Keith Poke, Warrington

"I love the instant credibility"

The great thing about being a Snack-in-the-Box (SITB) franchise owner is that you have the freedom to run the business how you want to, while benefiting from ongoing training and support. Before the launch of my franchise in August 2006, I completed a one week training course in Portsmouth where I was taught everything from doing the accounts to buying the stock and installing and repairing the vending machines.

In terms of ongoing support the Area Manager visits throughout the year to see how you are doing and offer advice on improving profitability and performance. SITB can also help with your accounts, canvassing your territory through telesales as and when required and is only a phone call away if you need any advice.

Having the opportunity to build a business at my own pace, to a size I can manage by myself, has been great. This is because shortly after I took over the Warrington territory I developed angina and consequently had to tame the workaholic in me. Now I work a four-day week, so I have time to relax and pursue my leisure interests. To date I have 80 vending machines sited, which generate an annual turnover within the region of £75,000, and my aim is to maintain this current level of business for as long as I can.

I have been self-employed for the last 26 years, and in this time I have owned a variety of businesses and franchises. The last business I owned was a bakery, which I sold because I became fed up of managing staff and running a business with large overheads. SITB is by far the most original and I love the fact my business instantly has credibility - given SITB is associated with quality confectioner Cadbury.