It is not quite a year since former British Airways human resources senior manager Mark Rouvray bought an Activ Web Design franchise but in that relatively short space of time business has really taken off.
Mark, who spent 14 years in management with BA – and, before that, 10 years with British Gas – has amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge during his long career with major plcs.
But, when the opportunity came to take voluntary redundancy, he decided to change direction and invest in an Activ franchise.
Mark, who is 46 and holds an MBA in IT management as well as a BSc Hons degree in operational research, wanted a franchise which had an IT element – but more importantly, put him in contact with growing small businesses.
And after speaking with Activ, he realised that an Activ franchise presented him with the perfect opportunity.
He said: “Much of what I did while at BA related to computers and I also managed a team developing website content for the company intranet. Although always interested in IT, I realised I would like to play a more creative part in the end product. What also appealed to me about Activ was the technical support and expertise which exists within Activ’s head office.
“Knowing that the Activ team can provide this means I can be confident of assisting clients should their IT needs be of a more bespoke nature and go beyond that of a standard website package.”
Mark, whose impressive client portfolio features almost every trade from builder to electrician, has also created websites for a diverse range of retailers including a jeweller, high street butcher and home accessories business.
And, in addition to offering websites, Mark, also enjoys being able to speak with small businesses on a one to one basis – passing on experience he has gained while working in senior positions for household name employers over many years.
He said: “Some of the franchising opportunities I looked at before buying Activ primarily involved the franchisee becoming a salesperson.
“I wanted something which offered more than merely selling and ultimately I would like my Activ franchise to focus not only on websites but also business consultancy for smaller companies looking for guidance and advice. “I am now at the stage where I am receiving recommendations and am confident of winning more work as smaller businesses acknowledge that a website should be high on their list of priorities.”
“I’ve now completed about 20 websites and after a relatively slow start in the first couple of months am at the point where I’m building at least one website a week.” And Mark, whose former role at Heathrow involved a two hour a day round commute, also appreciates the flexibility his major career change has provided. He added: “Making the move has changed my life/work balance for the better and I very much look forward to continuing to grow my business.”