New Challenges

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Rakesh Joshi invested in the Card Connection’s Northampton territory back in August 2017 after some detailed research. “I was actually looking at a franchise at one of Card Connection’s direct competitors, but having met the team at Farnham and looking more closely at the company’s product range, I realised I quickly needed to switched allegiance,” said Rakesh. “The breadth and quality of the designs, plus the very professional nature of business set-up were what really clinched it, for me.”
Rakesh, known by his customers simply as ‘Josh’, reflected on the first year of his franchise. “The biggest problem was that the previous franchisee had held the area for 25 years, and most of the knowledge was safely locked in her head! Josh explained, “So getting my own routines, procedures and logistics in place took a while, especially as I jumped in at the deep end by taking on the area at the busiest possible time of the year – having to put out all of Christmas closely followed by the Spring Seasons!”
“Fortunately my Regional Sales Manager was an enormous help,” said Josh. “If I had a query he’d get back to me usually within the hour and in the early months I felt like I had almost 24 hour support!”
“I knew it was big change for the customers and that maintaining their trust as new face of Card Connection was crucial. I deliberately took the time to have proper conversation with them. Asking simple questions, like, “What do you think sells?” then really listening to them.”
Josh’s strategy in the first year was to really get to know his product, his customers and his area. “I made sure I offered price points for everyone, from budget cards up to the most expensive handmade designs, but all in all offering a happy medium. The size of the core range, plus the new Collection range allowed me to keep things really fresh for customers by changing the designs at every second visit.”
Asked what he enjoyed most about his franchise, Josh had no hesitation: “Being my own boss, making my own decisions and having the freedom and flexibility to chop and change my itinerary when I want to, or need to!”
With a whole year’s merchandising cycle now under his belt, Josh feels confident to begin exploring stretching his product offering, to really expand the sales potential of his area.
Card Connection is part of UK Greetings, which is a subsidiary of American Greetings Inc., one of the largest greeting card publishers in the world and has limited vacancies for franchisees that are keen to run an expanding business. Since the franchise network in the UK is complete, the available opportunities now consist of acquiring an already-established territory from an existing franchisee. These vary in price according to their level of development, but start at £35k + Stock + Card Connection fee with earnings potential in excess of £50k per annum.