Make a year’s salary in less than three months

Although the period leading up to Christmas is their busiest, The Christmas Decorators’ franchise owners plan their festive strategy all year round

This time of year is always a busy season for The Christmas Decorators, a company best known for decorating the homes of the rich and famous. However, this year has been even busier as it has also landed a major new contract with European retail giant, McArthurGlen, to decorate all the company’s sites across Europe.

So how did The Christmas Decorators get to where it is now? Nick Bolton and his wife, Sarah, were running a successful snowboarding business in Aspen, Colorado, when they assisted a major celebrity by decorating her emergency hotel room. Since then, several other Hollywood ‘A listers’ asked for the same service and the couple haven’t looked back.

In 2006, family commitments saw them return to their hometown of Liverpool and soon word of their unique decorating services spread around the local footballer fraternity and UK showbiz circuit.

Nick says: “Before long, we were invited to decorate the homes of Wayne and Coleen Rooney, and Phil and Julie Neville. They were some of our first customers from the football world. Then, X Factor judge Sharon Osborne got in touch too.”

That same year, Tony Urwin at Franchise Development Services was asked to develop a business format franchise system for The Christmas Decorators, which he described as one of the most exciting projects he has worked on for years.

Now with 14 franchises operating throughout the UK, Nick is keen to achieve complete coverage and then begin his move into Europe.

Nick explains: “Our biggest business challenge over the past year has been getting new local franchises up and running quickly enough to meet the growing customer demand.

“Today, we decorate pretty much anything and everything – celebrity homes, major hotels and retail stores, shopping centres and streets, football stadiums… you name it, we’ve probably done it.”

The Christmas Decorators adds a festive flavour to Christmas functions and parties, and can work around almost any brief. Over the years, the company has created everything from a ‘Narnian winter wonderland’ to ‘Christmas in New York’.

“It really is an incredibly fun business to be in,” enthuses Nick. “There’s no other company in the UK quite like us. We source and build all of our own decorations from our headquarters in Liverpool and can create completely bespoke designs to fit any brief regardless of budget or scale, so we’re in massive demand.

“Because of the nature of what we do, people tend to use our services year after year, which means we enjoy an incredibly high customer retention level, which makes our franchise opportunities a very attractive venture.”

Nick believes that each new franchise has huge potential: “Even in these economically uncertain times, people still spend massively at Christmas to ensure that they have a great time. We provide the environment.”

Franchise owners can make a year’s salary in three months by working hard for the 12 weeks around Christmas. However, they will need to put in the marketing and sales effort during the year to develop order bookings. That’s why no more franchises will be awarded until Spring 2012.

The cost of a new regional franchise with The Christmas Decorators is just £16,500 + VAT.

Interested? An open day will be held in Liverpool on December 20, when attendees can enjoy a magical The Christmas Decorators experience along with hot mince pies.

Written by Fraser McKay