As an estate manager for a Sheikh, Chris Stevenson had spent the last decade looking after all manner of interests for the super-rich.

Perhaps this was the reason that he decided to invest in a franchise and the chance to work for himself. 'I'd been working long hours and it was time for a change,' remembers Chris. 'I really wanted to do something that I could build upon for myself.'

Chris discovered the cleaning-product sales and distribution franchise Starbrite during his search for an opportunity. With experience in a related area, Chris entered one-to-one talks with the franchise director and agreed to become a franchisee.

Receiving a week's training covering Starbrite's immense product range, accountancy, how to run the business and how to attract customers, Chris was provided with everything he needed to know to set up his own franchise.

'Starbrite's support network is first class, the best I am aware of,' he reveals. 'If I'm unsure about any aspect of the business, I can give Starbrite a quick call and they will always be there to help. They are an extremely good team.'

Launching in July this year, Chris has been steadily getting his Thorpe-based business off the ground. 'It's all about getting out there and making contacts, something I very much enjoy,' explains Chris. 'The sales are now picking up and I can see that there's plenty of room for development. The more hard work I put in the bigger it will pay off.'

Chris reveals working with the Sheikh gave him the background and experience in dealing with both high-powered chairmen and everyday workers: 'It's given me the ability to speak to a whole range of people, which has been greatly beneficial in running my franchise.'

With long term plans of taking on employees and running a small fleet of vehicles, Chris is looking to develop an established business with a good client base. 'If I aim towards that,' he says, 'the future will look good.'