‘’I like not having to answer to a boss, being able to work from home, and organising my time to suit.’’
Jacky Francis owns and manages the Plan-it Cards franchise in Shropshire, and is the current Plan-it Cards Franchisee of the Year. She had no experience in running her own business when she signed on the dotted line, but she knew a great product when she saw it.
‘’I love greetings cards and it is a friendly ‘people’ business to be involved with. Working with the range of cards we have is lovely as they are bright and colourful. There are new designs coming out all the time and you don’t get bored! ‘’
In the years since setting up Jacky has been instrumental in helping the brand grow into the national franchise that it is today, and she has in turn received the support to grow her business into a business beyond all recognition.
“There are always daily challenges in any business but I enjoy what I do. At the end of it though I know the more time I spend building up the business the greater the rewards. That’s a great feeling.”
“The flexibility of being my own boss was what originally drew me to franchising. Before I had my daughter I ran a trim shop, for a company who supplied the MoD. I did not think about working again until she had started school, as I did not want to leave her with a childminder. When the opportunity to buy the franchise became available, I realised I could combine the best of both worlds and build a career doing cards that I loved and really believed in. It worked out perfectly as I could decide when to work and still did not have to have a childminder.“
“I’ve worked hard over the years, but I have been supported every step of the way by the Plan-it Cards Head Office team and can easily fit my role around my family commitments. If I need any advice I know Plan-it Cards are there at the end of the phone Going into business, especially as a woman, is not easy and is no excuse for an easy life. I like not having to answer to a boss, being able to work from home, and organising my time to suit.’’
Even in the current economic climate the business continues to grow. Jacky has a good size of territory. She is constantly developing her sites, and with the Plan-it Cards range there are always opportunities to open new shops and extend the business. Space is important to expand and so Jacky has just fitted out her shed as a ‘card house’, so she can pick, pack, and organise her daily merchandising runs better.
“It is always important to set achievable business goals and plan for them I’m currently working towards having 150 good performing sites spread throughout my territory. If I was going to offer a piece of advice to anyone thinking of buying a franchise it would be to consider the life you want and look for other franchisees already living that life. If they can do it, so can you.”