The Solution to Success

Two Sliding Sash Solutions franchisees reveal how their finances and lifestyles have benefited since launching their businesses

Providing a service that repairs and improves traditional sash windows has enabled Sliding Sash Solutions franchisees to capitalise on the recent UK consumer move towards a more frugal approach to spending. As a result they are enjoying a financially comfortable lifestyle as their businesses thrive.

Andy Hiley, who launched his Brighton-based franchise with business partner Tim Green in June 2005, reveals: 'We are on a turnover of between £25,000 and £30,000 a month. Our business has been doing so well that this year I have been able to buy my first house.'

Another successful franchisee is Adrian Coomber who launched his business in Bromley and South East London in August 2006. He says: 'I'm currently on more than my target turnover. The success of my business has allowed me to take several holidays and I've been able to do some fairly major renovations to my own property. Also, within a month of starting my business I lost a stone in weight and my lifestyle is now much better than it was before.'

Founded in 2000, Sliding Sash Solutions has built up a business that provides repairing and servicing and greatly improves the performance of traditional sash windows by installing a unique brush pile system. They can also manufacture and reproduce replica sash windows to properties where the original windows have been removed. Andy explains how the Sliding Sash Solutions business operates: 'I get my leads through head office, generated by a combination of local and national advertising. I will then go out and survey the job and produce a quote for the customer. If the customer wants to proceed I will issue a contract to the customer to sign, which is a legally binding document. I will then go to the site to do the work and finally, once the job is done, I will invoice the customer.'

Before launching their franchises both Andy and Adrian were provided with thorough training to ensure that they were prepared for running their businesses. Andy recalls: 'I had one month's on-the-job training with the Sliding Sash Solutions Training Manager who made sure I was up-to-scratch. As well as the training I have had all the support I've needed since launching my franchise, everything from dealing with customers to pricing. I have also had site visits from head office when I've needed them.'

Adrian also received one month's on-the-job training before starting his business. 'I shadowed a Sliding Sash Solutions installer as part of my training and I received a manual that covered how to operate the business,' he recalls. 'I also had a couple of days at Sliding Sash Solutions head office covering the administration and technical aspects of running the business. There is a good working relationship between franchisees and we can call each other up if we need help or advice.'

According to Andy the main benefit of being a Sliding Sash Solutions franchisee is the quality of the product itself, backed up by the extensive research and development put into it by the franchisor. 'Customers come to us to have the work done rather than us going out to look for work,' he explains. 'It shows that there is a big market for the services we provide. Also the fact that it pays well is a great benefit.'

Adrian adds: 'In addition to providing a well established product, the company is well branded and every detail is taken into account right down to the signage on the vans. The brand looks right and feels right.'

Sliding Sash Solutions is looking for franchisees across the UK to aid the brand's nationwide expansion. Potential franchisees will need to have the right skills, experience and strength of character to operate their own business; dedication and determination to succeed; be physically fit and have good health; need to have good communication skills; be ambitious and self-motivated; and have hands-on practical skills. 'Although having practical skills is important, having previous experience of working with sash windows isn't as you will be fully trained to do the work,' adds Andy. 'Anyone who wants to run their own business, has the skills and is prepared to put in the hard work can operate a Sliding Sash Solutions franchise.'

Reported by: Derin Ibrahim