- Premises Based
Green Motion was established in 2007 in reaction to the global environmental need to reduce CO2 emissions, enabling customers from leisure, retail and business to rent an environmentally friendly vehicle but still get from A to B with the added bonus of better fuel economy. Operations commenced within the UK and enjoyed excellent growth, becoming a top 10 rental operation within the UK and Northern Ireland. Green Motion’s presence has continued to grow and are now present in 26 countries.
The first Green Motion UK franchise to open for business was Leicester in 2007. Now spanning the UK with 15 locations, the next franchise is due to open in autumn 2016. As the only fully franchised vehicle rental company in the UK, opportunities available are very exciting indeed. Green Motion is already established as a market leader in the supply of environmentally friendly vehicle rental and our business model is simple. We, as the UK franchisor, have a system that delivers the product, services and management that enables dynamic and entrepreneurial business professionals to flourish. Each element of the system is focused on providing the necessary training and on-going support and advice, allowing the franchisee the time to concentrate on the development of their local market.
Training is at the forefront of Green Motion’s franchise system. Franchisees enjoy a full range of training services that have been developed to meet the varying requirements of today’s business market. A full week of comprehensive training is provided, including practical onsite experience that covers all aspects of retail management and sales principles in conjunction with hands on experience. Ongoing on and off site support is a pivotal element of the franchisor/franchisee relationship.
Rarely in a Vehicle rental franchise is one day the same as another and a typical day can vary depending on the structure that a franchisee chooses for his/her business. Many franchisees take a hands on approach, getting their hands dirty with a smaller number of staff, working directly at the coal face. Many other franchisees choose to structure their business in such a way that they are steering the people at the coalface but working to their own management and strategic strengths. Either way, a new franchisee would need to spend time at the sharp end to see what the nature of the business and to understand what is required of the employees.
Why did you choose franchising? We were looking to set up our own vehicle rental company, however we faced many challenges one of them being vehicle supply and insurance coverage for our operations. We were then browsing the web and came across the idea of an eco-friendly vehicle rental company, this was one of many we were looking into at the time. However after we enquired and met up with the founder and owner of Green Motion, Mr Richard Lowden, we were sold on the basis on the ‘green’ philosophy and we too have very strong views in regards to the climate and if there was a way we could help, then this was a good option.
What did you do before taking up the franchise? I worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car since it first was born in the UK, was with them for 4 years and this increased my appetite to not only be in this field but to run my own business. Viral was with Alliance and Leicester, now known as Santander in their senior accounts department. We felt with the knowledge we have collectively, we could take this challenge on and make a success of it, my father helped us immensely with his great knowledge of the business world too.
How did you raise the finance? We had savings and my father invested in us too, this helped as starting a new business always needs capital, especially in this business segment.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing? Initially in 2007 when we first took out the Green Motion franchise, we received basic training for the systems at hand, other than that we had to rely on our own business experience and adapt the best we could. Since the brand has grown, and especially since LCVR and Mr Adrian Woods got involved, it has become a lot more professional and ongoing training and support has always been available. It shows the distance we have come as a group that we are now also receiving customer service training too which is a bonus and shows the commitment moving forward from the franchisors.
What challenges have you faced? The main challenges in this market are the continuing price increases in the insurance sector and the competition in the market too. However this can all be overcome by good planning and knowing your business and the rental sector especially. In the early days as it was height of the recession back in 2008-2009, we faced challenges on vehicles supply and growth, however since LCVR have come into play, vehicle supply is no longer an issue. We are now enjoying national and international growth.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life? Yes, simply because we enjoy it and it’s a way of life for us now. Also running our own business has opened up further opportunities within the brand to increase our franchise locations too. The support we have received has made it a lot more enjoyable too.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise? It is imperative that you have knowledge of the vehicle rental market and business in the UK, or that you employ personnel with this experience, this will make the transition smoother and profits will come a lot quicker. Invest to succeed.
What are your plans for the future? Our plans are to keep on growing and to increase revenue and profits. Also to help with the growth of the brand with our fellow franchisees to make Green Motion one of the powerhouses in the UK rental market.
Would you do it again? YES!
Why did you choose franchising? I had come from a franchise background before and I understand the model very well. To have additional support and guidance is crucial when setting up a new business, it also gives you the confidence when you see and meet a successful franchisee.
What did you do before taking up the franchise? I worked in the mobile telecommunications industry for an independent dealer, selling all major 5 mobile network products and services, including Blackberry Enterprise servers to tracking devices.
How did you raise the finance? Funds were sourced privately
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing? The initial training was delivered via other franchisees on location and from our head office. IT systems were the crucial part as this would deliver us the solutions to hire and enable specific reports to help run the business and maximise profits.
What challenges have you faced? We started the business at the beginning of the global recession and although it was tough we did battle through. Learning a new business industry always has its challenges but we started slow and were methodical in developing and understanding the policies and procedures that came from our head office. Building a team along the way has also been very rewarding.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life? Without a doubt. I have enjoyed this new position and franchise opportunity more than any other role I have had.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise? If you have the drive to be in control of your own destiny then you have to give it a go.
What are your plans for the future? More success while building a strong and profitable business. To have the best team working for the company.
Would you do it again? Yes indeed.
Why did you choose franchising? I chose franchising because I wanted my own business but to still be part of a larger organisation. I had not been in the motor industry before and a franchise would be able to give me that guidance and support.
What did you do before taking up the franchise? I actually worked in a franchisor set up with Vodafone within the mobile retail industry.
How did you raise the finance? When the credit crunch hit Vodafone and associated companies offered voluntary redundancy which I grabbed with both hands because it gave me the funds to set up my business.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing? I received on site support from the franchisor head office, training courses and residential stay at other operational branches.
What challenges have you faced? It took a while to fully understand how the broker reservation market worked and the seasonality of an airport business. Finance in the first few years was a struggle as profits are not made immediately.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life? In the first few years being on call 24/7 was tough but now I’ve found more time to myself and flexibility to do the things I want with my family. I now pick up and drop the children to school regularly and I am involved in all their after school clubs.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise? My advice would be not to expect overnight miracles. It is hard work whilst trying to launch your business in your area. Always have a contingency plan, preparation and budgets are key. Spend time with experienced franchisees and don’t be afraid to ask a question.
What are your plans for the future? I am always looking at new investments and opportunities.
Would you do it again? Yes I would but as always with the knowledge I know now.
Why did you choose franchising? I wanted to start my own business. Franchising seemed like a positive way to do this, but with the support of a larger experienced company with a vested interest in your success.
What did you do before taking up the franchise? Immediately before I was a national sales manager for Kopparberg Cider.
How did you raise the finance? This was from personal savings and a family loan.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing? We had help from day one choosing and setting up the first site. We had one-to-one training on the systems, market and the specific Green Motion rental model. This support has continued as the business has grown with regular meetings with the training team and senior management and has included site management, accounts, forecasting, fleet planning and insurance.
What challenges have you faced? Changing industries was a seriously steep hill to climb. I had to learn the car rental game from scratch and made the mistakes to prove it. This cost time and most importantly money. I have also had HR issues and again have had to learn the hard way when it comes to staff management & retention. Finally, it is hard to step back as you are so emotionally and financially involved from day one. As the business grows it is vital you step back and run the company not the day-to-day issues.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life? Yes
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise? Make sure you understand what you're buying into and the industry. You want to go with a business that gives you room to run the business in the entrepreneurial manor you want, but offers support in your areas that need development.
What are your plans for the future? Now we have stabilised our existing sites we are looking to grow these while also looking for a few new sites.
Would you do it again? Yes