Andy Mitchell has been an InXpress franchisee based in Guildford, UK since May 2002. His franchise has grown year-on-year and he is currently ranked number seven globally. Andy tells us about how what he considered to be gamble at the time, has been one of the best decisions he has ever made.
I was one of the first ten InXpress franchisees in the UK. At the time the model was not wholly proven so it could be classed as a risk for some, but I liked the concept and the carriers the business was starting to partner with, and my instinct told me it would work.
After making the life changing decision to but my franchise, I took out the maximum unsecured loan that I could (£15,000) to live on, which I estimated would last for 6 months since my wife, Bernadette, was not working and we were raising two very young children.
Once I had proven the business model to myself (and my wife!) my next target was to employ someone to provide office support, which would then enable me to continue to build the business further. I had the vision that there was the possibility for unlimited earning potential, so my aim was to earn as much as possibly could with staged targets to make it an achievable goal on each occasion.
Within two years within the network, the business really took off and I became the number one franchisee in the network. As the business grew, my family and I started to enjoy the financial benefits of being a franchisee.
Poignantly, the financial rewards from the business also allowed me to buy my parents a house to live-in close to us, just before my father passed away.
At this stage, the chairman and founder, John Thompson, asked me if I would consult with him on behalf of the franchisor regarding our carrier strategy and rate negotiations. I gladly accepted this new challenge as I saw it as an opportunity to help shape the business and get involved at a more strategic level.
A little further down the line, I was appointed President of our first Franchise Advisory Council, helping to oversee a couple of significant changes to the franchise system, including centralised invoicing and collections. I also became a mentor and trainer to new franchisees and subsequently a director and shareholder of the business. The rest they say is history!