Keen to put his 15 years of experience as an Auditel franchise owner to good use, David Lowe is happy to share his knowledge with other franchise owners in the network.
Lowe (pictured right) launched his Audtel franchise, which provides a cost and purchase management service, in 1995 and is the longest-established member of the network. In 2005 he reached the landmark achievement of invoicing £1 million pounds, however 10 years earlier it was a very different picture. Lowe had been made redundant after 20 years in General Management and was looking for an alternative to the corporate world.
“I didn’t want to go back into employment, but I didn’t think I would be a natural entrepreneur,” Lowe said. “Franchising seemed the obvious route for setting up my own business. It would give me the comfort of working with a proven business system supported by the franchisor.
“There were less franchises to explore than there are today. Auditel immediately stood out. It offered the opportunity to work from home and matched my abilities, personality and work ethic. With my General Manager’s hat on, I could also see a clear need for the service. This hasn’t really changed over the years. Financial Directors and Managing Directors are as busy as ever, but the complexity and pace of innovation in business, mean there’s always going to be a need for specialists like Auditel to manage and make sense of their expenditure.”
According to Lowe the biggest challenged he faced when starting his Auditel business was selling his services, however with support from his franchisor he quickly overcome this difficulty. Lowe added: “I’ve worked with companies across a broad cross section, including manufacturing, insurance, leisure, motor retail, business services, care homes and even a football club. I signed my largest client (Pizza Express) in my first year of operation and have saved them over £4 million during 14 years of working with them. Savings on this scale for one client is unusual, but where large national organisations lack the resources to manage their costs effectively, it’s easy to see why the demand for our services is so strong.”
In recognition of all the success he has achieved and the support he has provided to other Auditel franchise owners, Lowe was given a Special Recognition Award in 2009. Lowe added: “The network provides an enormous amount of support in terms of what we do, how we do it and technical developments. This is something you can’t replicate if you work entirely by yourself. Our ‘knowledge bank’ is also a valuable asset in terms of attracting clients. It means they have access to a personal consultant and also the combined wisdom of over 200 other practicing consultants with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise.”
Having operated his Auditel franchise for over 15 years, Lowe is now starting to look towards his lifestyle in five years time: “Ideally I’ll be semi-retired. I can help to train, support and mentor one of my colleagues to look after my clients. This will leave me free for all the things I’ve always wanted to do but have never had the time, for example a few more extravagant holidays with my wife Pauline. Of course, I probably won’t actually achieve this because I get such a kick out of my Auditel work.”
Published: 7 March 2011
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