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A change in career was in order to get Mark out from behind his desk and into the outdoors.


When Mark Herlihy’s job in financial services was coming to a natural end he decided it was the right time in his life to take the plunge and set up his own business. He had no specific idea for a business of his own so he started researching franchise opportunities and recently invested in the Oxford Countrywide Signs territory.

Mark, who lives near Banbury, explains: “After 16 years working at senior management level in the debt collection industry I was ready for a change and looking for an opportunity that would get me out from behind a desk and into the outdoors. Having looked into a few franchise opportunities I was impressed with the Countrywide Signs model and the team behind it. As luck would have it there was an opportunity to take-over the Oxford territory as the previous franchisee was retiring.”

Buying an established territory has the benefit of providing Mark with a base of existing clients so he has been able to learn how the business operates from the ground up. This has given him the confidence to go out and gain three new clients in a period of three weeks.

“The first few weeks have been extremely busy and I’ve been grateful for the support and training provided by the team at head office,” says Mark. “One of the key factors in choosing Countrywide Signs was that the head office team invest time and resources in good people and because they really want you to do well they’ll support you every step of the way.”

Although he has the support of the franchise behind him, Mark is well aware that this is his business and he holds the key to its success. He is reassured by the positive reaction he’s had from the estate agents he’s met so far and is working towards having a second van within the next 18 months to two years.

Mark concludes: “I’m enjoying the challenge of having a change in career and the fact that I’m out of the office meeting clients and erecting sign boards. My partner and I have five children between us and three dogs, so finding time for the activities we like is hard. It’s great to have found a job I enjoy which motivates me to do well.”


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