With the average span of time spent in a franchise across the industry being 8.5 years, Chemex International will be celebrating the journey of franchisee Charles Williams who has gone through three decades of franchising, Beginning in the late Eighties, Charles will be renewing his contract this month with Chemex Cheshire.
Its 1989, and tumultuous world events are unfolding within Britain in the Thatcher era such as the Tiananmen Square uprising and the fall of the Berlin Wall. With the world changing, a young dairy herdsman reading the Daily Mail spots a piece on franchising with Chemical Express (Chemex).
Charles Williams is looking to control his own future after starting his working life on a farm, milking and rearing the young livestock in a 92 strong dairy herd. As the farm industry changes, no longer saw a future where he works long days on a small income. Being prepared for the hard work of building his own business franchise contracts were signed on the 17th May 1989.
Training was far from the all-inclusive pattern that today’s franchise partners benefit from, consisting of three days product initiation, a short review and then out into the field meeting potential customers.
With absolutely no sales experience but a strong work ethic, he achieved numerous targets. The first was breaking even whilst learning a new business. However, this was quickly overcome. Charles built his turnover to the point that he needed to hire staff to manage his business.
Marrying his partner Donna, who was integral to the franchise success, and employing his brother gave Charles the security of running a family business which generated the financial returns he needed.
Being a finalist for the Franchisee of the year award at the 1997 bfa Awards was a fine recognition and massive achievement for his business. He also achieved winner of the Chemex “Dreams come true” competition based on sales growth and realised a childhood dream of a holiday to New Zealand.
Michael Graham Managing Director of Chemex says, “Charles is now a well-respected elder statesman in the Chemex network. He is the first of a fistful of franchisees reaching their 20 to 30-year anniversaries. Charles epitomises what franchising within a solid system can bring to the lives of determined and enthusiastic franchise partners. Thirty years of self-determination, a lifestyle that has raised a family and an asset he continues to build. He can reliably advise any of our new starts that hard work and perseverance really does pay off.