It wasn’t a breeze, though. Marshall says one of the most challenging aspects of his new, entrepreneurial role was becoming a salesman. “I had no sales experience,” he says.
“In the early days, I think I wasted a lot of time. It probably took me six or seven months to come up with a plan and identify those people who were serious about entering into partnerships with us as opposed to people who wanted to leverage us to go back to their existing suppliers.”
Marshall picked Netstationers, an office supplies franchise, because of the training and support programme it offers. He says: “That personal development helped me sharpen the areas I lacked experience in.”
Marshall joined Netstationers in November 2006 and officially launched his franchise in January 2007. Turnover for year one was £60,000 but Marshall’s franchise will make £250,000 this year and the aim is to reach £600,000 next year.
He says: “I made a lot of mistakes during year one but I’m very happy where I am. I like feeling in control of what I’m doing but being able to tap into the bigger network has been very helpful.”