The Oakleaf franchise system is straightforward and easy to operate

Since launching its franchise opportunity in 2001, period moulding manufacturer Oakleaf, has refined its products and services to provide its franchise owners with a unique and profitable business model.

One of the key factors attracting franchise owners to Oakleaf is that all sales are made to order in its Yorkshire factory, and predominantly by hand. Franchise owners can, therefore, proceed confidently in the knowledge that orders for the company’s premium products are handled on a local level, under the close supervision of the owners, for nationwide delivery within three to four weeks.

While not strictly speaking ‘bespoke’, in that the majority of sales comprise pieces chosen from the extensive range, each moulding is stained by hand to the customer’s individual requirements.

However, through its commission moulding service, Oakleaf is able to produce copies of customers’ own originals, a facility that has from time to time considerably extended a franchise owner’s offer and sale value.

One example involved panelling for a snooker room, where the customer, having bought a grand antique table, wanted the room to match the theme. In addition to matching the table’s stain finish, he requested that the carved work on the table’s frieze be cast and used within the panelling, to create the truly unique effect he wanted – the mould was destroyed on conclusion of the project.

While considerably more expensive than standard products, even with a generous margin built in for the franchise owner, the service allows the reproduction of rich ornament at a fraction of the cost of carving, and within a much tighter time frame, achieving a substantial increase in the level of customer satisfaction as a further benefit.

Other examples of sales achieved through this special service include the manufacture of a copy of an ornate ceiling, seen by a customer in a 15th century Florentine chapel in Italy, which he wanted to reproduce for his new-build home. He was so delighted to source such specialist skills that he went on to commission two other ceilings of individual design for other rooms in his deluxe residence.

Franchise owners need have no concerns about the technical aspects of such projects, comfortable in the knowledge their specialist colleagues at the factory will handle the tricky bits. Instead, the success of their role is to promote the products and services the company has to offer to the extensive customer base within their substantial territory, and to supply and supervise delivery and installation.

With each party fulfilling their key roles with enthusiasm, the franchise owner finding the customer, the factory delivering their requirements, the success of the partnership that is the Oakleaf franchise is assured.

The Oakleaf 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 franchise owners the flexibility to build a business very easily from home. 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 – in fact each step in the process has been created so it is easy to follow for franchise owners and customers. This ensures customers are satisfied and that the franchise owner has the maximum amount of time available to promote the products locally.

“The franchise package includes all the tools needed to operate the business effectively from business stationery and a display allowance to marketing support. The package also has the option to include a personal mobile showroom, featuring a selection of product displays. This will allow our franchise owners to promote our products at exhibitions.”

Reported by Tiffany Brooking