Andrew Knight says that his future is in his own hands now that he is franchising with FiltaFry.
Name: Andrew Knight
Location: Coventry & Warwickshire
I went to University and gained a degree in Business mainly because I was not ready for the world of work, and had no idea what path I wanted to follow.
After Uni I fell into Sales roles (like many). I worked for Coca-Cola in many different roles and in different environments from vending to National accounts and top Grocers. I loved the insight into these huge businesses and learnt absolutely loads about how things work, but the corporate world was never my thing. I jumped ship to see if the grass was greener elsewhere and moved to Carlsberg, but this confirmed that it was not for me just a different product with the same annoyances.
I needed to do something different. I could perform well and got some great results and had a good lifestyle but I was not challenged.
My dreams of running my own business were always there during my regular appraisals in my sales jobs. Whenever I was asked what that business would be I could not give an answer. My dad was always an electrician and self employed but that was also not for me.
Franchises are a proven model that if followed should give the results advertised. Obviously coming from sales myself I never totally believed the claims that franchises made and was happy enough to continue in the cocoon of employment.
I went to the franchise show to see what opportunities were out there with no real plans to make the jump. I researched the many franchise offerings on the stands before going, to make a shortlist of ones to visit that were of interest and within the realms of possibility financially.
FiltaFry was the one that kept coming back into my mind after the show. I had a long chat with the guys on the stand and there was a very relaxed style which suited me down to the ground. I was not aware such businesses existed but from part time jobs during my education and the vast experience of businesses while in my sales jobs I saw a huge potential with FiltaFry. This was something I could do with very little qualifications in anything technical.
The funds were raised from savings mainly, and after showing further interest in FiltaFry by going to the head office and having a day with an existing franchisee I was quite sure I wanted to go for it.
Then just before I signed up I was told my role was being made redundant. This was the sign I needed I grasped onto the Franchise and the redundancy money made the scary part of paying the franchise fee that bit easier.
I was all signed up and scared to death if I’d made a huge mistake. I had lots of sleepless nights. These soon eased as I was helped every step of the way with the initial setup. The beauty of the franchise model that FiltaFry had done hundreds of times came into its own. My van was ordered and kitted out I was VAT registered my bank account was sorted. Everything I had no clue about was done instantly.This was all happening in the background while I was completing my head office training week going through everything you need to know to be successful.
The professionalism was on par with the training I received at my previous blue chip companies I worked for, which was a comfort as it was familiar. I then moved on to my week with an existing franchisee where I learnt on the job all that I was told at head office. Being buddied up for a week with an existing and successful franchisee was fantastic as they were where I wanted to be and they had been through what I had.
I built up a friendship that when the week was over I knew that they would be there if I needed anything a well as head office. My equipment was tested on this week so I knew I was then good to go on my own. I felt that I had everything I needed on my first day and was raring to go and succeed. I know that I’m not on my own at all and if I had any issues I had masses of people I can get to help me.
I start early. Very early (around 5am) which is something I never did when being an employee. I have now completely filled my days with regular weekly visits. My weekly calls are largely the same every week but I keep adding new business in where I can. The range of customers I have is HUGE, from visiting high end car manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin to office canteens and even a prison kitchen.
I filter the cooking oil in their fryers using my FiltaFry machine and leave the fryers clean and ready to cook in until my next visit. The process means that the oil which is a large expense for my customers lasts up to 100% longer.
My customers are very pleased to see me and are now reliant on my service and I have gained extra customers from word of mouth. I feel like a member of the team in my customer kitchen due to the time I spend in them and thoroughly enjoy the different atmospheres and variety from call to call. The days are long but the time flies and it does not seem like work at all.
The job can be very physical, and at the start this was a struggle as I was not used to it. I was not acclimatized to the early mornings either which took a good few months to settle into. I was a victim of my own success as I was gaining more work weekly, and found it a challenge to keep up, as well as getting on top of the finance side of the business.
The challenge came to getting set up on my customers systems. As I have a massive variety of customers every customer needed different information in different formats. This was simply teething problems but everything required was available and FiltaFry were there when I was not sure.
Completely. My wife has said it is like having her husband back as I am no longer bored at work and dreading the onset of the Sunday Blues. I love going to work and the money I now earn exceeds anything that I would have earnt in my previous employment even if I had done another 10 years.
My future is now in my hands and the possibilities are massive for growth.
If you are looking for a franchise do something that you have some experience in or if no experience then a confirmed interest in. Do your research before making sure it is for you and do not be afraid to walk away if you have any doubts, as walking away when you are a few months in is a lot harder.
You must believe in what you want to do as if you do not then no-one else will believe in you. Lastly make sure you have support from those around you. You will have doubts along your journey and you need positivity around you to spur you on.
I am now at capacity in terms of amount of work. I can only do more if I give up my weekends which is my family time. The answer for me is to become an employer now and FiltaFry are once again there to help me with this as it is the natural progression even if I think it has happened so much faster than I expected. My plan of having multiple vans and even purchasing more franchises is where I’m heading.
I only wished I had done it sooner, but my thoughts are that you need to have experiences in life in order to make you into what you are whether they be good or bad.
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