Busy mums make time for success

For some, the security of a salary can prevent them taking the leap of faith needed to becoming your own boss. This was not the case for active mums Ann Brebner and Claire Elliott from Northampton. Jamie Brown reports

Before launching a Time For You franchise in 2007, co-owner Ann spent her time cleaning up the streets at London’s Kings Cross. She joined the city’s MET police service in 1989 as a PC and after giving birth to twin boys. “After returning to the MET and paying huge childcare bills I wanted something closer to home to fit both my career and home life,” commented Ann.

Claire, who had already managed to secure a mechanical engineering degree, was working voluntarily but realised there wasn’t going be a full-time job offer. This particular set of circumstances compelled Ann and Claire to look at franchise opportunities and offerings. “Joining a franchise is something that I never thought I’d do but I’d jump at the opportunity to do it all over again,” says Claire.

Having enjoyed the freedom of being a Time For You client, Ann knew what services they offered and the pair considered this franchise would be a good place to start their research. When Ann enquired, Time For You offered her an area. There and then the deal was struck and the pair swiftly became Time For You franchise co-owner.

To prepare Ann and Claire for self-employment under the Time For You brand, they undertook a two-day training course. According to Ann the training was “excellent”. “Time For You provided database training and continue to this day to be a great support to us,” continues Ann. “They are always at the end of the phone or email when I need them.” Almost seven years later, Ann still thoroughly loves running her Time For You franchise and though she wasn’t sure how it would impact her life, she is more than happy with her move into franchising. Ann remarks: “The best thing about being a Time For You franchise owner is that it has given me so much more flexibility in my working life, meaning my family and I are benefiting from the increased spare time I have with them.”

One of the greatest strengths of this franchise – and working in the home cleaning sector - is what Ann and Claire describe as its resilience to recession. “We clean over 500 properties a week and our yearly turnover of £150k means we are defiantly hitting our planned target,” Ann says. The pair are keen to grow and expand their business across the town and its surrounding environs. “We want to grow and expand our business and continue to provide excellent customer service to our clients.” Ann also explains who she thinks this sort of franchise would suit: “This is the kind of business that would suit anyone who needs flexibility. The business is as good as you make it - the more effort you put in the better the results.”