A courier firm in Northants that has grown rapidly since launching as a one-man band in 2018 has created a UK network of franchisees.
AJS Express Parcels Limited was founded by owner Tony Spooner after he spotted a gap in the market for an eco-friendly, responsible delivery company. Fast-forward two years and the business has grown exponentially from the early days of Tony delivering parcels singlehandedly for a large internet retailer to a firm that now has a warehouse, a team of drivers and a fleet of vehicles, and which is now launching a UK network of franchisees.
The firm’s first franchisee is Hungarian-born Gabor Szalay, who came to the UK in 2005. Similar to Tony, Gabor had been working in a different industry when he decided it was time for a change of lifestyle. Having seen details of AJS Express’s opportunity on a reputable franchise website, Gabor jumped at the opportunity of joining the organisation and, after extensive training, went live with AJS Express Luton a few weeks ago.
Gabor operates across Luton, Leighton Buzzard and Dunstable, offering same-day deliveries and an urgent service, which cover any requirements customers may have, including pallets, packaging and medical deliveries. He also offers a next-day pre-bookable service to his customers.
“Gabor is doing fantastically well already,” said Tony. “He has secured some repeat business and has some great quoting opportunities with organisations in his area. We have also signed a second franchisee, who will be covering Macclesfield, Buxton and Stockport.
“Since we launched, our organisation has undergone fantastic growth and we’re proud that we’re a local company that can now offer national scope to our customers. If the growth of our franchise network continues at this pace, we will soon become a national brand, taking on major parcel and pallet carriers.”
The firm has big ambitions for its network and employs a team of consultants to interview all prospective franchisees to ensure they will be a good fit for the company before the candidates meet Tony for a further interview. Once the candidates are brought on board, they receive a level of support from AJS Express which is not often offered by other franchise opportunities.
Tony explained: “Our franchise is very different. This is not a case of people buying in, us giving them a system, thanking them for their money and then saying goodbye. We want to build a business with our franchisees and help them with every step of the process.
“They have their own business and are effectively in charge of their own customers, contracts, employees and everything that comes with running a business, but they’re not alone. I become their mentor, they receive our full support and access to our approved list of suppliers.
“We consider this to be vital because we want everyone to be successful. We’re committed to our goal of building a strong UK network of franchisees because we are serious about our ambition to compete directly with the likes of Royal Mail, DPD, DHL and all the bigger parcel carriers in the future.
“We want to create a strong network which creates a complete closed-loop solution through AJS Collection and AJS Express Delivery. We want everything to be handled by us.”
For further information about the range of services offered by AJS Express visit www.ajsexpress.co.uk