have gone better.' By refining his customer base and replacing the smaller customers, David now has 172 customers who take 214 boxes between them. 'It's full time, five days a week and I recently took £2,800 in one week,' he reports. 'My goal is to get to £3,000 per week, which I will achieve in the next few months by growing my client base further.

'I can only say good things about SITB' - David and Mandy Durham, Glasgow

'Franchisee of the Year' winners in the compact vending category, David and Mandy Durham established their Glasgow franchise at the end of 2004. 'We'd owned a newsagents for 10 years and were looking for an opportunity to make a better income,' recalls David. 'I came across The Franchise Magazine on my own shelves, and was attracted to the Cadbury logo on the Snack-in-the-Box (SITB) promotion. I was very impressed with the figures being achieved by other areas and decided to take the plunge.'

The new business made an immediate impact on their lives. 'We went from working 80 hours a week to a more flexible working pattern,' David remarks. 'Now instead of starting at 5am I start at 8am, am finished by 5pm every day and take weekends off. We had all 100 of our machines sited by April 2004, each turning over between £20 and £25 a week. Since then I've moved some to better sites and our weekly turnover is at £2,700 per week. I'm hoping to achieve £3,000 per week sooner rather than later and plan to keep growing.' David puts his 'Franchise of the Year' award down to a continual drive to build the business. 'I actually had no idea I was in the running for it,' he comments.

'It was a big shock to win! The event itself was absolutely fantastic, and I've got to know the head office team very well. The support they've provided has been excellent - I can only say good things about SITB.'

The two winners of the SITB 'Franchisee of the Year' awards were both worthy winners, explains SITB Sales Director Matt O'Neil. 'Both winners were selected because of the professional approaches they take to running their businesses,' he continues. 'They are prime examples of the success that can be achieved by actively applying the SITB formula and have developed excellent relationships both with their customers and with the SITB head office.'