Recognition Express has shared the story of Hugh O’Neill, who used redundancy as a chance to start again.
Being made redundant is a scary time and it can be difficult to know what to do next. However, Hugh O’Neill decided to use his payment to make the move from senior employee at a catering business to his very own boss with Recognition Express.
The only problem? Hugh was made redundant in 2010, during the UK’s worst recession for decades.
However, the enterprising businessman knew that a Recognition Express franchise would be a fantastic investment in the long run, as his career had shown him that businesses always needed workwear no matter how tight budgets got. And it seems it was exactly the right thing to do, as Hugh is on course to achieve his ultimate target turnover by 2022. He’ll also have a highly successful business to sell on in a few years’ time, which is likely to set him up for a fantastic retirement.
Over the past few years in particular, Hugh has managed to take his Dartford and Bromley location of the b2b franchise from strength to strength by teaming up with several international conference organisers to provide batches of things like lanyards and promotional goods. His business has grown a huge 37% since he started in 2010 and remains the manageable operation Hugh sought to run.
Together with wife Mary, who handles new business activity and accounts, Hugh has managed to generate an annual turnover of £240,000. He explained what drew him to Recognition Express over other franchise opportunities.
“The breadth of the product offering, coupled with the option to outsource production or handle it in-house, makes it a very versatile franchise option. While there’s one core model, there’s a lot of scope for a franchisee to develop it in a way that suits their own ambitions, needs and areas of interest. For me, taking on the business in my late 40s, retirement was very much on the horizon and I’ve been working with that in mind.”
Hugh also said that he appreciated the support from his franchisor, particularly in the early days of his business.
“In the early days, I really appreciated the level of support from head office – I was working for myself for the first time in an entirely new industry. Today, the support is just as valuable, but the emphasis has changed. It’s always good to discuss business challenges and opportunities with likeminded people who have your best interests at heart.”
Hugh concluded by advising others looking to become a franchisee not to rush their decision.
“Do your homework, and don’t rush into a decision. You need to be absolutely sure that the franchise you’re investing in is credible, that the model is robust, and that you’ll have long-term support and guidance.”
Sophie Cole, Point Franchise ©