Mark Ryland spent 20 years working in IT before he bought a Mr. Electric franchise in 2004.
Why did you want to run your own business?
I took early retirement after 20 years in IT but became bored very quickly. I also realised that I needed to work for a few more years to top up my pension pot!
And while I'd never been in business for myself before, I'd been studying for an MBA and was keen to put all the theories I'd learnt into practice. I also wanted to provide work for our sons and, eventually, be in a position to pass the business on to them.
What made you choose a Mr. Electric franchise?
I liked the idea of an electrical business – especially one that had no competitor. And I was immediately struck by the power of the brand, as well as the existing national contracts we'd pick up with companies as large as The AA, B&Q and British Gas.
But, in the end, it was their honest and direct answers that impressed me the most. I'd looked at a number of other franchises and heard all the sales pitches but they just didn’t convince me that they were to go with. But when I asked Mr. Electric's franchise manager a straight question – how much money could I make? – I got a straight answer back. I was told that it all depended on how much I was prepared to work.
Every other question I asked was handled professionally and candidly, and it has been the same ever since, the support and training is fantastic and of course you have the franchisee network on hand for help and advice.
Do you have any regrets about coming out of retirement?
Not at all. This was a sound decision, and one that I would make all over again. Mr. Electric has delivered financially; we have a nice house, a nice car and can afford the lifestyle we've always wanted. What's more, I am building something for my sons to take over, and have absolutely no intention of selling or moving on.