All year Christmas cheer

Before she had heard of The Christmas Decorators, Nicola Collier had never entertained the idea of pursuing a franchising opportunity. Here she talks to The Franchise Magazine about how a chance web search led to her pursuing a career that is truly close to her heart

While her passport may read Nicola Collier, to those closest to her she is often referred to as ‘Mrs Christmas’. It is a nickname that she embraces wholeheartedly and is one that is wholly justified given that her preparations for the festive season typically begin around September and culminate in no fewer than four Christmas trees taking pride of place in her home.

With this in mind perhaps there is no one person better suited to be a franchise owner with The Christmas Decorators.

“I feel that I have always had a creative, artistic side, however in my previous working life I was predominantly office based, so never really got to express this side of myself,” Nicola states. “Having left the office world behind I decided that I wanted to embark on a completely new career path, one where I could be my own boss and successfully employ my creative side.”

Taking to Google one September day last year, and with the seeds of that year’s Christmas season already being sown in her head, it was a search for ‘Christmas decorations’ that provided Nicola with the web address for The Christmas Decorators. A quick scan of the homepage fixed her eyes on a link to become a Christmas Decorator and the rest is history.

“The ironic thing is that until that day I was not interested in seeking out a franchise opportunity, however when this chance came about I simply had to grab it with both hands,” Nicola enthuses. Any scepticism Nicola may have had initially was almost immediately extinguished thanks to the quick and smooth process that greeted her initial interest in the franchise opportunity. The Christmas Decorators Franchise Development Team quickly got back in touch following Nicola’s enquiry and have been providing her with the support and guidance required since.

“The people within the Franchise Development Team make you feel welcome immediately and provide you with the peace of mind and confidence to ask them anything,” Nicola says. “The training that was provided was very accessible and detailed, and at all times I have been comforted with the knowledge that the Franchise Development Team will always go out of their way in order to give my business the best chance of success.”

Initially, Nicola’s business plan called for this Christmas period to be an opportunity to take on a series of small-scale jobs and use it as a learning experience that would set the foundations for larger undertakings in years to come.

As she goes on to reveal, this plan has since evolved rather significantly: “We have been pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of enquiries and requests for our services we have received since the end of last year. This level of demand has meant that we have had to hit the ground running, so to speak, and has even seen us entering into discussions with several councils for the type of large-scale work that we never dreamed of taking on during our first Christmas.” While such a proposition for a new franchise owner may send a shiver down the spine, that was not Nicola's reaction.:“The work that we will be taking on this Christmas will be at a larger scale, more complex scale than first predicted, however, with the support from The Christmas Decorators, I feel confident that this is within our capabilities."

So just what are Nicola’s reflections on the last 10 months? “All my experiences with the brand and my franchise up to now have been great fun and highly rewarding,” she says. “I have met a number of people along the way that I now consider to be friends and having gone through the training process with other new franchise owners I feel that I am really part of a family unit who are all trying to achieve the same goal.”

For a person who admits that before last year she hadn’t once entertained the notion of embarking on a franchise opportunity, Nicola’s experiences with The Christmas Decorators have made her something of a believer. “The last 10 months or so have been such a great time for me personally and professionally. Put it this way, the experiences that I have had really do back up the glowing testimonials that I have read about The Christmas Decorators.”