Finding a way to avoid the daily commute

For city-based workers, avoiding rush-hour is cat-and-mouse. One Auditel franchisee decided he’d wasted enough time in his car, and took matters into his own hands, to make his career dream come true.

Working in a city office certainly adds kudos for many office workers, but sometimes the commute can feel longer than the day in the office! Is it really worth it?

Stephen Sowerby was in his twenties when he decided to take control of his career, particularly when it came to reducing the daily commute. “I wanted to be self-employed. It was my dream goal.” he says. “I don’t know how people do a big commute for so long!”

Tallying up the number of hours spent travelling, and laying it out in a spreadsheet is a sure-fire way to determine whether the balance is worth the effort. For Stephen, he knew it was time to take control over his career, and devote more time to his personal life.

Bringing past experience into a future plan

Stephen SowerbyStephen, a qualified chartered account, had always been adept at managing his own workload and clients. When he was ready to take the step into self-employment he says he knew it wouldn’t be too much of a challenge for him. “It wasn’t difficult to make the move. In fact, the transition was relatively easy, especially with the help of Auditel.”

Auditel’s business management specialists, work alongside FDs, CEOs, and business owners throughout the UK. Delivering new insights to drive change and increase profitability, competitiveness and growth, our franchisees quickly become invaluable, outsourced board level members of the companies they serve.

The benefit of franchising

Stephen, like many, hadn’t understood franchising was a route to self-employment, having thought it was mostly coffee shops and restaurants. “I was looking for a change,” he explains, “I hadn’t realised franchising was a genuinely viable step into self-employment. I was researching what was needed to manage my own business, and an internet search led me to the British Franchising Association (bfa) website. The explanation of franchising as a stable start for business development piqued my interest. I came across Auditel through the bfa, and was drawn to them as they appeared to suit my skills.”

Founded in 1994, Auditel was pioneered to help UK companies make effective and informed procurement decisions. Their proven, award-winning business model, has been successfully replicated by over 160 business management specialists, nationwide.

The benefit of the franchise network

As one of the youngest in the Auditel network, Stephen found the knowledge of more experienced members of the network beneficial. “Auditel are incredibly helpful with the initial training, but there was only so much I could learn in the classroom. I couldn’t wait to start putting the lessons into practice. The ongoing support of the network has been of great value for me as I established my business over the last seven years.”

Stephen Sowerby at an Auditel Supplier Exhibition

Auditel encourage their franchisees to joint venture on projects, for the benefit of the customer, “When a project comes up outside my knowledge remit, I can easily call on someone within the network who has more expertise. It’s a win-win for the customer as well as for the network.”

The benefit of the Auditel franchise

Although Stephen hadn’t understood much about franchising prior to setting up his Auditel business, in carrying out his research, he realised there was a real reward to be gained from investing in it. “Based on their proven business formula, I have been free to develop my business the way I want to. And I am working for my future, not someone else’s. I can be flexible with my time. If I need to do something during the day, I can schedule work around my life, instead of organising my life around work. Auditel has given me a sense of freedom, and the ability to make choices with my life and time.”

Stephen was impressed with the way Auditel encourages its network to re-apply the skills and experiences previously gained. “The biggest challenge for me,” Stephen says, “was building up a client base for myself. I was used to dealing with clients, having been a chartered account. I just needed to revise what I knew, into finding my own clients, rather than having them fed-through to me by a firm I work for. Auditel offer their new franchisees a 5-year mentoring programme at no extra cost, so I found this to be an additional benefit, as someone fairly young within the network.”

The benefit of working from home

Stephen says the most rewarding element of his business is, “the lack of the daily commute is massive! I love it! I hated driving so much, and sometimes, so late in the day – I really don’t know how people do it! There’s something about working from your own home office. I would highly advocate making time to be around the people you want to spend your free time with, doing what you enjoy. My Auditel business allows me to do this easily.”

To find out more about how you can take back control of your life, and eliminate the commute from your day, please contact Fiona Steels on: 01962 893068 or:


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