A long career in sales coupled with years of experience in the construction industry is proving invaluable to Activ Web Design franchisee John Elwell. John, who has run the franchise on the Isle of Wight since July last year – and acquired an Activ UK franchise in February, is discovering that both ventures have vast potential.
Working with wife Judith, who has a background in IT, the couple have seen their two franchises flourish and believe Activ offers some of the best franchising opportunities on the market.
John, who is 53, said: “With regard to Activ Web Design, I am finding that following the recession many businesses are at last waking up to the benefits of on-line marketing and now view having their own site as an investment rather than a cost.
“In fact in recent months I’ve developed more e-commerce websites than standard ones as small retailers look at alternative ways to sell their goods and become more competitive.”
So far John has either completed or is in the process of developing sites for 30 businesses, with clients ranging from an art gallery and emporium to a building firm and fashion boutique.
And his knowledge and understanding of the island’s construction industry – acquired while running his own small building firm for several years – has definitely assisted him in growing the business.
He said: “I knew of suppliers who were well regarded in the local building trade but didn’t have a website, so they’ve been among my first customers. I’m now at the point where at least two customers a month come via a referral.”
And when it comes to recommendations, John cannot recommend the service and support he’s received from the Activ team highly enough.
He said: “When I decided to leave the building trade and take on a new venture, I didn’t particularly want the hassle of starting my own business from scratch or working for anyone else, so Activ suited me perfectly.” “I’m the sort of person who tells it how it is and I can honestly say Activ are brilliant.
“I looked at several other web development related franchises before I invested in them but nothing impressed me.
“With Activ there are no hidden costs and its franchisees are not obliged to give a percentage of their earnings for each site developed to the franchise owners as is the case with other web development franchises.
“Also, some franchises operate an unrealistically high cost structure. In some instances they are charging customers as much as £1000 for a standard website package – rising to £3000 for an e-commerce site, which is just too expensive for smaller businesses.”