Debbie Simpkins, co-owner of InXpress Liverpool, dreamt of breaking out of her comfort zone, whilst finding security in a profession she enjoyed. With the support of her business partner Bill, the encouragement of her husband and children, and the inner-determination to see what she could accomplish, Debbie embarked on a new and exciting challenge, with InXpress, which saw her career dreams come true.
Family set-back When her children were born, part-time bookkeeper Debbie found a way to work part-time around her family. But then, when her husband was only 45, and while the children were still young, he had a heart attack. “It was a difficult time for us as a couple, and as a family.” Debbie recalls. “We needed to find a way to work together which would allow him to recover short-term, and reduce the long-term stress. Our solution was role-reversal. My husband started working part-time and I worked full-time.”
Debbie’s employer at the time, Bill Carter was fully supportive, as she built up her hours giving her more responsibility within the company, combining responsibilities as a PA as well as bookkeeping. Then Bill sold-off part of his business, and began looking for something new he could add to the business. “We were involved in the shipping industry,” explains Debbie, “so when we came across InXpress eleven years ago, it had some synergy with what we were already doing. Bill invited me to come into business with him, to co-own an InXpress franchise. I accepted the offer to keep moving forward in my career.”
Stepping up For Debbie, who was used to working in the background, she had to come out from the shadows. “It was a big change,” She says. “I learned a lot! I had to step-out and become the lead. With the support of my family, and the InXpress head office, it has been a massive learning curve, but a really good milestone in my career.”
InXpress provided Debbie with expert training, and the resources which gave her the confidence to excel. Franchisees are typically sales-minded who enjoy going out there to market their services and make the sale. “Part of building a business means promoting yourself, without being afraid of talking to people. My biggest challenge, which was also my biggest springboard, was networking!” she says. “InXpress is a very people-to-people business; when people know they can trust you, they feel confident buying from you. I didn’t want to network. I didn’t like doing it. But I knew I needed to!”
InXpress Community InXpress give franchisees a proven model to build a successful business, with low overheads and high earning potential. They provide you with a fully integrated system, combined with all the training and support to help your business flourish. Debbie believes this level of support is what helps each InXpress franchise thrive. “There is a sense of community within InXpress. You form relationships with other franchisees, learning from them, listening to them, taking their advice. It is then down to you, as an interdependent InXpress owner, to mould it however you want to use it.”
The future is female Working in this industry, which is very male-dominated, Debbie says she has learned to adjust how she speaks to her customers. “I work mainly with men. They like bullet points – they don’t want fine-detail, so I’ve learned how to meet what my customers want.” she explains. “I’ve also learned, by working with men, to listen and digest what is said before making a comment. Everyone’s consignment is important to them – regardless of whether it is a personal gift, or a document holding up a process, it’s important to listen, and offer reassurance, which is where my strength as a woman shines through.”
Not afraid to push the boundaries, Debbie is not intimidated working in such a male-dominated industry. “I think there’s plenty of room for more women in this industry. Women are more understanding, which is integral to dealing with customers, and provides balance to the customer service we offer.”
InXpress has allowed Debbie to plan for her future, guaranteeing security for herself and her family. “I definitely don’t feel overwhelmed by working in such a male-orientated industry! If anything, it has allowed me to grow as a person. Nine years ago, I would stand behind my colleagues, now I stand up to them. I enjoy every day at my job and my work/life balance has never been better.
I’m very much looking forward to the future.”
InXpress offers franchisees the chance to develop their management and sales skillsets to build a scalable and flexible business with high earning potential. To find out more about how to make your career dream come true, email Mel Spencer on: firstname.lastname@example.org