Kevin Horkan and his stepson, Aaron O’Sullivan, recently opened their Access4Lofts branch in Wimbledon
Neither Kevin Horkan and Aaron O’Sullivan had any experience in loft work, but their skills and backgrounds complement each other perfectly.
Aaron started out as a trainee accountant but soon realised that sitting in an office all day just wasn’t for him. He then moved into installing air-conditioners while he looked for a more practical career in the long term.
Kevin’s work history, on the other hand, couldn’t be more different. He was in the telecoms sector for more than 30 years, with the last 14 spent as a senior account manager for a major UK firm.
When Kevin was made redundant back in 2021, his extensive experience managing multi-million-pound accounts meant he had plenty of options for continuing his lucrative corporate career elsewhere. However, he decided it was time to forge his own path and take Aaron with him.
“I went to a few interviews, but I realised my instinct was that I didn’t want to do this anymore, and would rather be involved in something entirely different,” said Kevin. “What attracted me the most to Access4Lofts is that it is a lot more than just a ‘doing’ franchise, it’s a management franchise too. It’s set up to help you create a successful, long-term business.”
This is exactly what the Access4Lofts franchise is all about. By tapping into a business with a tried and tested model and proven systems in place, franchisees like Kevin and Aaron can give themselves a huge head start in building a business that will stand the test of time. They are not only breaking into a booming UK market but also immediately benefiting from experience and expertise that would normally take years to gain.
“What made Access4Lofts stand out for me was their style, their organisation, and all the systems they have in place.” Kevin continued. “We spent several months researching it, as Aaron wasn’t originally convinced it was the right move, but we soon realised that this was something that could fulfil both our ambitions.”
While Kevin’s management background, and Aaron’s more hands-on experience, meant their combined skill set made them the perfect franchise owners, there was still a great deal for them to learn when it came to doing the job. Fortunately, the Access4Lofts team has spent a great deal of time and energy perfecting its training programme and even has its own specialist centre where new franchisees can train in mock-up lofts as well as classroom-based sessions on management and operations.
“The training sessions were very well thought through and covered absolutely everything in terms of what you need to become a successful franchisee. It catered for every possible background, so it didn’t make any difference that I had no previous experience with this kind of work. There are also so many videos and manuals for us to come back to later – we haven’t needed them just yet, but we know where to find them!” said Aaron.
Aside from teaching franchisees everything they need to know to make a success of their new business, Access4Lofts also makes sure its vans are loaded with all the tools and supplies they need before they leave their training.
Even before training began, the marketing team was hard at work promoting the new business in Kevin and Aaron’s territory and lining up leads for them.
“That’s one of the most impressive things about the Access4Lofts franchise: you actually walk out already working! You’ve got all the tools to do the job. It’s not a case of just buying a name for your business, you’re buying a whole process and package that is ready to go. The only thing that’s not included is buying your van. Absolutely everything else is covered!” explained Kevin.
Thanks to the marketing boost, in their first few, critical months, Kevin and Aaron were equipped with 12 pre-qualified leads before they even opened. By the Friday of their first week, they were already doing their first paid job and had another six booked in for their first month, with another three already in the diary for the second.
The duo have not even scratched the surface of what is going to be possible with their new business, especially with a huge boom predicted in loft insulation work over the next year. They have big plans for the future with an ambition to expand their business to a multi-van operation covering several territories.