Rewarding work spreading festive cheer

Although Britain is in the height of summer, The Christmas Decorators franchise owners Paul and Victoria Lalley are thinking ahead by taking bookings to ensure their first festive season as franchise owners is profitable

Following the launch of their franchise with The Christmas Decorators four months ago, Paul and Victoria Lalley have been actively promoting their Christmas decoration service in a bid to secure a first year turnover in the region of £75,000.

"We first read about The Christmas Decorators while booking a Christmas vacation to Florida," reflects Paul. "We had hired out a villa and were surfing the internet looking for a company that would decorate the villa festively when we came across a link to The Christmas Decorators' website. We were excited to learn that the franchise had launched in the UK and was seeking franchise owners to complete its nationwide expansion.

"Victoria had wanted to run her own business for ages and liked the sound of The Christmas Decorators investment opportunity, so we decided to visit the company founders Nick and Sarah Bolton at their UK head office, to discuss the venture in more detail."

Established in Colorado in 1999, The Christmas Decorators came to the UK in 2005 and began franchising in 2007. To date there are seven franchise owners operating within its UK network helping both residential and commercial clients to decorate their premises ready for the Christmas festivities. As well as decorating premises for Christmas, The Christmas Decorators franchise owners also offer decoration services for winter weddings and themed parties.

"Before the launch of our franchise, which covers Lancashire, we were put on an initial two-week training course," continues Paul. "This covered everything from employment law and health & safety to how to use the equipment properly. We also built, with Nick's help, a large office and showroom in Formby to display our decorations so that prospective customers could see examples of our work, although this is not necessary as most franchise owners work from home in their first year.

"In order to get a better understanding of the business and what is entailed, Nick invited Victoria and I to help him set up and dismantle Christmas displays last year, which we did and thoroughly enjoyed. We found the work very rewarding, especially creating the residential displays as the families would often turn the lights on together and make it a special event.

"At the moment we juggle advertising our franchise with our other jobs. I am a fire fighter while Victoria models part-time. We are all set for Christmas this year and have booked a child minder to pick our son up from school while we run the business. We have also employed two members of staff who will help Victoria decorate if a decorating job happens to fall on a day when I am at the fire station. This way we can complete more jobs and maximise our profits."

Reported by Jess Sturman