Jaimie and Lesley Clark are a husband and wife team and run the Greensleeves Doncaster franchise. They joined Greensleeves in 2011, purchasing an existing franchise and so experience a slightly different journey to those establishing a new start-up.
We wanted to build a long-lasting future together. In today’s economic climate, we wanted to run a business, rather than be employed within a business we had no control over. It was important that we could shape our future rather than have someone do it for us. We have always aspired to run a business together and with the help, support and advice offered by Greensleeves, this franchise was our ideal.
We found them on the internet. We were completely new to the industry, their business model appealed to us and they seemed very experienced. Managing Director, David Truby and Director, Phil Paddock are extremely knowledgeable and personable. They were extremely open with us and showed us some great figures from the other franchises. Lesley and I could see ourselves working with them and also the massive potential a franchise could have. One of our main points of criteria, as we were inexperienced in this field, was that we wanted to feel comfortable with whoever we took a franchise with and David and Phil really hit the mark.
Lesley has a career in Sales and Marketing, and I pride myself on having a very strong Customer Service sales background. So together with Lesley’s organisational and administration skills and my thick skin (being used the odd doors being shut in my face whilst canvassing!) we fit well together, as our skills are complementary.
We took on an existing franchise so we had to learn how to run a business quickly, which was a big step, overnight we became the owners of a fully operational business. However, I can’t recommend Greensleeves highly enough, they supported us from day one, they were flexible and helped us iron out the initial teething problems we encountered. Their support was round the clock and it was imperative to a smooth switch over, with minimal impact on existing customers. The initial training provided was fantastic, and they are always on the end of the phone for any day to day questions I fire their way!
Without them, we couldn’t have made it work. They treat us with the same respect we treat our customers and they always go the extra mile. The product itself works really well, we’re very happy and really pleased we decided to join Greensleeves.
It’s definitely enhanced our relationship; we are now more of a team with a joint focus. Yes, we talk about work in the evenings and in our down time but we still ensure we have quality time away from the business but as at the moment it is early days, this tends to be when the business dictates, not when we wish!
The job is very fulfilling. I love doing the work, it’s relaxing and a big improvement on my previous office based roles. I have always enjoyed gardening and the outdoors. We do have less quality time together as it’s hard to switch off but the fact that we are enjoying it so much and the challenges and triumphs it throws our way, we feel we don’t always want to switch off! We now feel we have control of our business and therefore we are able to play the hand in shaping our future. The harder we work the more benefits we will reap. We can see the massive potential and intend to achieve it.