Poppies franchisee looks back at her 20-year journey

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A Poppies franchisee has told the story of her two-decade adventure as a franchisee. 

As an apprehensive but ambitious entrepreneur, Marnie Duval was drawn to franchising for the security it could give business owners. She’d loved working as a waitress and providing great customer service, but also developed knowledge in finance working for an international publishing company. 

After telling her employers about her intentions to open a business, they helped her boost her skills with a fully-funded management course and MBA. When Marnie was ready to take her first steps into entrepreneurship, she explored franchising. Her husband Steve suggested she look at more than one investment opportunity, which led her to investigate Poppies as a second option. 

“I was instantly attracted to Poppies. It just fit with my personal ethics, values and goals more than the other brand did… I think it stemmed back to my waitressing days, working closely with customers and building relationships – I knew that I could play to my strengths.”

In 1994, Marnie became the proud owner of Poppies Chichester, providing domestic cleaning services, from basic housekeeping and laundry to spring cleans and party clear-ups across her local area. She started her business while continuing her job in finance, after shadowing nearby franchisees. 

Today, Marnie’s cleaning franchise branch has a team of 24 cleaners and a network of more than 70 clients - and she manages her business from the comfort of her own home. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, Marnie has been able to maintain a high proportion of her customer base. 

She said,

“After spending over 20 years in my Poppies business, I’ve learnt a lot. But perhaps the main thing I’ve realised is that it’s not as scary as I originally imagined… 

“Looking back, it’s crazy to even think how nervous I was about doing it. Poppies completely changed my view for the better and there’s nothing that I would do differently… I’m really proud of how far I’ve come."

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