Franchising – a recipe for long-term success

Franchising – a recipe for long-term success

Accountancy is generally regarded as being a rock-solid kind of a job. But it wasn’t enough to protect Grant Wilson when he was made redundant by the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society way back in the recession of the early 1990s.

Grant was a single parent, and decided that being his own boss was the way forward, as it would give him flexibility around his family commitments – plus, as he wryly observes: “It’s impossible to give yourself the sack.”

Franchising was not so well-known in the UK 25 years ago as it is now, but after some research Grant quickly understood that it would deliver the benefits he was looking for, whilst also offering a lower-risk route to becoming a business owner. Driver Hire Nationwide had been established for a decade already, and franchising since 1987, so looked like a good opportunity.

“Driver Hire fitted the bill for a number of reasons,” says Grant. “It was clearly a dynamic and successful business. I found the recruitment industry interesting and there were plenty of other successful franchisees in the network already. That meant I could talk to current franchisees before making my decision. For me personally, a management franchise made sense, as I wanted to be running a business rather than just providing services myself, as you do in some franchises. I felt like with Driver Hire I was investing in a real business opportunity.”

More than a quarter of a century on, Grant’s business – Driver Hire Aberdeen – is consistently among the most successful offices in Driver Hire’s nationwide network of over 100 offices. Recent years have seen annual turnover of well over £3m, and the benefits for Grant’s lifestyle, his family and his personal wellbeing are beyond anything he would ever have dreamed of when he worked at the Co-op.

“It’s fair to say that whilst it didn’t feel like it at the time, losing my job was actually a blessing,” Grant adds. “It forced me to look at a wider range of career alternatives and in truth, probably gave me the opportunity and confidence to truly fulfil my potential in business.”

Grant is a strong advocate for Driver Hire and for franchising more generally. He has always identified the sense of community that comes with being part of a thriving franchise as one of its major benefits. “There is always someone else going through what you are going through, and we all learn from each other. I can share my experience of 25+ years with newer franchisees, but the great thing is, I am still learning too.”

“I imagine that sadly, there are many people at the moment facing similar challenges to what I was dealing with back in the 90s,” says Grant. “Hopefully my story shows that if you take the long view, believe in yourself and find the right opportunity for you, what is happening now might just be the start of a brilliant future.”

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