You'll get by with a little help from our end
Granite Transformations’ Danny Hanlon sings the praises of franchise owner support.
Setting up on your own can be a pretty daunting prospect, especially when the business model is multi-faceted, as in our case, involving showroom retailing, home selling, fixture fabrication, inventory management and product installation. In a standalone business, you will receive little or no support and must build up your methodology from scratch, whereas in a franchise operation you should expect a considerable level of input from the franchisor and ready-made procedures and processes to get you up and running.
At Granite Transformations, a global home improvement franchise specialising in kitchen and bathroom makeovers, you can realistically expect more than a little help from our end, including these well-honed provisions:
Rather than throw you in at the deep end, we introduce you to an independent franchise consultant, who helps you to decide whether there is a good fit between Granite Transformations and your own career goals.They will put you in touch with franchise finance experts, who can help you prepare a tailored business plan and secure bank finance, based on your credentials and our pre-approved lending status with the high street banks.
Once you commit to becoming a Granite Transformations franchise owner in an agreed postcode territory and have signed our ‘intent to proceed’ document, you and a colleague will be enrolled on a two-week residential training programme. This will cover much of the sales, financial, administrative and technical tuition required for starting your business, with further field training for showroom hosts and fitters, and periodic technical and business forums provided along the way.
A well-appointed, beautifully laid out Granite Transformations showroom, displaying all our core products and ancillary fittings and appliances, with a seating area for consultations, provides the perfect ‘customer experience’. It will also generate sales revenue and we’ll point you in the right direction, with a layout and lighting styled by our professional designer, and displays and fittings built by our head office craftsmen. We offer the same support, whether it’s for high street premises or a mini-showroom in a garden centre.
Branding is the main reason you buy into a franchise, because it brings customers to your showroom door, and we provide a whole stable of brand elements, from exterior signing and van livery, to corporate workwear and product literature. We put considerable resources into building the Granite Transformations brand, beginning with our familiar logo and straplines, and culminating in a consumer website, national PR programme, print and TV advertising, and every single dimension of in-store point of sale. It’s the level and expanse of brand support you can really only enjoy in a franchise.
Customer enquiries, or sales leads, are the lifeblood of any commercial enterprise and we ensure that online and telephone enquiries are shared out equally across the network, according to franchise territories and the ‘nearest showroom’ in unassigned areas. Our web strategies and TV advertising ensure a steady influx of leads, channelled through our central call centre, for our franchise owners and their staff to translate into orders. So there should be no twiddling of thumbs waiting for people to show interest in your new enterprise.
Digital technology is essential for channelling and managing information, storing vital business resources, keeping track of customer data and improving communications, but IT can be expensive and difficult to set-up. We help our franchise owners streamline their operations with customised accounting software, an online extranet of management resources, bespoke iPad design applications, hosted exchange emails, virtual telephone numbers and Cloud-based global access to new product and marketing information, mostly free of charge.
Continuity of supply, a steady stream of new product developments and innovative ideas for impressing the customer are all on the wish-list for any start-up business. Thanks to the manufacturing, design and investment resources of our parent Trend Group, we can promise Granite Transformations franchise owners all those things and more. Due to the fact that our group manufactures most of the products we sell and moves in international architecture and design circles, we’re always launching new materials, colours, designs and installation methods, keeping our retail range fresh and interesting.
This year, we hosted our annual UK conference in Florida, where our franchise owners had the opportunity to network with their counterparts from America and Australia, broadening their understanding of the makeover scene and interior design trends. Here at home, our franchise owners are not averse to sharing market intelligence and technical tips with their network colleagues, exchanging ideas on everything from reducing material wastage to generating local sales leads. With everyone in the same business, but each operating in an exclusive franchise territory, it’s the sort of informed help from fellow owners that money couldn’t buy.