East Anglia-based Daryn Dodge has been an Auditel consultant since 2001. He has never regretted his decision to give up a top job with a US software company and buy an Auditel franchise. Daryn was an IT programme manager with BT when he was headhunted by a Colorado-based software giant to run its European operation, but the glamour soon began to fade.
“The money was incredible and I loved the responsibility but my personal life didn’t figure anywhere,” he remembers. “I had three young daughters but never seemed to see them and it didn’t take long to realise there’s more to life than just collecting Air Miles. There were problems at work too. The final straw was when we lost a multi-million pound contract because we couldn’t agree over bringing in a designer.”
At this point, Daryn decided it was time to take charge of his life and leave the corporate world behind - not that he took the decision lightly. “Giving up a very lucrative job when you have a young family is a big decision and I knew I had to get it right. So, I sat down and made two lists. The first was of personal goals, such as wanting a change of lifestyle, wanting to take control of my own destiny and to spend more time with my family and so on. I still look at these from time to time, just to make sure I don’t lose sight of why I’m doing what I do. The second list was of 20 criteria that my business would have to meet; including the long-term, the ability to operate from home, flexible hours and compatibility with a social life!”
Bearing all this in mind, it was clear that a franchise would offer Daryn and his family more security and a greater chance of success than starting a stand-alone business. So, armed with his data, Daryn went to the bfa membership list and painstakingly analysed each of the opportunities.“
The only one that met all these factors was Auditel and I’ve never regretted my decision to join the network. In fact, if I had the chance to wind back the clock, I’d make the same decision again because Auditel has exceeded all my expectations. That’s not to say there haven’t been challenges along the way. Nobody should be under any illusion that buying a franchise is a substitute for hard work and commitment but there is a lot of support available from the Head Office. The network also helps you over the bumps. The financial and personal rewards are worth all the effort.”
Has being a franchisee given him the stability and security he wanted?
Daryn answered: “Friends who still work for big firms ask me whether I ever feel worried about working for myself. I can honestly tell them that I’ve never felt more secure than I do now. My future is within my control. Because I receive 50% of the savings and refunds implemented for my clients over a fixed period, I can calculate my minimum income for two or three years ahead. My business plan for the next five years is very simple. I can build on the client relationships I’ve already developed and broaden the range of the expenditure categories I manage.”