INTERVIEW WITH FRANCHISEES David Strong AND PAUL EGAN
World Options: Tell us about yourself?
David Strong: I have worked in shipping for 20 years first starting out as a courier for FedEx. I thoroughly enjoyed this role and the diversity it brought me. But after 8 years, I felt I needed a new challenge. Using the skills I had gained, and contacts I had made over the years, I decided to look into the World Options franchise.
Paul Egan: I’ve pretty much lived in Rossendale, Lancs most of my life – clearly I must love the rain!! I have been married to Kathy for 17 years now, and have two daughters – aged 14 and 11. I spent most of my working life in the footwear industry and I account managed major fast fashion brands. Looking for a change of direction around 2014 I met Stewart Butler, and he was looking for somebody to account manage World Options head office customers.
World Options: How did you learn about the franchise opportunities that World Options offers?
David Strong: Working as a courier, I was regularly collecting parcels that companies had booked in through World Options. I decided to do some research to find out more about the company.
Paul Egan: Just through working for Stewart at head office.
World Options: What was it that attracted you to wanting to buy a World Options franchise?
David Strong: With my insight into the world of shipping from a courier perspective, I felt I was in a strong position to offer customers something different to perhaps what they had experienced before. I knew I had developed good people skills through being a courier and understood customers’ frustration’s when things didn’t go to plan with their parcels. With my inside knowledge as to how systems in shipping worked, I felt I would be able to reassure and alleviate worries thus offering a potentially unique service.
Paul Egan: Once I realised the opportunity was there and I had confidence I could do the sales side of the job, I thought it was worth exploring doing it for myself.
World Options: How did you find the process of purchasing a World Options franchise to be like?
David Strong: I had a meeting with one of the managing directors at the time who explained the process. He was very thorough and made it as easy and straightforward as possible for me to purchase a franchise.
Paul Egan: I joined David Strong who already owned a WO franchise for 3 years before we started working together. David was looking for somebody to come on board to help him out and I thought it was a great idea to work with somebody rather than doing it on my own. However, I would say that the support, flexibility and understanding of Tracey Higgins during the purchase process was excellent.
World Options: What can we expect to see from your franchise in the coming months?
David Strong: Now we are able to hold face to face meetings, which is my preferred method and we will be actively offering our services to as many new businesses as possible so that they too can benefit from the services we offer.
Paul Egan: Sustainable growth, hopefully. We like to see a steady figure each month but aim to grow this gradually throughout the year. We’re hoping (like everyone else) that the return to ‘normality’ will result in businesses being more open to meetings/door knocking etc.
World Options: Do you have any advice to someone who is looking to buy a World Options Franchise?
David Strong: If you are a hard-working individual who enjoys meeting new people and taking on new challenges, World Options is a fantastic company to work with. There is a real family feel to the company and the managing directors have a motivating and personable approach.
Paul Egan: Don’t expect it just to work! Like everything, the more you put in the more you get out….but if you put it in then the benefits of working for yourself are great.
World Options: What is your favourite holiday?
David Strong: Having a holiday and spending quality time with my family is something I cherish. Prior to having children, I was lucky enough to be able to go travelling around Thailand and Vietnam- two experiences I will never forget.
Paul Egan: Unfortunately, I’m not very well travelled compared to some people! Our family holidays tend to be domestic or in Spain. We’ve loved hiring a big villa in Spain and going with a couple of other families we are great friends with! I have travelled with work through previous employment and was lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time in the beautiful Riva del Garda (Lake Garda) and Milan in Italy as well as the odd trip to China for client meetings.
World Options: Hobbies?
David Strong: I like going to the gym and weight training. I also have a keen interest in cars and motorbikes and I am currently on the hunt for a van to convert into a campervan.
Paul Egan: I love sport! I still (at my age!) play football twice a week, am a member of Burnley Golf Club, try and get to the gym 2 or 3 times a week and I have had a season ticket at Burnley for the last 35 years. I am also very fortunate to have a fantastic group of friends who I love to spend time with.
World Options: Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
David Egan: I suppose the obvious answer is my parents – they’ve been around me the longest! They’ve been very supportive in everything I have done. And my wife, Kathy, is also super supportive – and was particularly supportive when it came to getting involved with a franchise at WO.
David Strong: The most influential person in my life was my father. His hard-working attitude enabled him to work his way up through the Shell Oil company, which in turn gave me and my siblings some amazing childhood experiences, including living in the Netherlands for 4 years. He instilled a hard-working attitude in me.