Van-based franchise provides a new path after career in the police

After retiring from a 30-year career with the police, Zerodrytime franchisee Phil Hewish was looking for a means to supplement his pension income and to occupy his time.

The idea of running his own business was attractive, as he explains:

“Having been told what to do every working day of my life for over 30 years, it was time to be my own boss.”

Why franchising?

Providing a ready-made business, franchising appealed to Phil, and he attended The National Franchise Exhibition in February 2018 to research the brands and business types on offer.

“By the time I attended the exhibition, I knew that I wanted a van-based franchise,” Phil comments. “I wanted a business that would keep me active and away from a desk, and one that allowed me complete control over my work schedule.”

Why Zerodrytime?

Phil explored the Vehicle-based Showcase feature of the exhibition and was immediately drawn to the dry carpet and upholstery cleaning brand Zerodrytime.

“I approached their stand where I met David Muirhead and Dean Davis who ran the business. I must have taken up a good 90 minutes of their time, getting every detail of how the franchise network operated, the services offered and what would be required of me.”

“It was invaluable speaking with them face-to-face to truly understand the business – both David and Dean have on-the-ground experience of delivering the services their franchisees provide.”

“I was impressed with the cleaning services Zerodrytime offered and the support which was clearly on offer for their franchisees. I also happen to like cleaning, so it felt like a good fit for me!”

Next steps

Things progressed swiftly after the event and Phil became the proud owner and operator of his Zerodrytime franchise in April 2018. Living in Warwick himself, Phil’s business covers South Warwickshire and the Cotswolds.

“Having been an employee all my working life, there was so much that was new to me about running a business, from setting up a business bank account to finding customers,” Phil comments.

“The support provided by head office with launching and marketing the business was so good, it really made getting my franchise off the ground feel easy.”

Life as a franchisee

A year into running his own business, Phil explains what it’s like being a Zerodrytime franchisee:

“Even though I am autonomous over my business, I still feel like I am part of something bigger. Coming from such a tight-knit work environment as the police and always having worked as part of a team, it is great to feel like I’m not alone.”

“Zerodrytime head office is run by a team of supportive family and friends and this culture filters down through the franchise network.”

“The franchisees are always in touch with each other, sharing support and advice. Zerodrytime offers many services now, from dry carpet cleaning to leather restoration, and sometimes customers present us with challenging tasks – but you can feel confident saying ‘yes’ to jobs because you’ve got the experience and advice of other franchisees to draw upon.”

“I’m enjoying growing my own business with the support of a brand which continues to develop its services and reputation.”

Being your own boss

Phil explains what it’s like running his own business:

“I am really enjoying being in charge of my own work schedule after all those years of having every shift-pattern dictated!”

“I’m now in a position where I can take a day off or book a holiday exactly when I want and choose to, and I can go out at short notice or even spontaneously. I don’t have a set pattern and I can work exactly when it suits me.”

“Time with my family has expanded and my social life has really benefitted since becoming a Zerodrytime franchisee.”

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