Jude & Andy Parker decided that they wanted to be more in control of their destiny and starting a ComputerXplorers business has helped them to achieve this.
Jude and Andy Parker talk about their ComputerXplorers business which they run in North Yorkshire:
Having worked within a corporate environment for a number of years, we decided we wanted to be more in control of our destiny and felt buying into an already established and proven business model helped us achieve this. It would give us a fresh challenge away from corporate processes, the daily commute to, we were never 9 to 5ers so the necessary commitment didn’t faze us. An added bonus has been our work/life balance has been re-addressed too.
We researched a great number of franchise options, ComputerXplorers appealed because it ticked so many of our boxes – to utilise our sales and marketing experience, working with primary school aged children, a relevant product to today’s world, a positive experience for schools, parents and children and work/life balance,. Additionally, the processes and procedures within ComputerXplorers aren’t onerous and you do feel you are running your own business.
We have both worked within a sales and marketing environment for both small independent businesses and large corporates.
We used a combination of personal finance and a bank loan.
When you join the franchise, the initial training activity is very detailed (lasts over 2 weeks) from sales & marketing tools to product & technical training, to business planning and appointment making.
We also enjoy an on-going product development and guidance training. We don’t specifically need strategy/business management training but it is available. There is also a great support network within the franchise from both the franchisor and other franchisees.
There isn’t necessarily one but the main activities are business development, learning new software/curriculum, assemblies/demonstrations, recruitment of teachers, observing clubs and talking to the children and schools, processing registration forms/contacting parents, communicating club activities to parents. When necessary running clubs ourselves.
The main challenges have been recruiting appropriately equipped teachers to run our sessions for us as well as getting to talk to the decision maker in schools to create new business but otherwise not untypical of the type of challenges any business faces.
Yes, it has enabled us to become business owners taking more control of the work/life balance we aspired to.
We have marketing materials which support the business but the primary tool is time spent in person on business development approaching new customers directly and via referrals.
Our competition is other after school activities both in school and away from school. We have a strong educational benefit to our activities and communicate this well to parents. In addition, it is something that is different to the variety of sporting activities they get offered which is seen by some schools, parents and children as a refreshing change.
Driven, business savvy, focussed on selling activities to maintain and grow revenues.
Take time to thoroughly research the many alternatives available. We think you need to find something that appeals to you, both as a product and based on its impact on your life. Think in detail in advance about what works for you. Meet a variety of franchise businesses to test out your thoughts.
To focus on the business development, and to maintain our enjoyment so we continue to get what we want from it from both a business and personal perspective.
Alan Harrison runs his ComputerXplorers business in Guildford
7th March 2016
Alan Harrison talks about his decision to start his ComputerXplorers business which he runs in Guildford.
John McGill runs his ComputerXplorers business in East Kilbride, Scotland
22nd February 2016
John McGill talks about starting and running his ComputerXplorers business in East Kilbride, Scotland.