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Lockdown unlocks new career for ex-pub landlord

Lockdown unlocks new career for ex-pub landlord

David Roberts leaves beleaguered hospitality sector to become a Countrywide Signs franchisee

Ex-pub landlord David Roberts has reinvented his career aged 63, thanks to Countrywide Signs.

It was a decision that was unfortunately forced due to the COVID-19 lockdown, but one that has given him an opportunity to own his own business with confidence in a time of uncertainty.

As tighter restrictions are sweeping the country, more and more business owners and employees are finding themselves in a precarious situation. One where they are continuing to be faced with uncertain futures.

The hospitality sector has been hit hard and for new Countrywide Signs franchisee David, he was in a similar situation back in March when lockdown began.

He had been a pub landlord for several years, but was concerned not just by the pandemic, but also by the general struggles of the industry. What was once a flourishing sector has sadly been in steady decline for the past decade, resulting in many pub closures even pre-pandemic.

Sense of reward

David joined Countrywide Signs earlier this month and in just six months has moved from pulling pints to erecting estate agency signage for the housing market. It’s a massive change in career, but one that is already giving him a sense of reward.

It is early days for David as a franchisee, so he is in the midst of establishing his customer base. Bigger financial rewards are in his sights; however, he now has a steady income, security and his workdays no longer continue into the early hours. All in all, in David’s words, his “work-life balance is finally where it should be”.

At age 63, David decided to investigate a new career. However, he found that not many employers wanted to take someone on at his age. It’s a regular occurrence, but an unfair situation when retirement in your 60s is often not an option.

David embarked on a new avenue of investigation and looked at becoming a franchisee as the answer to his predicament.

Research process

He explains: “I researched many different types of franchises, from coffee vans, lawn care and even mobile phone apps. I decided with my age in mind I needed the support of a both a franchisor and a close-knit network of fellow franchisees.

“I did my homework and decided that for my future security I needed a business where I could start on my own, but later take on staff whom I could manage.

“Of the many franchises I talked with, I was impressed with Countrywide Signs the most. The training, software resources and back-up support fitted well with my vision for future development, but also for the security element and structure I needed as a new business owner,”

Correct decision

Two weeks on from training and David now owns a franchise area that covers Plymouth and South East Cornwall.

On a day to-day-basis (remember, he no longer works evenings) he busies his days with supplying and installing ‘for sale’ signs, commercial boards and banners for the sector.

“I’m positive I’ve made the right decision,” David says. “The training I received and the back-up I’m getting has given me the confidence I was looking for.

I’m my own boss and no longer work seven days a week. Most importantly, I can now see a future in what I’m doing.”

Like David, many Countrywide Signs franchisees come from varied industry backgrounds.

COVID-19 has both concerned, but also helped him find a solution to a new future.

If, like David, you are working in a sector where you feel your future is uncertain, please get in touch with Countrywide Signs’ franchise recruitment team. They’ll listen and give you an honest insight into today’s world as a Countrywide Signs’ business owner.

Countrywide Signs remains a thriving business despite the pandemic and is dedicated to helping its existing and new business owners do the same.