From dedication and compassion through to resilience and business acumen, Henryk Matysiak and his son Alex tick all the boxes for successful franchisees
Name: Henryk and Alex Matysiak
Organisation: Jackson Fire & Security Sheffield
Years trading: 3
A former firefighter with three decades of experience, Henryk launched his Sheffield Jackson Fire & Security franchise in October 2019 and had only six months of trading before the pandemic hit. Despite the challenges, he has grown rapidly to become one of the most successful franchisees in the Jackson Fire network.
Employing the right team, including bringing his son Alex into the business as an operations director, has now proved pivotal to the business and paid its dividends.
Pillar of success
Trust is the glue that always keeps the two together – and the virtue they encourage the most in their business.
“You can’t buy that,” says Alex, who has spent more than 10 years in construction. “We both know what we can do so we don’t get involved too much in what each other’s strong points are.”
Henryk adds: “The fire service was fantastic grounding for management, health and safety, managing paperwork and budgets. I’ve managed lots of people at large incident and fire stations.”
Henryk and Alex know that great leaders always put the needs of their team first, so they want their employees to feel incentivised but also valued. They regularly let the team finish early on Friday and take them out for food and drinks in Sheffield.
Actions speak louder than words
The duo has also sponsored a number of local football clubs but it’s their response to the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis that showcases their compassionate nature the most. Since the war in Ukraine started, Henryk launched a charity called United for Ukraine and within three weeks was collecting and transporting essential clothing, goods and medical supplies to Ukrainian refugees in Poland and beyond.
“I decided I wanted to take a van across to Poland to my relatives so they could distribute it and the response was magnificent,” he explains. “If we were at a nine-to-five job, I wouldn’t have been able to do that. I brought a lot of my business contacts and management skills to United for Ukraine.”
Henryk set up 15 donation centres across South Yorkshire and within a week they’d received enough donations for an articulated lorry to be sent over.
Due to the incredible amount of fundraising and commitment, Henryk has also won the Community Hero Award at the Proud of Barnsley Awards 2022.
Running Jackson Fire Sheffield has not only been a life-changing opportunity for Henryk and Alex, but also a place for personal growth.
“I can do a lot more than what I thought I could,” shares Alex. “My son was diagnosed with leukaemia 12 months ago. To come through that and to grow and to do what we’ve done with the business in that time has taught me a lot about myself to be honest. That’s the best lesson.”
Get to know
The best piece of advice we live by is… if you treat people properly, they will react accordingly.
Our plan for the future is… to keep growing and become the main name in fire and security in South Yorkshire.