The first Dream Doors showroom in Birmingham was opened to the sounds of an Elvis tribute act. The tribute act was booked to celebrate the launch of the Solihull-based store, which opened its doors four weeks ago.
A month later and Dream Doors Solihull franchise owner Tony Smyth can reflect on the dramatic changes the showroom has had on his business. “Appointments have quadrupled since we opened the shop, and even at a conservative estimate, our turnover will treble,” he said. “My advice to any new franchise owner is to get the keys to their showroom as quickly as possible.”
Although it usually takes a Dream Doors franchise owner within six months of joining the franchise, for Smyth this journey has taken much longer. He said: “We had some issues with landlords when we first began looking for premises. But with the help of Dream Doors and all their experience, we finally secured the lease on this shop. It’s in a great position on a very busy road. In fact, this is the main road in and out of Solihull so there are thousands of people going past our showroom every day. We now know that a great deal of our customers drive past, or see us while on the bus, then come back in the next day to book an appointment. It’s well worth the extra rent to have a prominent position, and in the long term we won’t need to spend as much on advertising as we did pre-showroom.”
From the moment the franchise agreement is signed by both the franchisor and the franchise owner, Dream Doors head office-led research begins on area demographics, local marketing channels and retail locations. All homes are a potential source of business, but the primary target market for Dream Doors is people aged 50 to 80 and in social groups ABC1. Using a digital postcode analysis tool, Dream Doors’ support staff are able to determine the best locations to position their showrooms.
Dream Doors Managing Director Troy Tappenden said: “Since 80 per cent of our customers are over 60, and 70 per cent of business comes from within a five mile radius of the showroom, it is critical we get the location right. Tony’s showroom is in a fantastic position, on an extremely busy road that must see tens of thousands of cars go past it every day. I went through this myself 12 years ago, and working from home just doesn’t have the same impact. My turnover trebled when I opened my showroom, and that’s in little old Gosport. The standard of premises is much better now than it was back then, and some of our franchise owners have seen their turnover increase eight-fold.
“My vision is to have a showroom in every major postcode in the UK within the next 10 years. We have well over 30 showrooms now, and while it is challenging finding good business partners - those people who are talented enough and with sufficient capital to invest - we are seeing more and more enquiries from. I believe that is because Dream Doors is a very prominent brand, with multiple awards and the bfa’s greatest seal of approval. We support our franchise owners to the hilt, and we want them to be successful. That’s not just out of the goodness of my heart, since Dream Doors relies on Management Services fees to fund its own growth and success. Without successful and profitable franchise owners, there would be no Dream Doors, it’s as simple as that.”
Published: 7 March 2011
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