Ten years ago, Gerry and Maria Burns went against cries of “are you crazy?” when they first considered setting up their own business during the economic crash of 2007. Ten years on, and we are proud to celebrate with them the success of their monumental decision.
Maria explains, “Ten years ago, when our children were small, Gerry was away, travelling a lot with his job. We wanted to find something which would change how much he was away from home, so we could watch our children growing together.” Gerry started researching various franchises, and settled on InXpress as the most convenient and suitable for their growing family. “We wanted something local, which wouldn’t require purchasing lots of stock – something more service-based than premises-based, which wouldn’t need much set-up. InXpress seemed ideal.”
Gerry and Maria started with a handful of customers, growing steadily, “There hasn’t been a single year over the past 10 years, we experienced negative growth. When we started in 2007, it was at the start of the economic crash, but we just trusted we had the ability and determination to make it work. We saw the economic downturn as an opportunity – people at the time were more willing to look at other options, rather than brand loyalty, for their own businesses. Some of those early customers are still with us, which is testament to how InXpress supports them.”
John Drury award winners, Gerry and Maria say they’re honoured to be in a position where they can give back as their franchise grows, “We are now able to offer others a job, which is a great feeling of satisfaction. But we are still growing, and know we have more to offer the InXpress network. But an even bigger achievement for us has been the InXpress Gives Back initiative. With the support of InXpress raising over £2,400, we have been able to help support a very special little girl’s family from our son’s school. She was diagnosed with cancer and needed specialist treatment in America so we helped her family accompany her. This was one of the attractions of InXpress for us ten years ago – Their passion for giving back, as well as growing our business.”
In 2008, the won Rookie of the year, and on a further two occasions, Franchise of the Year. Over the last ten years, Gerry in particular has become a well-known figure at the InXpress conventions, and relishes the opportunity to connect to other franchisees. “Being connected to the InXpress network works well for us. When we need some advice, we can just ping an email, or pick up the phone – we tend to speak to people we’ve developed a relationship with over the years, people who specialise in certain areas we know will point us in the right direction based on what we have seen of them and their own businesses over the years.
Maria is looking forward to the celebrations of ten years on June 1st, and credits their growth to moving with the times, “One of the biggest challenges has been to stay ahead of the game, and ahead of our competitors. Being able to offer consistently high service to our customers, making them believe they’re the most important aspect of your business, is so important. Without living and breathing this ethos, we wouldn’t be where we are.”
Congratulations on ten years of successful growth and stability, Gerry and Maria. We look forward to seeing how much more you can achieve, as your business continues to spread beyond the initial boundaries of those bedroom office walls!