The attraction of owning a franchise can sneak up on people

At  first they might thinkBusiness opportunity

‘Oh, I could never work  for myself’   and then  ……

I wonder if this might be the perfect answer – A business but with support and guidance to make it work?

If you choose the right one, a franchise can give you masses of support in learning how to run a business without the fear of having to know everything to make it a lucrative and enjoyable option for you.

A conversation with Jenny Williams of The Detective Project brought much of this into focus – I am a fan of the idea of franchises but I have heard some dispiriting services so it was great to hear a really positive story and a franchise idea that is original and engaging.

Jenny, a former officer set off on her post ‘job’ journey in 2003 – Jenny took a career break and in that time she started to realise that policing and the level she enjoyed, she was a detective, was no longer viable for her.

During her career break Jenny took on some network marketing work and although she never earned much more that pocket money the penny dropped “I never realised that I had any entrepreneurial ability at all; certainly I didn’t know anything about business but I soon realised that  I could learn and that I was actually pretty good at it”.

Jenny began to realise that there were many options beyond policing and it was just a case of finding the right fit for her – she had always enjoyed the forensic courses whilst training to be a detective and before long the idea sparked that she could have great fun making up investigations for children’s parties and the idea blossomed from there.

And so The Detective Project was born.

Keen to minimise costs Jenny kept her spend on equipment as low as possible; she talked to everyone she knew – networking extensively (or as  Jenny brilliantly terms it  ‘ having conversations’), building on suggested ideas and providing her parties to a variety of customers.  Some of these were for good will – often as an exchange of services but all the time building her expertise and experience.  Pretty much as we did at PiPS, Jenny built her business idea not through a business plan but through planning her website.  Understanding how everything could connect gave her a real depth of understanding.

Jenny would be the first to say that much of her energy came from a desire to make things happen, to ensure a strong income so that she could follow a new career that better suited her.  So she threw herself in at the deep end and was determined to make her idea work.  It is clear that finding your ‘reason why’ is often a great driver for success.  So whether your motivation is financial, intellectual or personal,  once you know you really have to make a project succeed the chances of positive outcomes are hugely increased.

Jenny’s forensic parties and events have proved to be such a success that she could not keep up with the demand across the country and with two young children she was keen to be based in her home area around Bristol.  So the idea of franchising her project seemed to make perfect sense.

Jenny said “I did not really understand that much about franchises but knew I wanted to expand to keep up with demand.  I was being asked to go all over the country and I was not keen on subcontracting so franchising just clicked for me as the way to go – I wanted to retain my brand after all that hard work and it just seemed the obvious way forward”

“I love the idea that I can train the franchise holders to support them as they build a business of their own and my customers can be sure they will get the very same great service whoever they work with in The Detective Project”

Franchisees are given lots of support to get them started and then encouraged to make their business as successful as they wish – they get an area that is exclusively theirs and they can build their own empire.

I asked Jenny what she had in the pipeline as I know she is keen to develop and grow The Detective Project as far as it can go.  The next step is managing the increase in demand for events in the corporate sector – they work brilliantly for adults and this is so new and innovative (and most adults have watched at least a few episodes of CSI) they are an instant hit.   Jenny just makes sure the crimes are a little more graphic and everyone has a great time.  “I am being asked for more and more events for adults in fact I have just booked one in for 150 people!   A bit mind blowing but we will make it a brilliant event”

If you would like to speak to Jenny about her business and how you could get involved do drop her a note at or give her a call on 0117 244 0053.

Click through here  to have look around Jenny’s brilliant website – lots of information and more than a little inspiration.

Warmest to all