Martin Jones explains why he decided to join the Shuttercraft franchise, despite having the ability to set up an independent interior shutter business
After many years in the shutter industry, a change in circumstances meant that Martin Jones needed to rethink his career strategy.
He knew his preference was to have his own business and, apart from a fleeting moment when he considered being a salesperson for a well-known blinds company, he decided the options were quite clear - set up a shutter company himself or find a business model that gave him the structure he needed.
His objective was simple. He wanted a business that enabled him to manage his business rather than work in it and allow him to do the things he loved - meeting prospects and customers and delivering a quality service he could be proud of.
Martin knew of Shuttercraft and had formerly been a direct competitor, so he was aware of their great reputation and the quality of products they used. He decided to get in touch.
Martin explains: “I knew Shuttercraft had improved their model and that it was much more of a management franchise and that really appealed to me - my skills are in running a business and dealing with customers.
“I’d always been front of house in my previous business and I wanted to make sure I could continue to do this while maximising the business opportunities.
“From the minute I spoke to Shuttercraft, it was obvious their franchise was the perfect solution and, once I’d decided, there was little to stop me. I joined in March 2018 and I can honestly say it was the best business decision I’ve ever made.”
Quality sells itself
Martin is convinced that the interior shutter industry is still in its infancy and there is a lot of scope to grow his business.
“Shutters are, without doubt, the biggest growth opportunity in the window covering marketplace today,” he says. “Properly done, they lend class and sophistication to any property and I was so impressed with the quality of the Shuttercraft shutters. They are finished to an extremely high standard and the supply chain and support is extremely effective, so I knew I was onto a winner.
“I had previously built a very successful business selling shutters, so I was very confident I could do this again. With the added benefit of the Shuttercraft business model and support, I knew I could exceed my previous income and grow a sustainable business.
“I love the fact that Shuttercraft are constantly looking at ways to improve the product and expand the range. Since I joined, we have launched a range of additional features and we are now working on the introduction of patented products for automation via the likes of Siri and Alexa and developing an app that will enable my customers to see what shutters will look like in situ.
“All of this gives me faith in my ability to grow my Shuttercraft business. I know that with the support of a great head office team and the network of other franchise partners I can achieve my goals.”
What makes him successful?
A lot of Martin’s success can in large part be attributed to his positive attitude to running his business and treating it as something to manage and grow, as opposed to being a hands-on shutter fitter.
He’s a natural networker, who works well in a franchise set up, where ideas and successful strategies are shared, and has used his prior experience in shutters to his advantage - he was able to find two skilled fitters almost immediately. This helped him grow the business quickly and after setting up and making a success of the Warwick territory, he then purchased the Worcester region from Shuttercraft.
Martin believes the robust and innovative Shuttercraft business model has given him the foundations he needed for his focussed and persistent approach and to build his success.
“Buying the second territory of Worcester really was the game changer for me,” Martin says. “It has enabled me to take my earnings and my business to a whole new level. I run a tight ship and am very organised in my approach to managing my leads and my resources and this has helped me enormously as the business has grown.
“The fact that the Shuttercraft Head Office team run my Google AdWords campaigns has taken a lot of pressure off me in generating leads. Currently, two thirds of my leads come from this source and Shuttercraft manage this on my behalf so I can focus on doing what I love best - meeting people and providing quality products.”
Dealing with changing environments
Recent events have not stopped Martin from growing his customer base and income.
In fact, despite the Pandemic, he had a record month in May and doubled this in June with one spectacular day when he hit his career high of over £15,000 in orders. He attributes this to the combined efforts of the Shuttercraft Head Office team and the network in finding appropriate and safe solutions to maintain the business.
His success has even been recognised by the Federation of Small Businesses, who had obtained free advertising space with the Daily Mail, i newspaper and Metro and which they subsequently awarded to Martin.
In the true spirit of being part of a network, Martin shared his success with his fellow franchise partners and in total five franchisees have benefitted from this advertising to boost their business.
“The Shuttercraft Head Office team and network of Partners really demonstrated the perfect approach during these difficult times,” he says. “Initially we waited for the official information we needed to make the right business decisions and then we put an innovative yet careful action plan in place.
“Within three weeks we combined the strength of the network with the training and communication skills at Head Office to introduce new ways of working: introducing virtual consultations and working with consumers on surveying to ensure life and business continued as normally and safely as possible and that we would leave lockdown in great shape.
“At a time when a lot of people were doing home improvements and looking for new ways to frame their windows, this was a great example of resilience and innovation, which is an integral part of the Shuttercraft model.
“If I had not been part of the franchise, I don’t imagine I would have achieved anything like the number of sales I have during this time.
“I have combined running my business with home-schooling my children and the fact I have been so successful and managed to keep them educated has only been possible because of the support of the Shuttercraft network and my own team.
“I highly recommend that anybody who is looking for a business that they can grow and manage thinks seriously about the Shuttercraft Franchise. I had experience of the industry and running a business but, by following the Shuttercraft model, I have grown to a level I could never have imagined.”
At a glance Shuttercraft
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