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The fragrance of Spring almost oozes from this picture of plum blossom, taken by Becki Procter of the Countrywide Signs franchise in Sheffield/Huddersfield.

Becki, whose photo won the franchise’s recent Signs of Spring competition, says: “We see lovely natural sights like this every day at Countrywide Signs. You might not think that working in a business managing signboards for estate agents would give you the chance to appreciate nature, but one of the things that attracts franchisees and staff to Countrywide Signs is the chance to get outdoors and see the changing seasons.”

Becki, who is business manager at Countrywide Signs Huddersfield, is mainly office-based, but sometimes goes out on signing rounds or puts up signs on her way home.

“I love the countryside. We are close to Sheffield, but only a few miles to the hills of the Peak District.

“Often it’s foggy in the city but once you get up into the hills the fog melts away and you are in glittering sunshine, surrounded by fields and flowers and sheep. The Peak District is often snowy in winter so there are beautiful views then, too. Our drivers cover these areas, and often take scenic pictures on their rounds, which they send to me in the office.”

Becki was delighted that her picture won the Spring photo competition. “I was surprised because most of my photography is limited to my children and our dachshund, often while we are walking in the countryside,” she says.

The whole team at Countrywide Signs Huddersfield enjoys the chance to get out and about that comes with the Signs Express business.
Franchisee Clinton Bondin, who bought the Huddersfield franchise in 2015 and has since grown the business to cover three franchise areas, says: “All our drivers love being outdoors – and so do I. Sometimes I go out on the rounds with new drivers or when we need holiday cover. I can erect 60 signboards in a day, but there’s still time to look at nature and take photographs.

“As a growing business, we are all busy but being a mobile franchise means we all get to appreciate the scenery.”

Justin Pearce, director of the Countrywide Signs franchise, says: “This is a van-based business, so you are out and about rather than stuck in an office. Even franchisees in built-up areas see signs of the seasons on their rounds – from garden flowers to autumn leaves.”

The franchise involves managing For Sale and To Let boards for local estate agencies. You can start out doing your round yourself, but if you choose, expand to manage a team of drivers while you focus on business development and growth.

It costs £14,995 + VAT to start, and a single van franchise can generate over £70,000 turnover annually, with strong profit margins.