With over 62,000 kitchen makeovers completed, Dream Doors is not only making its customers happy but also its franchisees, like Lesley Wallace, who has achieved sales of over £500,000 in her first year.
An ex-teacher and active charity trustee, Lesley had no previous experience of the business prior to opening her Newbury and Basingstoke kitchen showroom, so what attracted her to the franchise?
Lesley explained: “I wanted a different challenge after spending years working with schools and charities and while my job was rewarding in lots of ways, it was also very restrictive.
“I believed in this business from the outset, though. A kitchen transformation is such a fantastic idea that anyone who takes pride in their home would be interested in it. Being part of Dream Doors gave instant credibility with our customers.”
In her second year of trading Lesley’s husband, Adrian, came on board and their turnover continued to grow achieving sales of over £700,000.
Lesley continued: “Everything has panned out exactly as we were told it would. The team at Dream Doors were honest from the start, painting a realistic picture with real figures. I’m really enjoying being a business owner and have absolutely no regrets at all.”
Another franchisee, Mark Holmes, who was previously a manager with the Royal Mail, said he shares the same sentiment as Lesley. Joining Dream Doors three years ago, he and his wife Rachael opened a showroom in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, a decision they would happily make again, without any hesitation.
Mark commented: “The rewards in this business are tangible, not just financially but emotionally as well. It feels great providing a high-quality service to such incredible people, local homeowners like ourselves.
“This is the perfect role for us and we love the fact that the business is truly ours. We have never felt more at home whilst working and would happily do it all over again, no questions asked.”
At just 25 years old, Craig Allen, the Dream Doors franchisee for Wealden in East Sussex, joined the company after swapping his deputy managers role with a national retailer for self-employment, giving him the work-life balance he had always craved.
Craig explained: “I’d worked my way up through the ranks, starting out as a part-timer on the shop floor at 16 and becoming a store supervisor by the time I was 21.
“But as my responsibilities increased, so did my hours – exponentially. It got to a point where I’d leave the house before my partner got up and return home so late at night that she’d already gone to bed. I had no life outside of work.
“There’s a culture within the retail sector that sets expectations way too high. So, while you might be contracted to work 40 hours a week, you’re held accountable to the job itself, not your hours. And that’s fine for a while. But where the job takes over your life and your stress levels go through the roof, those expectations become both unacceptable and unsustainable.”
Recognising the need to change his career was simple, and by finding that Dream Doors had an existing business for sale less than 20 miles away from him was perfect timing.
Craig continued: “I took over the business in January and, to be frank, the transition from employee to employer and business owner was pretty seamless. The work itself is not that different from what I was doing before, but the experience couldn’t be further removed.
“I’m in charge and, at last, I’m able to balance my work and my life. I’ve put a team in place who are all playing to their strengths and I know this business can only grow, giving me a future with financial freedom and security. We’ve just had the biggest month this showroom has ever achieved, coming close to £100,000 of sales in just one month.
“I’d recommend a franchise to anyone else who is in the same position I was back then. You need personal discipline and drive, of course, but being part of a franchised brand has given me access to a supply chain, economies of scale and support that I couldn’t hope for on my own.”
Dream Doors has more than 75 showrooms nationwide, saving customer’s time and money by offering kitchen makeovers, rather than a full kitchen replacement.
The company says that its franchisees come from all walks of life and stress that prospective franchisees do not need any previous kitchen industry experience.
Dream Doors franchise fee is £29,950 plus VAT with a further £45,000 to £50,000 needed in working capital, for showroom fit-out, vehicle lease and for other start-up costs. The franchise can be run from home for the first six months while sourcing suitable retail premises.
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