Special Feature

What attracted you to PPP specifi cally? AM: Joining PPP was not only part of an inheritance plan for me but also a wise business decision. The return on investment offered by the HMO model is substantially higher than that of single-occupancy buy-to-let properties and there is less risk of an empty property as rooms are let out individually. The HMO market can be complex and we did not want to risk making costly mistakes on our own. We’ve received some brilliant support and advice and are thoroughly enjoying the journey. AC: It is also important to know that I can have a successful and profi table business to pass down to my daughter when the time comes. By then, the property portfolio could act as a fairly hands-off investment, so she can choose whether to carry on working in the business or hire a property manager and pursue another career. Nonetheless, it will give her an income for life with an underlying growing asset base.

How do you divide the work? AC: We both play a key role in deciding which properties to buy and how to refurbish them. Alexandra then takes control of the accountancy side of the business while I focus on the management



of family businesses feel they are more agile and streamlined in decision making than their non- family counterparts

have members of the next generation

working in the business Source: PwC UK Family Business Survey 2017

and taking care of the tenants. However, we both attend social events when we can.

What are the benefi ts of franchising as a family ? AM: It is a great opportunity to spend time together in a working environment. There is total trust and it is great to combine my mum’s experience of business and life

other children were no longer at home and it seemed like a really good opportunity. We went to The National Franchise Exhibition to fi nd out more – to talk to some franchisors and listen to a couple of the free seminars.

GRAHAM, KERRY AND MATT FLATMAN Kerry and Gra ham Flatman’s son Matt was already a fra nchisee with Mac Tools, when they decided that taking on the fra nchise areas adjacent to Matt’s was an opport unity too good to miss. Kerry explains how they launched their own business.

How did you start the process of becoming Mac Tools franchisees? We fancied a change from our jobs, our

What happened next? Mac Tools reps visited us to give a presentation and hold an informal interview. After that we each spent a day out in a van with another franchisee, seeing if it was right for us. It was really good. I went out with another woman, which was good as the industry is generally very male-dominated. After this we had another, more formal interview at the head offi ce. Then, once the fi nance was sorted, we were ready to go!

What’s it like working together? What skills do you each bring? We really enjoy having our own business and doing it together. We bounce ideas off each other. Also, we’ve got a mix of

with my own accountancy and technology skills and up-to-the-

minute knowledge of the market.

What are your future plans? AC: Our aim for the future is to build up a portfolio of up to 10 HMOs and for both of us to be fi nancially secure, as well as setting out a clear inheritance plan for Alex to eventually take over the business entirely.

knowledge. I was a nurse and am used to working with people, but Graham and Matt have the product knowledge and I’ve learnt a lot from them. I’m constantly asking questions.

As you’re living and working together, how do you fi nd a balance? We have to be quite strict with ourselves about work and say “that’s enough, let’s stop!”

What are your plans for the future of the business? We’ve only just entered our second year, but perhaps in the future we’ll think about getting a fourth van and an employee.

Would you recommend franchising to others? Yes! Having your own business is brilliant – we just came back from holiday recently and it is so much easier going back to work when you are working for yourself rather than for someone else. We have no regrets!


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