Success Stories

An Activ Franchisee reaches the finals of Franchise of the Year Awards 2011 sponsored by Natwest

Lisa Smith joined Activ in 2008. Back then she was looking for a new focus and challenge. She was keen to find a business to operate around her family and one that gave her total flexibility.

3 years on, and due to her hard work and commitment she has been recognised for her achievements in this year’s Franchise of the Year Startups Awards sponsored by Natwest.

Speaking to Lisa, she commented, “I would like to thank everyone at Activ for their continued support and guidance. Starting a business is hard work and thanks to the expert assistance of everyone at Activ I have grown my Activ business and I’m honoured to reach the finals of this prestigious national award.”

Activ provide online marketing services to SME’s across the UK. Since their inception in 2007 they have grown at a phenomenal rate and are operational in a number of countries including Spain and Australia.

They support thousands of customers daily providing them a range of services including, web design, SEO, email marketing, mobile websites and social media training.

Earlier this month they launched a localised Social Media website for towns and cities, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK

Lisa Smith operates her Activ Franchise in Dunmow, Essex.

When asked why she felt her Activ business had been so successful she stated, “Over recent times money has been tight for small businesses. However as Activ focus on providing services at a price businesses can afford and above all delivers the results a small business needs, I believe this has been the key to my success as I have loads of happy customers.”

Startups Awards recognise the hard work of entrepreneurs across the UK. In recent times they have recognised the achievements of companies such as Wonga, Seatwave, Zoopla and Reggae Reggae Sauce

The winner of the Franchise of the Year awards will be announced on 2nd December 2011 in Kensington Roof Gardens in London.

To view Activ on the Startups Award website visit – http://www.startups.co.uk/2011_3

Case Study: Hitting the ground running in Ipswich

Peter Mann shares his success

My name is Peter Mann and I operate Activ Web Design in Ipswich, I joined Activ about 16 weeks ago in early December of 2010 and so far I have found the experience to be extremely positive and lots of fun..

From a standing start I have sold 16 websites, which works out to be almost exactly 1 every week.  One of the really encouraging things about Activ is that there clearly is a huge demand for websites and the market is hungry to buy the product that Activ has to sell.

If I continue at the rate I am doing then I am going to sell 50 websites this year, which is fantastic. I expect the revenue from website sales this year will be approaching £40,000, who knows what it will be in the second year?

The great thing is I am working when I want and choosing the hours I work.  Being your own boss gives you a fantastic level of satisfaction. Yes I’m working hard, but I’m no longer doing it for other people. I’m doing it for myself, because I want to reap the rewards, rather than working really hard so someone else can benefit.

As far as selling is concerned, I don’t believe that you need to have a strong sales experience to succeed with Activ, it’s not a hard sell by any means it’s more of a consultancy role. Most small to medium sized business already understand the need to be online they understand the benefits to the business, in terms of showcasing the business, helping them stand out from the competition, helping to increase sales, footfall, revenue, profits, all of those good things, and the fact they are not already online is because of the perception and in some cases the reality that for small to medium size businesses to get online can be quite time consuming, can be very expensive and can be quite difficult.

At Activ Web Design we get clients online, very quickly, very affordably and without any difficulty. The job involves helping small business think big, it involves helping the smaller business take on the bigger brands and winning. The internet truly is a level playing field where as long as you look the part and create a good visitor experience people will believe in you.

Activ model definitely works all you need to do is apply it in the market place and you should be successful. I’m a pretty average sort of guy that through hard work is achieving my goals. I don’t see why it couldn’t be your experience as well provided you work hard and that you have the commitment and dedication to succeed.”

Thanks for your time, Peter Mann.

Working Mum leaves full time employment for Activ

As a mum of 3, Jennifer Fish became an Activ franchisee almost a year ago, running Activ in Worcester. Due to Jennifer’s success and the amount of enjoyment she gets out of operating her business she has recently expanded her territory

Jennifer adds: “I decided to give up my job as a visual merchandiser to work from home and focus on Activ. My business continues to grow and I really enjoy working on developing website, I am learning lots about the internet as I go along , but best of all I work my hours around the children and school. The support, training and expertise that Activ give me is fantastic, in fact I am so pleased with how things are going”.

Read the full article below…

Case Study: Franchisee Success

Peter Slegg experiences excellent growth with Activ

Activ would like to congratulate Peter Slegg on his excellent growth as a franchisee in Colchester.

Peter has achieved great success, already selling 18 websites in only a few months and is really excited about the future!

Peter explains: “Since becoming an Activ franchisee I have been extremely impressed with the level of training and support I have received.

I attended my 1 to 1 training day at head office when I joined and I have stuck to their advice and expertise in the market and it is paying dividends, there is a massive market for websites for small businesses and I am now successfully starting to fill this gap in the market in Colchester. Based on the advice I received at my training day I have not spent any money on marketing my business but have applied proven methods that have been tried and tested AND THEY WORK!”

 

Case Study: Activ Web Design

Former construction owner builds exciting new career with Activ’s assistance

A long career in sales coupled with years of experience in the construction industry is proving invaluable to Activ Web Design franchisee John Elwell.

John, who has run the franchise on the Isle of Wight since July last year – and acquired an Activ UK franchise in February –, is discovering that both ventures have vast potential.

Working with wife Judith, who has a background in IT, the couple have seen their two franchises flourish and believe Activ offers some of the best franchising opportunities on the market.

John, who is 53, said: “With regard to Activ Web Design, I am finding that following the recession many businesses are at last waking up to the benefits of on-line marketing and now view having their own site as an investment rather than a cost.

“In fact in recent months I’ve developed more e-commerce websites than standard ones as small retailers look at alternative ways to sell their goods and become more competitive.”

So far John has either completed or is in the process of developing sites for 30 businesses, with clients ranging from an art gallery and emporium to a building firm and fashion boutique.

And his knowledge and understanding of the island’s construction industry – acquired while running his own small building firm for several years – has definitely assisted him in growing the business.

He said: “I knew of suppliers who were well regarded in the local building trade but didn’t have a website, so they’ve been among my first customers. I’m now at the point where at least two customers a month come via a referral.”

And when it comes to recommendations, John cannot recommend the service and support he’s received from the Activ team highly enough.

He said: “When I decided to leave the building trade and take on a new venture, I didn’t particularly want the hassle of starting my own business from scratch or working for anyone else, so Activ suited me perfectly.” “I’m the sort of person who tells it how it is and I can honestly say Activ are brilliant.

“I looked at several other web development related franchises before I invested in them but nothing impressed me.

“With Activ there are no hidden costs and its franchisees are not obliged to give a percentage of their earnings for each site developed to the franchise owners as is the case with other web development franchises.

“Also, some franchises operate an unrealistically high cost structure. In some instances they are charging customers as much as £1000 for a standard website package – rising to £3000 for an e-commerce site, which is just too expensive for smaller businesses.”

John is also impressed by the long term prospects offered by Activ UK – the online guide to local services established by Activ.

He added: “I think Activ UK is a fantastic opportunity and as well as running it as a pay per click site I’m now boosting its potential by selling advertising space on my page, which serves the Isle of Wight.”

Case Study: Activ Web Design

Activ Franchise helps couple attain long held dream

Taking on an Activ Web Design franchise has enabled a husband and wife team to realise a long-held ambition of working together in their own IT-based business.

Cecilia and John Holden, who have between them more than 45 years’ experience in IT, acquired their franchise in July 2008 and now operate seven post code areas across Bedfordshire.

And for Cecilia, who used to work for a large international investment bank in the City, the decision has improved her life beyond all recognition. She said: “My job used to entail a three and a half hour commute as well as travelling backwards and forwards to New York every few weeks. This may sound glamorous but the novelty soon wears off and despite being well paid in my old job, I am a million times happier since I decided to give it up and take on the Activ franchise with John.”

With help and guidance from Activ, the couple have now secured post code areas SG 15, 16, 17 and 19 as well as MK 40, 42 and 44 and are working hard to generate more business, primarily through networking.

Cecilia added: “I am among the core founders of a new BNI chapter in our region and have found networking an excellent way to promote Activ’s services and capabilities.

“The decision to buy the franchise has been a great move for John too, who had been running his own golf ball business but had been looking for an alternative to that.” And, like other Activ franchisees across the country Cecilia values highly the help and technical support offered by the Activ team.”

She added: “Although we are essentially running our own businesses, when an issue arises such as a server problem, we really appreciate being able to contact Activ.”

In the course of her work as an Activ web designer Cecilia has helped a diverse range of businesses not only to gain an online presence but to update their existing web pages and address problems with their sites.

She added: “One customer, who had moved premises and wanted to update his contact details, couldn’t track down the people who had originally built it in 2000 and was being asked for £50 just to change his address.

“We managed to resolve his IT issues efficiently and cost-effectively as well as providing him with a better site.”

As someone who has worked in big business where huge budgets are often the norm, Cecilia relishes working with small concerns that are operating within much tighter cost controls.

She added: “In the past I’ve been used to working with organisation with annual budgets of £13 million but am now dealing with companies whose budgets are measured in units of £500.

“It’s fascinating to see how businesses can make £500 work for them and to play our part in helping smaller companies to achieve higher sales, profit and inquiry levels a result of us building them a good website.”

Case Study: Activ Web Design

Activ Web Design takes off for former British Airways HR manager

It is not quite a year since former British Airways human resources senior manager Mark Rouvray bought an Activ Web Design franchise but in that relatively short space of time business has really taken off.

Mark, who spent 14 years in management with BA – and, before that, 10 years with British Gas – has amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge during his long career with major plcs.

But, when the opportunity came to take voluntary redundancy, he decided to change direction and invest in an Activ franchise.

Mark, who is 46 and holds an MBA in IT management as well as a BSc Hons degree in operational research, wanted a franchise which had an IT element – but more importantly, put him in contact with growing small businesses.

He said: “Much of what I did while at BA related to computers and I also managed a team developing website content for the company intranet.

“Although always interested in IT, I realised I would like to play a more creative part in the end product. What also appealed to me about Activ was the technical support and expertise which exists within Activ’s head office.

“Knowing that the Activ team can provide this means I can be confident of assisting clients should their IT needs be of a more bespoke nature and go beyond that of a standard website package.”

Mark, whose impressive client portfolio features almost every trade from builder to electrician, has also created websites for a diverse range of retailers including a jeweller, high street butcher and home accessories business.

And, in addition to offering websites, Mark, also enjoys being able to speak with small businesses on a one to one basis – passing on experience he has gained while working in senior positions for household name employers over many years.

He said: “Some of the franchising opportunities I looked at before buying Activ primarily involved the franchisee becoming a salesperson.

“I wanted something which offered more than merely selling and ultimately I would like my Activ franchise to focus not only on websites but also business consultancy for smaller companies looking for guidance and advice.

“I am now at the stage where I am receiving recommendations and am confident of winning more work as smaller businesses acknowledge that a website should be high on their list of priorities.”

And Mark, whose former role at Heathrow involved a two hour a day round commute, also appreciates the flexibility his major career change has provided.

He added: “Making the move has changed my life/work balance for the better and I very much look forward to continuing to grow my business.”

Case Study: Activ Web Design in Australia

Australian mother makes a lifestyle choice by choosing the Activ Web Design opportunity

The task of juggling work with family commitments can seem like a difficult step for some. Going to work when your mind is elsewhere is a common issue facing many working mothers. 32 year old Danielle Beltramelli found this a very familiar situation indeed.

Being a working mother, Danielle’s main joy in life came from spending valuable time at home with her 2 year old daughter. When she wasn’t at home she was at the bank where she was working part time – two days a week.

Wanting to improve her lifestyle she decided that she wanted to earn more money. Her main problem – she didn’t want to be working in an office at the expense of the time she could be spending at home.

She had to look for a different way of doing things. Living in modern times, she knew that the internet would open up a world of opportunities……

So Danielle began looking for internet businesses that she could run from home. She was looking to earn a second income in a career which gave her the flexibility she needed.

“I wanted to earn more money as I was only working at the bank for 2 days a week but I didn’t want to increase my hours there. I have a 2 year old daughter and didn’t want to have to send her to daycare for me to work, so I wanted something I could do from home which is how I came across the Activ Web Design license opportunity”

Activ was instantly impressed by Danielle’s passion and gave her an Australian license for Activ Web Design. Creating professional and affordable websites from the comfort of her own home meant that Danielle could be at home with her family and choose how many hours she wanted to put in.

Being a working mother with two part time careers meant that Danielle should have had a demanding lifestyle. Wrong – the Activ opportunity gave her the level of flexibility that she needed.

“Its a great opportunity to have my own business whilst being a stay at home mum. The Activ Web Design opportunity is going great, I am thoroughly enjoying it. It fits in very well with my lifestyle and my business is getting busier every day. I choose my own hours and work whenever I can around my responsibilities. At the moment I’m probably putting in around 10 hours a week so this level of choice is great for me and my family”

And its not just work and family commitments that Danielle seems to find time for. Danielle realises the importance of also making time for herself. The Activ Web Design opportunity did not risk her social life as she could choose to work around her social commitments – in fact she was now earning money so it helped!

“I love the fact that I decide when to work as I don’t think I could be without socialising with my friends and going shopping – I may be a working mother with two jobs but its important to have a bit of ‘me’ time”

The biggest benefit of all that came with the Activ opportunity – she didn’t go it alone. Danielle received unrivalled support from the Activ head office in areas such as sales/marketing and technical support. Talking about the licensee support package Danielle adds

“The guys from the support team are very friendly. They deal with all my questions extremely quickly and are more than willing to take the time to explain things thoroughly”

Danielle took the first step… and she didn’t regret it.

Case Study: Activ Web Design in Australia

Activ Web Design makes the perfect family business

Eric Fitton (49), an ambitious Australian entrepreneur, was looking to run a successful online business which is why he began searching for internet franchises with the help of his wife Julie.

“We had looked at lots of opportunities and browsed through many web sites including franchises and were not able to find the right opportunity that suited our lifestyle, we did come across a couple of franchises that were close to what we thought might be the right one only to find the start up costs and the commissions involved were too expensive and did not leave you with enough to also enjoy a good lifestyle which is what it is all about. Then I came across the Activ Web Design opportunity and it quickly got my attention”

Eric already had a full-time job so he decided to look for an opportunity that he could do in his spare time – so he began looking for a home based franchise.

“I have always had a great deal of interest in technology and design so when I spotted the Activ advertisement it got my attention straight away. Initially I took it on part time as I have a full time position which takes up most of my time, my thoughts were that I could fit Activ in during my spare time”

Eric saw demand for web designs increase and also found that he could offer other services too. The number of customers he got through his web site www.activwebdesignqld.com rose quite sharply. As Eric was working full-time he brought Julie on board to meet the extra demand. Together they began to make the most of what the opportunity could offer – in turn Activ Web Design QLD became the perfect family business.

“My wife and I had always fancied having our own family business. As the business developed and generated a number of additional opportunities, it needed more attention which was great for us as my wife got involved in the day to day running of the business”

The Activ Web Design opportunity changed their lives completely. A once traditional household was transformed into a modern business operation with both husband and wife working together to achieve their goals.

“Before Activ I had my full time job and my wife was at home doing the housewife role, things have changed much for my wife, she now has a goal to achieve with the business and although our days are pretty full and busy there is a great sense of achievement when we get a new customer”

Further opportunities came about showing that investment would be recouped quicker than they had thought……

“When I got my first customer not only did they want a website but a few spin off items came along with it, I quickly realised there were other value add services that most customers require when looking at a new site, especially if they are a new start up business. My first site led to 2 more sales opportunities which I converted into customers and I have not looked back since”

“We have great expectation for our business, as we grow we envisage there will be more opportunities to add more products to our portfolio of offerings to new and existing customers, word of mouth has been a great thing for us, it’s surprising how quickly word spreads, I have a new customer that called only last week, I have done a website for one of his business associates and he was so impressed he is thinking about re-vamping his existing website, we are now discussing the layout for his new site”

Today, Eric and Julie are known as the proud owners of a flourishing web design business. Eric still has his full-time job with Julie taking on the day to day running of the Activ Web Design business. They had the support of each other true but they also had the unrivalled support from the Activ head office who were never too busy to take a call.

“I have been really impressed with the support I have received from Activ Head Office in the UK, although I am 13,000 miles and several time zones away, I am always able to get hold of the support team when I have needed them, nothing seems to be too much trouble, when I ask for help it is there straight away”

Eric admits – “If I had to do it all again I would without hesitation”

Case Study: Award Finalists

Activ shortlisted for Nectar business award

Activ, the dynamic Enderby-based on-line business involved in website development, has been shortlisted in the Start up of the Year category of the 2009 Nectar Business Small Business Awards.

Founded in March 2008, Activ employs 15 staff at its head office at Narborough Wood Park and now has around 85 representatives offering website design to small and medium sized businesses across the UK and abroad.

In addition to its UK operations, the business has attracted licence holders in Spain, Ireland, France and Australia and is planning to take larger premises at the business park which will accommodate up to 50 staff later this year.

Activs Director said Activ’s success had been phenomenal, with its turnover in the first 12 months of trading in the region of £1 million.

He said: “Although we are operating in a highly competitive market, out extensive research revealed that some 50 per cent of SMEs still don’t have an online presence despite the internet overtaking TV as the main focus of the nation’s attention”

“Drawing on our previous experience of selling websites, we hit on a different and innovative marketing approach which has led to us providing sites for hundreds of satisfied customers in 12 months”

“Our software has been developed in house buy our team of software experts and has been devised in such a way that anyone, regardless of technical expertise, can build professional-looking sites in relatively little time”

“Unlike traditional web designers, our representatives enjoy meeting people face to face and can actually identify and highlight ways in which a website can save a business time and money as well as ultimately enhancing its profits”

“We also aim to keep website development simple and easy, steering clear of jargon, and offer customers a fixed price package with standard websites costing £499 and e-commerce sites – an ‘online shop’ – £999”

Activ is continually looking at opportunities for marketing goods, services and offers on-line.

In addition to its work with SMEs, Activ has developed local town websites across the UK and entered into partnership agreements with eBay, Google and Yell.com.

He added: “We are very excited about making the shortlist in the Nectar awards and the future prospects of the Activ business, which has been beyond our expectations.

The Nectar award winners will be announced later in July.

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