Why did you choose CeX Franchising?
I chose franchising because I wanted to be my own boss, like most people do. The reason I chose franchising instead of just starting a business is because of the support that you get, it makes it kind of easier.
What did you do before starting your CeX franchise?
I did a few things - I was studying, I graduated in aeronautical engineering and then decided that I've always wanted to be in business so I decided to start a printing company, but I wanted to go bigger and better so I chose CeX to start my business career.
What was your research process?
At first, like I said, I wanted to try a business, so I chose a few different franchises, I met up with a few different people and then it came down to choosing who would give the most amount of support and had the best amount of structure, I then read through what we call the FIM(TM) (Franchise Information Memorandum). So I read through that, did a bit of Googling here and there, asked a few franchisees and I thought that it was the best franchise out there. So, for the support, for the structure, that's what I went for.
What attracted you to a CeX franchise?
It was the structure, like I said. The structure, the support; so we have Franchise Managers, we have Area Managers, we have ops report, so we have things like that. It constantly gave you people to go to, to ask questions, and it was a franchise that was ongoing; it didn't seem like it was going to go anywhere in the next couple of years, and that's what attracted me the most.
What support did you receive from CeX
Initially, I had to go through an assessment process, they saw if I was capable of doing it, which was another appealing fact, because it wasn't any Tom, Dick or Harry that got the franchise. It was a process that you had to go through to see if you were capable of running the franchise.
So, I went for a three-day assessment in a store and the store assessed me. After that, they improved me and they made me go through full on training, so you have to work yourself from sales up to an Area Manager level, finish all the competency packs, going to places like the training headquarters in Coventry or Watford and going through operations reports, going through first aid reports etc.
The support I'm receiving right now is I could call my Area Manager, my Franchise Manager, at any time of the day and they'd be more than happy to advise me. If they're busy, I could call any of the other Franchise Managers or Area Managers, and they're more than happy to pick up the phone and tell me where to go and what to do. It's so accessible throughout the company, so transparent, that it makes life much more easier.
When did you start your CeX franchise>
I started this franchise around about five months ago, but prior to that I did obviously do all the training. I started looking into it about a year ago.
What challenges have you faced?
I don't know if you can call them challenges in all honesty, because any kind of 'challenge' that we have faced, has been, again, the support of the franchise itself, that has helped us overcome it. We look for more solutions rather than problems. For example, when we had this shop, it was an old meat shop and there were a few problems, but I knew that I didn't have to worry about it, my Franchise Manager took care of it and the team behind them took care of it also. Really it's more about looking after your staff and running your business, that's all you have to care about, nothing else.
How has becoming a CeX franchisee impacted your life?
In all honesty, it's more free time, you'd be shocked - you think you're doing new business that you'd have to take up more time, but it's more become... you've got more of a balance, so whereas when you're working, you're constantly working and you're at it, now I can nip out if I have to, if I've got other priorities, I do them. It's become much easier and it's helped much more as well.
I actually thought, when I started, that if I got in to retail that I'd hate it, because I'd done a few temp jobs, during the summer, during my university life, and I hated retail. I thought no, I'm never going there again, but when I trained in CeX, it was... it never felt like retail; it felt much more relaxed, it felt much more easier and it was much more fun and that's what you want. You want something that you enjoy, something you want to come back to, doing again and again, and that's what CeX is all about.
What advice would you give to someone considering a CeX franchise?
The advice I would give is basic - go ahead and do it! There's no 'if's and 'but's about it, because CeX, I believe, is one of the best franchises, it is the best franchise out there. The only thing I'd say is that people get put off by second-hand goods and before I came into it, I thought second-hand goods, who's going to buy them, but you'd be shocked by the amount of market that there is out there for it and it's always growing.
CeX is always adapting towards the market. I think if you speak to our commercial team, they would tell you that we used to sell a lot more games and now we've turned, because the markets moved towards the phones, we sell more phones, so they're constantly working on it 24/7. So you can't lose out, because you're always evolving in business and as long as you're moving with the market, you're not going to get lost. So, don't think about it, just do it.
Would you recommend a CeX franchise?
If I wouldn't recommend a CeX franchise, I wouldn't be expanding, because I'm planning to, within my first five months, I'm planning to open a second one or take over another one. So, I would definitely recommend it. I wouldn't think about it twice!
What are your future goals with CeX?
My future goals with CeX is to be a multiple-store owner and to manage a few store and carry on evolving with the business and see where it goes.