Glyn and Allan James, Dream Doors, Staffordshire

"We love receiving positive feedback from our customers"

Uncertain about his future as an engineering manager at a food factory, Allan James decided to invest in a Dream Doors franchise with his son Glyn in order to regain control of their destinies. "When the factory was taken over, they introduced new cost cutting measures, which included multiple redundancies left, right and centre," recalls Allan. "I became frustrated and decided it was the ideal time to pursue my dream of becoming my own boss. At the time, Glyn was working in furniture sales - he was keen to progress his career so agreed to join me in business.

"As neither of us had any experience of running our own business, we decided to invest in a franchise as the thought of ongoing training and support was an appealing safety net. Kitchen facelift franchise Dream Doors caught our attention online because of its unique business model and comprehensive support package. We liked the fact cold calling was not involved - instead customers call us if they want to have their kitchen updated.

"We launched our Staffordshire-based franchise from home in October 2008 and have had excellent training and support from day one. Initially we were put on a comprehensive training course and were given a copy of the operations manual, which covers everything we need to know in order to operate a successful Dream Doors franchise. The support of our Area Support Manager has been very beneficial, we have regular contact and have had help locating the ideal premises for our showroom.

"Since we moved the business to a showroom in February, we have gained credibility, increased sales and are confident we will meet our financial targets for this year. The best thing about running your own business is the job satisfaction. We love receiving positive feedback from our customers and having complete control of your work/life balance."