Bersted Franchise: “Their ethos appealed”
Julian and Rachel Staddon launched their Bersted Franchise in June 2017.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing before buying a franchise business?
We bought the Bersted franchise! Julian and I are from the UK; we went to South Africa on honeymoon in 1989 and ended up staying for 29 years! Julian worked for oil and gas companies as a Health & Safety Consultant. I have worked in marketing and logistics. I also ran my own “Virtual Assistant” company along with two close friends. We moved back to the UK to be nearer to my elderly parents who have a few health issues.
Can you also tell us about the franchise you have bought?
The ethos of Driving Miss Daisy® appealed to us. The positive and helpful attitude shown by the franchisor, and their support, helped a lot. It meant that getting our Bersted franchise up and running went to plan.
Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose your industry? And why did you choose your franchise?
As we are both over 50 and so have a limited, productive business life, we didn’t want to start from scratch. We wanted a business model that we could both work at using our different skill sets. Driving Miss Daisy® is established in a market segment that has huge potential for growth. And working with people gives us a great ‘feel good’ factor!
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Three day’s training at the start, and planned, ongoing support and training. Cherry, the Operations Director, and the Client Services team are always there to help.
How would you describe your day-to-day role as a franchisee?
Busy! Very busy!
What challenges have you faced?
Trying to get a new business up and running at the same time as relocating from Cape Town to the UK. Understanding UK company rules and regulations and learning the Private Hire industry legislation. Because of being out of the UK for 29 years we had no recent credit history here. As such, Julian and I did not qualify for any personal or business line of credit.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
It’s keeping us busy and we’re working together as a couple. We are a wonderful, growing business, supplying much needed services to our community.
What piece of advice would you give someone looking to buy their first franchise?
You need to be passionate about what you decide to get into. If you don’t believe in the business, it’s going to be difficult to make it a success!
Do your market research to find a suitable area; we chose the Bersted franchise. Check what support and ongoing back up the parent company offer.
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
Passion & belief in what you do. Your people are your business, so take great care to select the right ones! Not being afraid to expand when the opportunity arises.
What are your plans for the future?
To consolidate what we’ve achieved in our first year and to keep building up our base of regular repeat clients. We can only look at expanding if we look after the basics; maintaining the quality of our service is critical.
The Bersted franchise story can also be viewed in the flip-book, ‘Choosing to become a Driving Miss Daisy® Franchisee‘.
Further information can be read on our Business Opportunity page.