Fire service retiree finds a new direction

Robin was introduced to Greensleeves by a friend who was already a franchisee, and spent some time working for him. When the franchisee in one of the neighbouring territories retired, he jumped at the opportunity for him and his wife to get involved.

Robin Mainstone

Greensleeves East Lothian

After retiring from 30 years in the fire service, Robin was looking for a new direction. At just 50 years old, he knew that he still had plenty of good years of work ahead of him and wanted to make them count. However, he wasn’t sure what direction to take and moved between several jobs before realising what he really wanted was to be his own boss. He looked at a number of franchising opportunities, but couldn’t find the right fit.

Robin was introduced to Greensleeves by a friend who was already a franchisee, and spent some time working for him. When the franchisee in one of the neighbouring territories retired, he jumped at the opportunity for him and his wife to get involved.

As Robin told us: “I jumped at the opportunity. When we went down to visit the team in Yorkshire, we were really welcomed as soon as we got there, and never felt under any pressure. I liked the vibe of the company. One of the directors told me ‘We’re not the biggest but we do want to be the best’, and I thought that is exactly the kind of attitude I am looking for.

“I was especially impressed by how Greensleeves thinks about customer service. It was something that our main competitors just weren’t doing properly. If you go online and check out our reviews compared to theirs, that is what it always comes down to. You need to make money, of course, but it’s not just about selling – it’s about doing the right thing for your customers.”

Two years on, Robin feels very confident in his new business, and is preparing to take on a new employee to help him with his growing workload. However, he feels he can always count on the team at head office, and his fellow franchisees, to offer help and advice whenever he needs it.

“I would say to all new franchisees: don’t be afraid to ask for help and reach out to the team or other franchises. There is as much, or as little, support as you ever feel you need. I have regular contact with David and Cheryl. I always feel valued, but I never feel that they are looking over my shoulder. They always treat this as my own business, and always treat me like I am my own boss.”