Snack-in-the-Box: 'It's exceeded all my expectations'

"For years I'd dreamt of working for myself,"explains Trevor Jones of Kidderminster. "When the opportunity arose for me to take a redundancy package I felt that this was my chance to become my own boss."

While visiting a franchise exhibition Trevor came across Snack-in-the-Box (SITB) and saw there and then that this would be the franchise for him. 'I actually went with the intention of looking at a car franchise but found myself drawn towards the SITB stand,' recalls Trevor. 'It's a very attractive product and a very simple concept - I could see that it had real potential.

What really grabbed me was the Cadbury association - it's a real winner. It was the Cadbury brand that initially grabbed my attention and I knew it would have the same affect on my business.'

From the two SITB opportunities available, Trevor was attracted to the 'box' option due to the sheer simplicity of the concept. 'It's a great system and it really works,' says Trevor. 'The simple concept coupled with the superb training meant that the business was very easy to pick up. In the run up to the launch, SITB provided me with a lot of assistance - they were right by me.

From the word go, my business was up and running with SITB helping even further by providing me with my first 150 customers.'

In building his business and finding new customers, Trevor has found that it has been a lot easier than he expected. 'Finding new customers is a pleasure,' he enthuses. 'There are just so many potential customers out there. The best aspect is that there is no 'hard-selling' as such, as the boxes are placed on a contract-free basis. The reaction from customers is always a positive one. In fact, everything about Snack-in-the-Box is positive in my opinion.'

Explaining that the most important aspect about the business is to be able to build a good rapport with customers, Trevor states that a franchisee will benefit from being a people-person. 'In fact, my one worry about the business was that I wouldn't be working in a team environment,' he reveals. 'However, I've found that my customers almost become my colleagues and I get on very well with them - what I thought of as a negative has actually turned out to be a positive.'

After five years Trevor has almost built the business to the level he wants it. 'There's huge opportunity with SITB and my business has improved year-on-year,' he reports. 'It brings a good income and I find it a manageable size - the business is doing what I want it to do. I've found working for myself to be incredibly rewarding and to be honest it's exceeded all my expectations.'

Take charge of your own destiny

'I thought it was about time I took charge of my own destiny,' reveals Snack-in-the-Box (SITB) franchisee Simon Webb.

After 20 years as a stockbroker in the City, Simon became increasingly disillusioned with the industry and began looking for an opportunity to work for himself. 'I looked into the possibilities of franchising and I discovered SITB in The Franchise Magazine. The more I learned about the business, the more it appealed. I could see a gap in the market for a vending business like this and SITB was just the right size of operation for me.'

However, what really sealed the deal for Simon was SITB's association with Cadbury. 'It's a world recognised brand and a huge bonus to the business,' explains Simon. 'People instill a certain amount of trust in such a well-known brand - it reassures them of the quality of a product - and I knew that this would have a great knock-on affect to my business. I think the Cadbury name is the first thing that people latch onto and my business benefits enormously from this.'

As a British Franchise Association Full Member, SITB provides its franchisees with a period of training that Simon describes as excellent: 'It showed me every aspect of running the business. I was also impressed that I was allowed to get some practical hands-on training with an existing franchisee. It really helped set me up and prepare me for the launch.'

Since his May 2004 launch, Simon has been able to develop his business by targeted canvassing of his territory combined with the sales techniques he was taught in training. 'Alongside this I often benefit from leads given to me by SITB and even through referrals from my customers. There are many avenues for finding new business - there's a lot of opportunity for building the business.'

Simon reports that SITB has provided him with a good level of support. 'SITB keeps me updated, gives me regular reviews, advises me how to improve my results and gives me access to the engineers for the machines,' he states. 'SITB is always at the end of the phone and is always happy to help.'

After two and a half years, Simon has almost doubled the size of his business and has taken on a part-time employee. He says: 'With the simple business model combined with the support of SITB, this is a business with much potential.'