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Business owner Jeffrey started franchising in his 80s

Business owner Jeffrey started franchising in his 80s

Jeffrey Robinson was a business owner and worked in the textiles industry for 60 years. Still keen for a challenge with less long distance travel he started a franchising career in his 80s.

image003How did you get started?

Tubz: What was your career before you started franchising?

Jeffrey Robinson: I had my own company in the textile business.

T: Had you been doing that for quite a long time?

JR: About 60 years.

T: Why did you want the change?

JR: The textiles business had changed. It involved a lot of travelling to China and places like that. I’m not getting any younger so I decided to leave the business to my son, and I would try something else.

T: Why franchising and why Tubz?

JR: It appealed to me. It was not an expensive start-up and it was instant money from the start. That was the thing that appealed to me.

T: Did you look at any options other than Tubz?

JR: Two or three but most of the ones that I saw were computer orientated and I’m not computer literate enough to do that.

T: Who was involved in the decision making process?

JR: Just me.

T: What was the most important thing when making your decision?

JR: I needed someone with back-up. I went to see Tubz, I was impressed with it. I went down to the warehouse.

T: What challenges were you expecting when you started the business?

JR: The normal retail things. Because all my business has been dealing wholesale, I’ve never dealt with retail. Dealing with the public is an entirely different attitude that you have to take.

How did you find the set-up process?

T: How long did it take to get up and running?

JR: Once I made the decision and I paid the money, two weeks. In two weeks I had received the first lot of towers and then we had two or three sites the next week and that’s when we started. So you could say in one to three weeks it was moving.

T: Did that process meet your expectations?

JR: Yes, I expected it to be that sort of timing.

T: How easy was it to find suitable sites for your machines?

JR: Tubz do that for me.

What were your goals?

T: What were your goals with the new business? What did you aim to get from it?

JR: An income. When I first went down and had the interview, I told them I didn’t want to do it for tin money, it has to give me an income. Going by the figures they provided me, when I reach a certain target I will know whether my calculations are right.

T: How soon did you start receiving an income?

JR: At the moment, I’m not taking an income out. All I’m doing is paying back. My target is 100 machines by the end of the year and that, I estimate, would give me the minimum income.

T: How many machines did you start with?

JR: At the moment, I’ve got 50. I started with 25. It has been, I think, seven months. What I’m looking for now, and the conversation I’m having with Tubz, is to gain another 25.

T: What was the income you had in mind?

JR: About £500 a week.

T: As you’re progressing so far, does that look realistic?

JR: Yes, I’m scheduled for that.

T: How has moving into franchising affected you compared to the business you were running before?

JR: The textile business is a very stressful business. This is less stressful, much less. The reason I want 100 and as fast as possible is because I want it to be a bit more stressful. It will make me work better. It does give you the inclination to work hard. I need that motivation. That’s the way I’ve been all my life.

T: Do you enjoy working with people in this job?

JR: I think people are generally very friendly. If you’re friendly too, I think it’s okay.The majority of my customers are very friendly and they’re pleased to see you when you come through the door and they’re very helpful.

Property developer chooses vending for flexibility

Property developer chooses vending for flexibility

James Battersby is a former contract worker turned property developer, who chose a vending franchise for its flexibility, and a steady ongoing income.

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How did you get started?

Tubz: Before you decided to invest in a Tubz business what was it you were looking for and why?

James: At the time, it was to supplement an income from another business I had, a contracting business, and this one was fairly flexible around my other work and it was a regular cash income so that’s what drew me to it.

But, it was mainly the flexibility. You could make it as big or as small as you wanted to, so you could tailor it to your own personal circumstances.

Tubz: What other options did you look at and why did you choose Tubz over them?

James: I think the whole set up [of Tubz] appealed to what I was looking for to be honest. I don’t remember looking into any other business options in great detail.

I remember looking into Tubz a couple of years prior to when I actually did it. I had conversations with them about it then, so I knew what it was about. I didn’t really look around at anything else, I was quite confident at what was on offer, what I could do with it and what I could get out of it really.

Compared to a lot of other franchise-type businesses, it was quite a low investment, so it all stacked up for me personally.

Tubz: Who was involved in the decision-making process for the franchise?

James: It was actually a business I set up with my step-mum. Back at that time I was working more hours than I am now. We kind of joined in on making the decision with it, we went down to Kent where they’re based and went from there really; we were happy.

Tubz: What was the most important thing when evaluating your options?

James: For us it was a cash business, so it was regular income. I had a business where it’s contracted, so you have peaks and troughs with that, whereas this was generating income the whole time.

Whilst you’re out on site, or in bed, someone could be using it. So it was a regular, monthly income which appealed the most and it happened very quickly as well. It wasn’t like if you started your own business you pay loads before you earn a penny from it. With this once they’re on site you’re earning money. That was the real appeal I guess, along with the flexibility.

Tubz: What other job did you have, or still do have, before buying a Tubz bundle? 

James: I’ve since sold the contracting business actually and I’m now doing property development so it continues to tie in with what I do. I’ve got no intentions of stopping doing it to be honest.

It’s still flexible with what I need it for .  Again with property development it’s not a guaranteed monthly income. You’ll get bits here and there when projects are completed, whereas this continually gives a monthly income.

How did the setup go?

Tubz: What challenges were you expecting?

James: I think it was finding the right sites for the machines. But I wouldn’t say there were any great challenges to be honest. It was really just finding the right locations.

But those guys [Tubz] sort all that out for you; they find the sites, then we go and install them.

Tubz: How long did it take to get up and running?

James: We originally bought 35 machines from them and I’d say they were out within 2 and a half months. We knew it wasn’t going to happen instantly, but it did happen relatively quickly to be honest. I don’t remember any kind of concerns I had to raise with them to say ‘why are we not getting these sites?’

At the time I was pleased with how quickly and efficiently it happened.

Tubz: Did that process meet your expectations?

James: It did yes, if you work with Tubz and speak to them, then they’ll do their best to help you.

They’re quite flexible with your needs as well. I was perfectly happy with how it happened for me, I don’t know if that’s the case for everyone but it certainly worked for me.

Tubz: Have you invested in more machines?

James: Yes, I started with 35, I’ve since bought another 15 off them and then I bought another round off an existing vendor who had some up for sale, so I’m up to about 60 now.

Tubz: Do they bring in quite a good income for you?

James: They do, it’s about £750 profit a month. If you sell £1500 worth of sweets a month, roughly half of it is covering the stock and other little expenses, and half of it is profit. So it’s always about that level.

Tubz: How has your Tubz franchise affected your life?

James: It’s a bit more comfortable than other jobs because it’s more money for what isn’t a massive amount of time to go round and restock the machines. I’d have to say its affected my life for the better, to put it simply.

What next?

Tubz: What are your business plans for the future with it? Would you want to buy some more?

James: If I feel like I can put another few machines out there and I’ve got the time to do it, then I would do it. It just tailors to my own personal circumstances. So I wouldn’t have any problems with increasing my numbers.

What UK Franchise Should I Choose?

What UK Franchise Should I Choose?

Once you have decided that investing in a franchise is the next professional step for you, one of the most important questions to answer is: “What franchise should I open?”. Deciding what franchise to buy is a huge decision which will be based on a number of factors including:

– Your experience and background

– Your lifestyle and goals

– Your resources

– Your location

Your experience and background

One of the beauties of investing in a franchise is that it allows you to join industries and sectors which you may have little previous experience of. If you’ve always dreamed of working with food, a franchise model will allow you to draw on the existing resources and expertise available to run a successful business in the sector.

While experience in your chosen franchise niche may be helpful – and in some instances may be required by your franchisor – it is often not essential. This opens the door to a huge array of possibilities, allowing people to pursue directions at any stage in life, from operating restaurants, to furthering a beauty brand.

Of course, in many areas franchisors will want to work with franchisees who understand their niche to ensure the success of their new franchise and the preservation of their reputation. However, many franchises can be operated by franchisees with no direct industry experience, presuming they have the skills and drive to make it a success.

If you’re totally new to both business and your sector of choice, you may find it difficult to get approval from some franchisors. In these instances, you may want to develop your experiences by starting with a smaller enterprise.

vending machine products

At Tubz our franchise is operated by hundreds of fantastic individuals and for some it’s their first step into the franchising world. This is an instance where previous experience is not essential. Take a look at some testimonials to learn more about our operators’ experiences and what franchises UK franchisees choose.

Ultimately, if you have proven business experience, you will likely have your pick of franchises. If you have experience in a particular sector, again, you will likely find great opportunities awaiting you. If you are new to business and your chosen sector, it may be wise to start small to build your experience before progressing to more substantial enterprises.

Your lifestyle and ambitions

For some franchisees, franchising is about ploughing all resources into a successful full time business. For others, it’s about working flexibly and making additional income on a part-time basis.

The type of UK franchise you choose will depend on the lifestyle you lead and your overall goals. If you’re ambitious, ready to throw yourself into your new franchise and keen to continue expanding, look for opportunities with plenty of room for growth, where new locations are likely to become available.

Your resources

How much money do you have to invest in a franchise? This is an important follow up query to the question of what franchise you should choose.

There is substantial variation when it comes to up front franchise costs (and that’s before you factor in ongoing service costs and percentage cuts of profits in some cases). From affordable franchise opportunities like ours, to more substantial investments which will usually require a bank loan to fund, make sure you decide what franchise to buy based on the funds you have and an accurate grasp of the returns you expect to see.

Of course, while franchise failure rates are low, not every franchise is a success story, but a realistic and responsible approach to your finances will be crucial to a good outcome.

You can find out all about our typical costs and profits on our business bundles page.

Your area

Scenic view of Edinburgh skyline with the castle in background, Scotland, United Kingdom

The location in which you intend to operate your franchise will also affect the answer to the question: “What franchise should I invest in?”.

In some cases, other existing franchisees may have exclusive rights to operation in your area of choice. In other instances, demand in your location may be too low for a franchisor to want to conduct new business there. Some franchises will have pre-existing locations already, ready for you to start a business – but this may not be in your region of choice.

Make sure you select a UK franchise which you can operate where you want to work, with room for further expansion locally, if this is one of your goals.

Popular franchise options in the UK include…

– Food service franchises (including fast food chains, restaurants)

– Retail franchises (stores and businesses selling products via a recognised brand)

– Service franchises (from beauty treatments and plumbing, to care homes and cleaning)

– B2B franchises (including IT consulting and commercial cleaning)

– Vending franchises (such as the vending machine opportunities at Tubz which start below £3,000.)

Do you think vending machine franchising may be the right option for you? Please contact our team today for more information via: or 01795 414 480.

Franchise advantages and disadvantages

Franchise advantages and disadvantages

Are you thinking about getting on board with a vending franchise? 

Advantages and disadvantages are essential considerations for every would-be franchisee, whether you’re considering operating a vending machine franchise like those offered at Tubz, or a service-oriented franchise from a regional group.

Whether you’re looking into a nail art franchise, a foodie business opportunity or anything in between, we’ve distilled the key franchise pros and cons to help you make your big decision.

Franchise benefits

Pros contra cons concept. Empty list on blackboard background, for decision making at business, school. Comparison between negative positive, advantage against disadvantage.

From the chance to be your own boss and set your own schedule, to the ability to hit the ground running with a proven business model, when considering franchise pros and cons, the positives loom large…

Be your own boss – For many individuals, being your own boss is the dream. Although you are answerable to your franchisor, franchisees are, in effect, their own bosses. This means they can run their franchise their way, setting their own hours, deciding on next steps and enjoying the freedom of working for themselves.

Flexibility & quality of life  The chance to be your own boss as a franchisee also allows many people greater freedom and flexibility in life. From single mums who juggle childcare and work, to retired individuals looks for a “side earner”, choosing the right kind of franchise opportunity can allow you more freedom and the flexibility to work in a way that suits your schedule.

Existing resources – We’ve all heard the terrifying statistics about startup failure. A huge proportion of new businesses in the UK will fail in the first three years, which brings us on to another huge franchise advantage: a greater chance of success. 

With a proven business model and a wealth of resources already available, it’s much easier to succeed in franchising than it is to succeed going solo from scratch. From existing marketing materials, to tried and tested processes and existing supply chains, the risk of going into franchising is significantly lower than the risk of starting your own business.

Drawing on experience  Alongside marketing materials, supply chains and proven processes, a key franchise benefit is that you won’t be “going it alone”. Instead you’ll be part of a network of people with substantial experience in business – and your new business in particular. 

From your franchisor who may offer training but will also provide ongoing support and expertise, to your co-franchisees who may also be able to offer advice and guidance, there is a wealth of experience available for new franchisees to draw on.

Predictable costs  Startups are expensive. Even with the most watertight budget in the world, unexpected expenses and costs will crop up, which make success incredibly tough. Franchising typically involves predictable costs which you will know about and can plan for up front, this allows you to budget effectively and manage money without unexpected costs.

Franchise disadvantages

But we’re not just exploring franchise benefits here. We’re talking about franchise pros and cons.

As with any business model, franchising isn’t perfect and won’t be the right fit for everyone. Here are the franchise disadvantages you should be aware of:

No complete independence  For many individuals, the business dream is to build a company of your own from the ground up. Although the majority of UK startups fail, this dream is enduringly popular. If it’s your dream too, franchising may not be the best path.

That’s because no franchisee has total autonomy; instead they must abide by their franchise agreement, laid out by their franchisor. This can dictate everything from where they operate to who they sell their franchise to in the future. However, different franchises have different rules, and if you want an opportunity with flexibility so you can run it your own way, you won’t have trouble finding one.

Investment risks  Like any business opportunity, franchising is an investment. That means it does carry some risk. Franchises may be substantially less likely to fail than independent startups, but it is still a possibility worth being aware of.

Franchising costs – While the predictability of business costs is a franchise benefit, there are many costs which franchisees must pay which startup founders will not need to cover. These can include costs like:

– The upfront cost of buying a franchise

– Management service fees

– A percentage of your profits

Weighing the pros and cons

So is franchising the right option for you? Which fork in the road will you take?

Once you’ve considered the advantages and disadvantages and reached your own conclusions, it’s time to take a closer look at the particular type of franchise you’re interested in operating, as franchise type can make a big difference to their suitability for you.

Our testimonials will give you some insight into what makes vending machine franchises a good fit for many individuals, while our business bundles page will give you a clearer picture of the costs and potential profits of franchises of this scale and type.

For more specific information on the pros and cons of vending machine franchising, please contact our team today via: or 01795 414 480.

How to find a franchise under £10K

How to find a franchise under £10K

Are you looking for a cheap franchise business you can invest in for under £10K?

One of the fantastic things about franchising is that there is so much variation within the industry. While some opportunities call for a substantial investment and often a bank loan, there are also plenty of low cost franchise opportunities you can get on board with.

If you’re searching for your ideal franchise under £10K, we’ve put together a few pointers to help you identify an inexpensive opportunity that will suit your budget and goals.

Where to start

Before you begin your search it’s a good idea to have a firm budget in mind.

Whether you’re searching for cheap franchises under £5,000 or something closer to the £10,000 mark, there are a number of expenses you’ll need to factor into your equation, including:

– Up front investment

– Service maintenance costs

– The percentage of your profits owed to your franchisor (not required at Tubz)

– Restocking costs

Not all franchises will demand all of these costs, but it’s important to be aware of them before you start your search. This will ensure you don’t get hooked by an opportunity that seems affordable but quickly adds up to break your budget.

Beginning the search 

There are lots of places to search for cheap franchises throughout the UK – and worldwide. As you might expect, the internet is a very good place to begin your search – but a word of warning – not every cheap franchising opportunity you’ll uncover online is what it seems.

As with every industry, there are some sharks out there, so exercise caution during your franchise hunt. Reading testimonials and case studies from and about current franchisees will help you to distinguish a great opportunity from a con, as will speaking in depth with the franchisor and visiting their premises.

At Tubz Vending, we share insights from our franchisees on our testimonials page to help prospective partners get a feel for our business. We also invite potential franchisees to visit us, meet the team and take a tour around our operation.

Typical low cost franchise businesses

There are plenty of inexpensive franchises to be found for entrepreneurial individuals looking either for a side earner or an affordable business they can gradually grow and expand, across a range of sectors.

Here are a few common cheap franchise businesses you may want to explore:

Vending machines
Call us self-centred, but we thought we’d kick this list off with the type of business we operate here at Tubz. We offer franchises under £5,000, with opportunities starting at £2,499 + VAT.

Check out our business bundles to learn more about our costs and potential profits. Don’t forget to explore the rest of the Tubz website for tonnes of information about buying a vending franchise.

Fitness franchises
From “Jazzercise” and personal training, to football leagues, fitness is big business and there are plenty of low cost franchising opportunities to get involved with in this sector. It’s important to consider the set up costs, equipment and premises required to get started.

Cleaning franchises
This service oriented sector is often an affordable area for those keen to buy into a franchise and run their own business under a recognisable name with plenty of support and resources already to hand.

Other low cost franchises
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Alternative cheap franchise businesses can include: mobile coffee stands, pet food home delivery, beauty, B2B marketing, language teaching, web design, mechanic services – the list is long. Take some time to explore it thoroughly before hitting on the perfect, flexible, low cost option for you.

Have you decided that a vending franchise could be your ideal franchise under £5K? We’d love to talk to you about joining the Tubz family of franchisees across the UK. For more information, please contact us via: or on: 01795 414 480.