Surge of enquiries for Apollo at home
Apollo Blinds has pulled off a master stroke with the introduction of Apollo at home
Apollo Blinds, which is one of the original members of the British Franchise Association, has been franchising for more than 35 years and is best known as Britain's biggest blinds store chain as it has a network of showrooms across the UK. But the introduction of Apollo at Home has created another franchise model which runs alongside its existing retail proposition and has opened up a new wave of opportunities for investors who want to be part of an industry which is currently estimated to be worth more than £1 billion.
Apollo at Home is a mobile franchise, and has been specifically designed as an 'earn as you learn' franchise for people who want to get into the lucrative home interiors and window blinds industry. The new franchise model operates to the same high standards as Apollo Blinds' showrooms and franchisees can offer the same range of high quality window blinds and rightly boast that they have the most comprehensive collection of blinds, awnings and shutters in the UK.
The key difference with the new franchise, according to Apollo Blinds General Manager Gary Chambers, is that new Apollo at Home franchisees do not have the same overheads as a retail store: 'We recognise that keeping tight control on overheads, especially in the early days of starting a business, is vital and our new Apollo at Home proposition reduces those considerably as franchise owners operate from a van rather than going straight into retail premises. This gives them the opportunity to see a return on their investment at an early stage and helps to build confidence in the brand, the sector and themselves ... and they can see that they are building a profitable business as part of the UK's most successful window blinds franchise network.'
While Gary is keen to stress that there are still opportunities for people who want to run an Apollo Blinds store, Apollo at Home is generating lots of interest because the lower entry level cost and low overheads mean the new franchise is appealing to a whole new audience of potential investors. 'All new franchisees undergo a comprehensive training programme which covers all aspects of running an Apollo Blinds business,' he says. 'There's training on products, installation, sales, customer service and marketing before they start their franchise under the watchful eye of their own dedicated Franchise Sales Manager.
'We are finding that a full retail store appeals to people with previous industry experience whereas Apollo at Home is right for people with sales experience who recognise the opportunity to earn a very good living - especially when they've put all the aspects of our training into full effect.' Apollo Blinds is focusing recruitment activity on the Midlands, South West and South East of England because that is where it has the greatest number of opportunities for new Apollo at Home franchisees.