The Christmas Decorators: Light up your life!

The Christmas Decorators is launching its specialist seasonal decorating service as a franchise following its huge success in North West England. Rachel Spaul reports

Fairy lights, illuminated snowmen, reindeer, stars... the competition for the best Christmas display is fierce. With the launch of The Christmas Decorators franchise, professional classical displays could soon be available nationwide.

This Christmas story began five years ago in Aspen, Colorado. Nick Bolton, who founded the business with his wife Sarah, recalls: 'We owned a snowboarding lodge and the decorating service took off because people were so impressed by the displays we installed there. Seasonal decorating is big business in the US and we're aiming to bring that way of thinking to Great Britain. Last year we employed a manager to run our Aspen business, while we created a franchise programme with franchise consultancy Franchise Development Services (Northern), and piloted the concept in England.'

Nick and Sarah insist there is substantial potential for The Christmas Decorators and they are aiming to have their first four franchisees in place for Christmas. 'The potential for this business is massive,' Nick confirms. 'This year we expect to quadruple the turnover of our pilot operation.'
The service, which includes consultation, installation and dismantling, appeals to homeowners, businesses, the hospitality industry, and high earners such as celebrities.

'We source our decorations from quality suppliers and many of our products are exclusive to The Christmas Decorators,' adds Nick. 'Franchisees are fully mobile, travelling to the customer's premises to assess their needs and then returning to install or dismantle displays.'

Because of the seasonal nature of the franchise, Nick believes it is most suitable for people looking for a bolt-on business, such as landscape gardeners or roofing contractors whose quietest time of the year is Christmas. These businesses would benefit from a ready-made customer base and established customer loyalty.

'This is a fun business for fun people that can generate fantastic revenues,' he exclaims. 'We are looking for people who can relate to customers on all levels and maintain a high quality service. We will train franchisees on all aspects of the business including techniques for producing eye catching designs.'

The future of The Christmas Decorators looks particularly bright with plans to introduce services for other events such as weddings and festivals. The Christmas Decorators will also feature in a documentary being filmed this Christmas.

'A Christmas Decorators franchise will not deliver immediate wealth,' Nick cautions. 'The best franchisees will be those who are prepared to grow the business and reputation in their location and maintain excellent customer service levels. In time, due to the financial structures laid down, you will reap the rewards of your own hard work and our transferred expertise.'