The window shutter market is growing at an exceptional pace and Shuttercraft franchisees are at the forefront of that growth.
Commercial & Industrial, Homecare & Property Maintenance
Shuttercraft is an established supplier and installer of internal window shutters and blinds. Working through a national management franchise, it fits exclusive, 100 per cent bespoke shutters that can be made into any shape, colour or size, including conservatories, velux roof windows, room dividers and blackout shutters.
The shutters are made-to-measure and designed to look contemporary or traditional as clients desire. The company has one of the largest ranges on the UK market.
In September 2018, a Shuttercraft franchise in Bristol — one of the earliest to be set up — opened a showroom to display products, a first for the Shuttercraft franchise.
Shuttercraft is an associate member of the British Franchise Association.
Shuttercraft is the franchise arm of S:Craft, the UK’s leading distributor of shutters offered in a wide range of materials, colours and styles.
The company makes its own products at its factory and sells them through retailers across the UK, including a range of independent shutter specialists.
The Shuttercraft franchise was set up by Rob James and his sister and brother-in-law, Fiona and Richard Vlasto. James, previously with Lloyd’s of London, saw an opportunity in the infant market for quality shutters and, in 1995, bought Plantation Shutters. Shuttercraft was established in 2002, importing quality shutters manufactured in China.
In 2011 the company was split in two, with Shuttercraft newly set up as a franchise opportunity to survey and install shutters at properties, and S:Craft, a wholesale business that now sells its own products through a network of 400 trade partners in the UK and Ireland.
The first Shuttercraft franchise was sold in 2012, but while the company saw some success, it was decided in 2016 that the franchise needed refreshing, as awareness of the brand was low. The company spent six months fine-tuning the franchise, hiring additional area managers and making sure that Shuttercraft’s service was consistent throughout the franchising network by offering more online tutorials and mentoring. The network has since grown to 24 units.
As a Shuttercraft franchise partner, you will be a brand ambassador for the firm in your territory. As a management franchise, the day-to-day role of the franchisee is to promote and build the business, quoting for new business, surveying prospective work and having your team install Shuttercraft shutters.
Franchisees are given a unique geographic area based on the demographic data supported by real customer profiles. Each territory has a large enough base to build a significant business.
The initial Shuttercraft franchise fee is £25,000, plus VAT, and while the total amount of working capital will be different based on your business plan, it is usually relatively low with a minimum personal investment perhaps in the region of £15,000. Shuttercraft has established relationships with banking partners and financial institutions, should a franchisee require assistance with funding for their Shuttercraft franchise.
Not all franchisees will want to build a business from the ground up. Some will prefer to take on a business that is already established, avoiding the problem of finding a new location and the cost of setting up. To find a Shuttercraft franchise for resale in your area, you can contact Shuttercraft’s franchise team who will have details of what is currently available.
After an initial discussion about the franchise with a franchise manager, the successful applicant will be offered a face-to-face meeting.
Every new franchisee is put on the Shuttercraft franchise ‘Getting Started’ programme, which will teach franchisees all about the company and its setup with preferred suppliers, how to prepare business and marketing plans, training in all aspects of Shuttercraft’s business and products, including three days of technical training, and masterclasses in sales and marketing.
Since 2016, Shuttercraft has invested in more mentoring for its franchisees. This began with posting online training videos twice a month, as the franchisees are ambassadors for the brand, and hiring more experts to mentor in key areas such as marketing, sales and IT. The result was that client referrals began to increase as better and more consistent practice was introduced to the network.
Shuttercraft franchisees now receive coaching through the whole of the critical launch phase of the franchise. This will include mentoring from an existing franchisee, and mentoring in other aspects of the business, including surveying and fitting, sales and strategy.
You will receive weekly finance, planning and coaching sessions, fortnightly marketing reviews and a monthly business review.
The review process also includes a quarterly business review and ongoing support from a dedicated franchise manager and local area manager. There is an annual conference.
The franchisee has access to marketing collateral and point of sale material and will also benefit from central lead generation. Shuttercraft’s start-up package also includes an operating manual, a regional launch advertising campaign, marketing materials and localised pages on the Shuttercraft website, a fully comprehensive demonstration kit, a corporate uniform and equipment pack.
A franchisees earnings will depend on their effort and ambitions, but each franchise territory has great potential to offer a substantial return on the level of investment.
Based on its experience, Shuttercraft states that ambitious franchisees can break even in the first six months and earn £30,000-£40,000 in their first few years; Shuttercraft expects its franchisees will generate revenues in excess of £500,000 over the course of the franchise’s first three years.
The ideal Shuttercraft franchisee will probably have some sales and management experience, but it is not essential because of the full training and support that Shuttercraft offer. Interpersonal and communication skills are essential, as is adhering to the Shuttercraft franchise system if you are to get your business off the ground.
You may require practical skills to install products if you are intending to be a manager-operator of your franchise. You will be trained to carry out installations, and they will need to be of a high quality, but most franchisees manage a team of fitters, while they concentrate on the development of the business and relationships with clients.
All franchise partners adhere to the Shuttercraft promise not to pressure nor hard sell to clients.
Franchisees are expected to ensure their quotes are fair and competitive based on an accurate survey and to share advice without any obligation to buy.
The initial Shuttercraft franchise license is for five years, but Shuttercraft states that as long as a franchisee can satisfy the level of demand for the business in their area, the territory can be renewed.
The market for window shutters has exploded in the past decade, with the business breaking the £100m barrier in 2014.
Shutters are seen by home-owners as an investment that adds value to their property. It was also noted in a Glasgow Caledonian University report that shutters increased energy efficiency of historical windows by 51 per cent.
The route to a Shuttercraft franchise can begin with a discovery call to a member of the Shuttercraft franchise team. To find out more, or to request further information on franchising with Shuttercraft, click on the Send Enquiry button now.
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