Redstones Earle Kenlay

Welcome to Redstones : Earle Kenlay, Redstones Hale & Altrincham

From time to time we speak to our franchisees to discover what prompted them to invest in a franchise. This week we caught up with Earle Kenlay who will be opening his Redstones franchise in August 2015.

What is your career background?

My career background is as a senior manager for a well-known clothing retailer where my main responsibility was forecasting and purchasing stock. The company is renowned for high levels of customer service, while delivering quality and value.

When did you first learn about franchising?

Several years ago I attended a local franchise seminar with a colleague who was considering becoming a franchisee. The seminar was hosted by a major high street bank with a number of franchisors in attendance. Although I wasn’t considering investing in a franchise at that time, the seed was planted.

Why did you choose franchising over an employed career?

My career has been very rewarding on a number of fronts but I’ve always nurtured a desire to run a business of my own. Franchising gives me that opportunity without some of the risk associated with a brand new start-up.

Why did you choose Redstones in preference to some of the other franchise options that are available?

I researched and contacted many of the franchisors in the field before making my final decision but in the end it was an easy one.

The ethos of Redstones, in terms of the detail and the high levels of customer service, matched my own aspirations making it easy to see myself working to brand guidelines.  The terms and size of territory on offer, and subsequent scope of the business was far superior to any of the others.

I believe the territory on offer, technology used and competitively priced franchise model is the best value option out there. Of course, this would be worthless without the support and training in place for franchisees which is where Redstones really excel.

Most importantly, however, it was Manjit Virdi, Redstones’ founder, who really sold it to me. Throughout the process Manjit has been available to respond to my concerns in an honest and open way, without any hard sell or pressure for me to sign on the dotted line.

I was given access to all of the other franchisees who were extremely helpful and happy to give up their time, passing on their experience and knowledge.

Is your husband/wife/life partner included in the running of your franchise?

Only in an advisory capacity currently, but they have been very supportive throughout.

How did you raise the finances required?

Predominantly through personal savings and investments, with a loan to cover a portion of the working capital requirements.

How would you rate the training and support received from Redstones?

I couldn’t have asked for any more than I have received so far on both counts.  The training has been thorough and detailed, but is carried out at a pace the franchisee is comfortable with.  As for support, it has continued exactly as it began. All queries receive a fast, honest response.

What challenges have you faced while getting to know your new business?

Trying to learn and prepare for the launch of the business whilst working notice in my employed career has been difficult.  In effect it is working two full time jobs at the same time.  There have also been frustrating times when dealing with other companies involved in the setting up of my new franchise.  A number of them don’t seem to have the efficiency and service that I’m striving to reach with my own business.

What ‘highs’ have you experienced so far?

The constant realisation that my destiny really is in my own hands now.  In addition to that after working for around 20 years in my previous industry, it has been refreshing and challenging to learn and be involved in a new one.

What are your plans for the future?

To grow and expand my Redstones franchise within the territory allocated to fully maximise sales and profits, with the aim of being recognised as best in class in the area.  From there to take the opportunity to expand in to other surrounding territories if available.

What would your advice be to someone thinking of buying a franchise?

Once you have made your decision that the franchising is the right route for you, take your time and research as many franchisors in your chosen field as possible. You need to make sure that the franchise you eventually choose fits in with who you are and what you really want from it.  Don’t just go for the cheapest or easiest route.

Thank you Earle and welcome to Redstones!

Earle has now completed his franchise training and we look forward to the launch of his new franchise this summer.

Thinking of becoming a franchisee? Contact us today to find out how a Redstones franchise can change your life.