Discover Dream Doors

Dream Doors Founders Derek Lilly and Troy Tappenden have an infectious enthusiasm for the business, a dedication to the success of every franchisee, and are looking to recruit more motivated and enthusiastic people to join its growing network in Scotland. Rachel Spaul discovers Dream Doors

A 'new' kitchen for half the price - that's the attractive offering made by Dream Doors. For a fraction of the cost of an equivalent quality kitchen and with less disruption to the home, customers can give their kitchens a face-lift just by changing worn, outdated doors.

At the core of the offering is quality workmanship and attention to customer service, which is proving popular with homeowners across the UK. With thousands of made-to-measure door combinations to choose from including modern, classical, town and country, plus the use of kitchen design software, there's something to suit every taste and style of kitchen.

Since launching the business in 2000, Derek Lilly and Troy Tappenden have appointed 44 franchisees to meet growing demand for kitchen 'face-lifts'. 'We already have an established base of four franchisees in Scotland, but have prime sites still available, particularly North of Glasgow,' invites Troy. 'We need business-minded people with drive and enthusiasm to build their businesses from a home-start into a showroom within the first year.'

As an added incentive, Dream Doors have written a unique cashback promise into the franchise agreement. 'We're offering all our franchisees £5,000 (including VAT) cashback on their franchise fee once they have opened their showroom,' explains Troy. 'We want to reward the franchisee's commitment to the brand by making a commitment to them. We believe the openings strengthen our brand and network, and of course both the franchisees and the parent company will make more money - the turnover of our head office operation in Gosport doubled when our showroom opened - it's a win-win situation. We believe it's unheard of that a parent company gives almost a third of the franchise fee back to the franchisee.'

The Dream Doors franchise programme is 100 per cent focused on equipping franchisees with the skills and confidence to provide customer choice, quality products and excellent customer service. 'Company income is derived entirely from the franchisees' sales so there are no monthly management fees, just an initial investment of £17,500 + VAT, which pays for the set-up and launch of the business,' adds Derek.

With no need for previous experience, franchisees come from a variety of backgrounds such as sales, kitchen fitting, IT and the armed forces. For instance, John and Janice Fergason from Ayrshire joined Dream Doors from employment in North Sea drilling and insurance respectively.

'I'd been working off shore and wanted a job at home,' recalls John. 'I first met with Dream Doors at the Glasgow Franchise Exhibition, liked the product and could see it being a viable job for me, considering my previous experience as a joiner. My first impressions of Derek and Troy were that they were friendly and honest.'

Having launched their franchise in 2003, John and Janice have steadily developed the business from a home base. 'When we launched the franchise, Dream Doors was relatively unknown in Ayrshire, but the business is steadily gathering momentum and we're now getting referrals.'

Despite being hundreds of miles from the Dream Doors head office, John says support is always available: 'They're always available on the phone and will come and visit me if there is a problem - as yet I've not needed it.'

The key to the success of each franchisee's business is the ability of Dream Doors to negotiate favourable advertising deals with local publications in franchisees' territories. 'Marketing is critical in this business,' explains Derek. 'For example, a franchisee spending at least £3,000 per month on marketing in local newspapers, business directories and shopping centre stands should generate £10,000 worth of business in the first month, growing to £20,000 in the second and maintaining £30,000 by month three.'

To support the marketing efforts of its franchisees, Dream Doors supplies 30,000 leaflets, a CD of pre-designed advertisements and marketing materials and 400 colour brochures as part of the franchise package.

A superb DVD marketing tool featuring June Whitfield adds to the professionalism and credibility of franchisees, further enhancing sales with 'before and after' presentations and positive customer testimonials. 'The DVD has already had a massive impact on sales across the Dream Doors network,' reports Derek. 'Since its launch, the company has achieved two record sales months. However, the biggest marketing development so far is the launch of our advertising campaign with ITV Meridian. Watch this space for the results!'

Derek rounds off: 'With Dream Doors you can run a business that suits your ambitions with rewards you want where you are in control but with the support of an organisation dedicated to your success. Whatever you're looking for in a franchise, Dream Doors has the product, commitment and vision to help you succeed.'