Oakleaf: A good time to join

Oakleaf is a traditional family run business that has been in operation for almost 40 years. Here the company details its exciting franchise opportunity

The Oakleaf product range is very high quality and exceptionally unique. Every product that the company makes is copied from originals using a process that was originally developed for the sympathetic restoration of stately homes. The end result is a simple to install, wonderfully crafted product that exactly matches the original in appearance. With the growing demand for its products from domestic customers the Oakleaf franchise was launched in 2001.

Franchisees sell and in most cases arrange fitting of the Oakleaf products in their defined territory. The product range includes oak beams, wall panelling, covers for RSJs and other modern supporting materials used in extensions and new builds and exterior cladding and planking. There is also an exclusive range of accessories such as pelmets, corbels, plate racks and fireplaces. The market for these products is diverse with franchisees experiencing a varied source of work, which includes high levels of repeat and referral business.

Typically, franchisees will sell a high volume of beams and accessories and there are a growing number of high value orders being reported through the franchise network. These have included a wall panelled library in Leicestershire with an order value of £30,000, the complete restoration of a Scottish manse with an order value of £27,000 and the installation of a billiard room into a new property, which had an order value of £40,000. With no direct competition and alternative material being expensive and difficult to source and install, the business offers high profit margins.

The franchise system is straightforward and easy to operate. Jonathan Banister the Managing Director and son of Ben Banister - the company founder - explains: 'Our franchise system has been designed to allow our franchisees the flexibility to build a business very easily. They don't need a van or a large storage area for their products and our ongoing management fee is very small. We deliver products direct to the customer, each step in the process is easy to follow for franchisees and customers. This ensures customers are satisfied and that the franchisees have the maximum amount of time available to promote the products locally.'

Currently enjoying unprecedented levels of investment, the business is poised to grow and the organisation is now entering phase two of its franchise operation. Continued system development has enabled Oakleaf to fine-tune the original package and the company is now pleased to roll out the franchise nationally. Building upon its successes so far Jonathan has appointed Craig Henthorn to head up the franchising business. 'Craig has a wealth of experience in franchisee recruitment, training and systems development,'' Jonathan explains.

Asked about his new appointment, Craig adds: 'I'm delighted to join an organisation whose success lies in the hands of its franchisees. It is quite exceptional to find a franchisor that manufactures every product that the franchisees are offering. It really is an exciting time in Oakleaf's development and a good time to join this franchise.'