Read our latest news!

Meet The Man Behind The Franchise: Introducing The Design Print Distribution Group’s Founder

Meet The Man Behind The Franchise: Introducing The Design Print Distribution Group's Founder

Tuesday 16th August 2022

Running a successful design, print and mail distribution business wasn't always a likely path for our founder Mike Ethridge.

In fact, it was a string of redundancies, a desire to set up a side hustle business, and a little help from Google that set Mike on the path to founding The Design Print Distribution Group in 2012.

A Bristolian born and bred and committed Bristol Rovers supporter, Mike left school with one GCSE, and that was in French (which, Mike admits, wasn't particularly useful). But he was a hard worker, gaining experience in a number of different jobs and sectors, including logistics, warehousing and driving. He gradually worked his way up through the ranks, but had to take a number of knocks along the way, including several redundancies.

"I found I learnt something from all the jobs I did, even if it was learning how not to do something," says Mike, "It was all valuable experience. The job I was doing when I started this business was as an area manager for a parcel delivery company, which gave me an introduction to distribution, logistics, scheduling and managing people."

It was while in this role that Mike set up The Design Print Distribution Group (then called Bristol Leaflet Delivery) as a side hustle to boost his income.

So why leaflet delivery? It really was thanks to Google.

Mike says: "I just looked up 'businesses you can start with no money' and leaflet distribution was one of the suggestions. It seemed a good idea, I found out a bit more about what was involved, and I started, as simple as that."

Mike built his own website, knocked on doors to get some customers, delivered his own leaflets to market the business, and he was soon up and running (or, more accurately, pounding the pavements of Bristol, delivering leaflets).

What started as a side line soon expanded and within two years Mike was able to give up his main job and work fulltime in and on the business. He also took on a partner, Lee Phillips, who was running his own leaflet business and who brought his clients with him.
Initially, the company just delivered leaflets, but soon other services were added, including design, print and direct mail.

Next came a name change, to The Design Print Distribution Group to reflect the full service range and the fact that other towns and cities had now been added, including Bath, Exeter, Swindon and Plymouth, with the successful Bristol model rolled out.

The scope for expansion across the UK is boundless, which is why The Design Print Distribution Group now offers an exceptional franchise opportunity; the chance to own a franchise business and mirror the tried and tested The Design Print Distribution Group model in your own home town or city.

Mike's method of growing his business is exactly the same as our franchisees are encouraged to adopt but they have one added advantage: all the support, training and guidance they need from The Design Print Distribution Group's central team.
And as happened with Mike, our franchisees can expect that within 18 months to two years, they'll have a thriving, growing business.

Excellent customer services and delivering results is what makes us different and enables us to stand head and shoulders above the competition. We never leaflet more than two pieces of marketing material at once, so our customers' literature doesn't get buried in a swathe of paper. This means they get results from their campaigns, so they come back to us time and again, and recommend us to others.

It is testament to the quality of the service The Design Print Distribution Group offers that Mike and his team still have many of the same clients that they started with, including CJ Hole estate agents, Ocean estate agents and Ben's Gutters.

A final word from Mike: "The situation we are in now, with the cost of living crisis, is very similar to the situation I found myself in back in when I set the business up. My children were small and I needed to earn some more money. That was the real driver, and that will be a driver for many people looking at a way to run their own business. With us, there is almost zero risk, because demand has grown year on year for us, as a quality provider. Even when the economy changes, while one sector may need us less another will need us more.

"If a franchise opportunity like this had been around in 2012, if I could have bought what we are now offering our franchisees, the journey to success would have been even quicker. This opportunity gives you security in a way a job simply can't. I'm living proof of this; I was made redundant five times, but building my own business has made me and my family secure."

If you are interested in a franchise opportunity with The Design Print Distribution Group, we'd love to hear from you. Why not get in touch with Mike and the team to find out more. No need for you to Google 'businesses you can start with no money' - we have the answer right here.