Poppies franchisee sees post-redundancy success

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Simon West was able to launch a Poppies branch with franchisor, friend and family support. 

After working at a company for almost three decades and being made redundant in April 2015, Simon started looking for an opportunity offering security. His friend was quick to tell him about his own Poppies franchise unit, which he thought might be a good match for Simon. 

Within months, Simon had launched the new branch, Poppies Chesterfield & Mansfield. He said,

“I’d worked for the same organisation for over 28 years and I had felt safe. Then it was all taken away so quickly. I didn’t want that to happen to me again so I had to find something that would offer me much more security. Poppies gives me exactly that and more – freedom, flexibility and the satisfaction of providing a great service.” 

Simon was well-suited to the Poppies franchise model; it’s based on relationship-building, and the ambitious entrepreneur had already racked up years of experience in communication and people management roles. Before investing, Simon visited several of the domestic cleaning franchise’s branches and shadowed existing franchisees. 

Once Simon was in the process of launching his unit, he had the chance to join a training scheme. He revealed,

“I was aware that, as a franchisee, I would receive training and support but in reality, what I experienced was beyond what I’d ever imagined. The programme was comprehensive and gave me all the tools I would need to get me started once I launched.”

In the final set-up stages, Simon focussed on raising awareness in the local area, delivering leaflets and attending networking events. He also appointed his daughter Hannah as his Business Manager, and hopes she’ll eventually take on the unit when the time is right. 

Now, the Poppies franchisee has developed a customer network of almost 50 local households and businesses. Simon has the freedom and flexibility to spend time with his family, as well as walk his dogs, play golf and act as secretary for his old cricket club. He added,

“By far the best thing about being a franchisee is putting the time in to build a business that I can be proud of. It’s extremely satisfying to provide jobs and a service to local people and just generally be a part of the community.”

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