It’s the stuff of dreams, owning your own business by the time you hit 20! But for InXpress franchisee Jack Fisher, supported by David and Liz Murray, owners of InXpress Coventry, this dream has come true! And he can lay claim to the title of the UK’s youngest franchisee!
“Most of my friends went off to uni,” Jack says, “but I didn’t want to go through four more years of studying. I was ready to start working and earning money for myself!”
So, when he left school in 2015, Jack set about looking for an apprenticeship, but found it wasn’t as easy as he’d have hoped, mainly as he wasn’t into mechanics and engineering, “I applied for a couple of apprenticeships, but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to rush into something I might regret.” Jack explains.
A few months after he finished school, with all his friends settled into uni-life, Jack happened upon a chance meeting, which was to change the course of his life. “David’s son in is a brass band my mum conducts,” he explains. “I was helping her out one day when David came to pick him up. He asked me how my job hunt was going. I told him I hadn’t yet been able to find something I wanted to do, which is when he mentioned he might be looking for someone,” Jack recalls. “So, I sent an email the next day, and Liz (David’s wife and business partner) invited me to meet with them. I honestly had no idea what InXpress was about, but once I’d met with Liz and David, I was sold!”
Potential seen by Liz & David
David and Liz Murray started their InXpress franchise in 2008, quickly moving from the back bedroom into offices in a local business park. David had always wanted to work in logistics straight from school, and had a lifelong dream to start his own business. “I already had a successful consultancy business when I first looked at InXpress,” he says. “They provide global shipping solutions to local SMEs, delivering service improvement and reduced cost for customers. I loved the business model. Liz and I have been able to successfully make it work for us.”
Reaching a point when their business needed more people in the office, they decided to look at apprenticeships, “We really liked the idea of apprenticeships; the chance to develop a role tailored to our business needs, and at the same time, help an apprentice develop whilst they earn a formal qualification,” Liz explains. “We’d literally just spoken with an apprentice training provider when Jack emailed to say he was looking for a job. It was an amazing coincidence!”
“Liz and I have an ethos, of working with people we can invest in,” David says. “We’ve both experienced working for large corporations, and this is our way to give back.”
So much so David and Liz have taken on another apprentice, Charlotte, when she finished her A-levels last year, “Working at InXpress is fantastic! I’m learning all aspects of the business, and no two days are the same. At the same time, I’m studying for my Level 3 NVQ in Business Admin,” says Charlotte.
Being his own boss
During his apprenticeship, Jack covered a range of business studies, learning key elements he has been able to apply in day-to-day situations. “We wanted to ensure Jack had a full experience of the business, so he was trained in all areas, from answering calls, to dealing with customers, to inputting invoices,” explains Liz.
Jack also simultaneously studied accountancy, using this to his advantage with the financial side of the business, as he supported David with invoicing, which – as it turns out – has become one of his favourite jobs. “When I finished my two apprenticeships, I had a couple of options to consider. I could either go on to do the next level NVQ, or find full-time employment. What happened next really shocked me,” Jack says.
In September, 2017, Jack suddenly found himself being made co-owner and Director of David and Liz’s second franchise as they expanded operations. “We wanted to expand but we didn’t want to let go of Jack,” explains Liz. “Buying a second franchise was a win-win! We keep Jack, who runs our business, plus we expand, whilst helping him to grow – he is now Director of his own limited company.”
“I honestly didn’t think the option to run my own franchise would ever have come around so soon! David and Liz are so supportive, which helps massively.”
Young Gun lifestyle
The two franchises are about to move to new, larger premises, allowing them the space to take on additional office team members, “Preparation is the key to success, which we discovered with our first franchise. By taking the time to set up Jack’s franchise, we can ensure it operates in the most efficient and effective way,” explains David. “But in terms of the business goals, we’re leaving it up to Jack to manage. We will support him all the way!”
When he is not trying to build his own InXpress Franchise, Jack plays percussion and cornet, and conducts a brass band, he is also in a local Hockey team. “Last year, I was involved in a number of concerts and workshops, including trips to Ireland and the Isle of Man! Little did I know back then I would have my own customers regularly shipping to those same places,” he says.
Coventry and Stour Valley both operate from the same building, as David and Liz continue to support Jack with his new venture. But Jack already has his sights set on becoming one of the InXpress Top Guns! “You have to aim high, don’t you! Coventry have been a Top Gun franchise several times already, and I am aiming to join them with Stour Valley!” he laughs.
To find out more about investing in your own InXpress franchise, including our special Young Guns package for graduates, click here to fill in the contact form, and we will give you a call.