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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.