Franchise Couple expand with purchase of 2nd Territory

09 Oct 2015

Paul Hodgkinson and Ione Brown purchased their first Original Poster Company (OPC) franchise in early 2014. Now, almost 18 months later, they have done it again and purchased their second territory.

Paul shares, “We chose to purchase a franchise as it was an easy way to set ourselves up in an already established business which would fit into our lifestyle and provide an income from day one. With a franchise all the mistakes have been made in the past and solutions put in place which makes it easy for someone to come in and make it work.”

Ione came from a sales background and Paul enjoyed being out on the road, visiting different places each day. Being able to pick what they did and where they went each day, depending on other commitments, was a big plus and as the Harrow franchise was available and on their doorstep, it just seemed the ideal solution for Paul and Ione to live their dream of being their own boss, in charge of their own time and working on building something together.

Both Paul and Ione also believed that it is easier to sell a product you believe in and not only did they really like the greeting cards and other products OPC produces but they also knew that OPC had a good solid reputable background in the greeting cards distribution industry.

Ione says, “We decided to purchase Harrow and raised the finance through our savings. We had ample training at Support Office where we spent time with all the relevant departmental managers who gave us their insight into building a strong business. We learnt about products and sales techniques and then we had on the road training from our BDM.”

She continues, “We continue to receive support from our Support Office – they’re only a phone call away and our BDM pays us regular visits to discuss our sales and development plans. If we ever need product development packages in order to grow our business, they are available from Support Office. We can have a large amount of product readily available to open new stores on account with the payments spread over 12 months.”

After a year of building their new territory and doubling the number of accounts, this dynamic duo heard that the neighbouring territory, North London, was available due to the then franchisee retiring and so, Paul and Ione purchased a second OPC territory viewing this as the next logical step to expanding their business.

Paul and Ione both knew from the start that what you put into your franchise is what you get out of it and that they would have to work hard initially to make it succeed. However, the great advantage of an OPC franchise is that it provides a good life-work balance and as a result, Paul and Ione are able to take time off when they need to – whilst the business keeps earning an income. They work 5 days a week, choosing when and what to do and this helps them fit in that all important family time.

Paul says, ”I think Ione and I are successful in our franchise in that although we are able to plan our own time, we are prepared to work hard and put the hours in when required. We also have quality product and are competitively priced. We look at other products being sold by our competitors and we’re so glad we chose OPC.”

He adds, “If you are thinking of purchasing a franchise, do your homework, research your product and check out the competition. Talk to other franchisees and make sure you have the time to put in to it and are prepared to work at it. We’re continually growing our business opening new accounts each month and we plan to continue to do this. We started with just 30 accounts 18 months ago and we now have over 170 but we’re not stopping there!”

It was no surprise then when we asked Paul and Ione if they would do it over again, their answer was an absolute Yes!

For almost 25 years, The Original Poster Company (OPC) has distributed quality greeting cards to a wide variety of independent retailers and national groups such as Costcutter, Nisa, Spar, Booker etc., across the UK.

The 2014 Greeting Card Association (GCA) Market Report stated that the greeting cards market is now worth over £1.6 billion per annum in the UK alone.

All our home-based, management franchise opportunities are established profitable businesses which include stock, cash flow and customers. This means you are start earning an income from Day One.

If you are confident and have a strong desire to run your own successful business – you should be considering an OPC franchise.

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