When Dean Angel heard that the Countrywide signs franchise owner for Dunstable was retiring, he jumped at the opportunity to run his own business.

Having trained as an engineer, Dean then spent nine years working as a locksmith. He worked for a large commercial firm doing work for corporate businesses, such as Lloyds TSB, but was frustrated with the nationwide travel and not getting the full benefit of the work he was doing.

Dean explains how he heard about the opportunity to buy an existing franchise territory: "The previous franchise owner stored his boards at my in-laws' farm and they passed on the news that he was retiring due to ill-health. He'd been really happy with his business so I knew it was a fantastic opportunity and one not to be missed."

By buying an established business, Dean has the benefit of knowing that it has been run successfully and he's been able to continue the relationships that the previous franchise owner had established. "I've never run my own business before so I've relied on the support and training provided by the team at head office," Dean says. "I've also been able to shadow other franchise owners to understand how they operate and learn from them."

"Working as a locksmith, establishing and maintaining good customer relations was always a big thing. It was important to build their confidence in my reliability and to demonstrate that I delivered on my promises. With my new business, working with businesses who themselves rely on providing a reliable efficient service to their clients, it is it is equally important to establish that trust so that my clients know that they can rely on me for a prompt professional service."

Dean has plans to grow the business and is looking forward to meeting with the management team to help him plan his expansion and a marketing strategy: "I plan to target new areas in the territory, I've spoken to some already and they all seem receptive to working with me and continuing to build the countrywide signs relationship."

Running his own business will also provide Dean with more time to spend with his family. The farm, where he will continue to store the boards, is also home to his wife's livery business and his eldest son helps out with the farm and will help maintain the boards and posts for Dean.

When he's not working Dean enjoys martial arts and won his last competitive fight at Wembley Arena earlier in the year.

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