Chris Rocker shares the secret to his company's success
Just Shutters is the fastest growing independent retail shutter company in the UK, with over £27 million worth of shutters successfully installed. That’s quite an achievement, of which company founder Chris Rocker is extremely proud. So what is the secret of this phenomenal success?
Chris grew up in Bournemouth and having spent six years in the Royal Air Force he forged a career in growing significant sales and reinventing operational systems with several national companies.
As a sales director for John Lewis of Hungerford, Chris gained valuable experience in marketing and attention to detail and the thousand-piece jigsaw that makes a successful company.
Change of lifestyle
Following over 25 years of experience in sales and operations, Chris was looking for a fresh challenge and change of lifestyle.
In 2006, having fallen in love with plantation shutters, his dream of starting a specialist company to meet the growing demand in the field was realised and Just Shutters was born.
Creating a franchise model
Chris and his team have worked tirelessly to grow the business steadily while providing exemplary customer service.
Having created the best loved shutter company in the south of England, the way forward was to create a franchise model, offering franchisees the best possible operational systems, marketing, training and business support to grow their businesses quickly and competitively, while ensuring outstanding customer satisfaction.
The banks view investing in a franchise as a very strong proposition and are generally supportive, with funding up to 70 per cent available. Buying into an established brand is far less risky than starting a business from scratch.
What you get for your money
An investment of £27,000 secures the Just Shutters franchise partner a five-year renewable licence, an exclusive dedicated sales area, with proven demographics, as well as access to the operational systems, product samples, branded clothing, vehicle branding, stationery/marketing materials and point of sale products.
In addition, funds are required to secure a suitable vehicle and cover your general living/household expenses for a minimum of six to 12 months until the new business is flourishing.
Just Shutters backs the investment with expert in-house marketing, which creates a bespoke launch package worth £9,000 that includes local advertising, dedicated web pages and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. The Just Shutters website brings in a minimum of 150-300 leads per month per franchise area, which exceeds the industry standard.
Just Shutters is a business with high margins, steady cash flow and low staffing requirements in a growing market. The company’s finance team is on hand to help partners, if required, on best practices for running a profitable business.
Marketing can advise on details such as advertising strategy, building strong relationships and lead creation, as well as providing marketing assets, ensuring the best possible start, so the business will hit the ground running.
A belief in family values
Just Shutters believes in family values and cooperation across all partners to maximise returns for all. The main aim is for partners to grow with the company and benefit from a superior lifestyle, while enjoying great earning potential.
Going forward, key objectives for Just Shutters are to actively help grow all franchise partners to exceed goals and continue exploring product diversification, such as voice activated shutter control. The company is ideally placed to consolidate what is already a strong position.
And the secret of success? Chris says: “The ability to adapt is key to any business’ success. I believe in development, forward thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit, while maintaining a family feel has been our success.
“Our network of passionate business owners work together as a whole to push the business forward.
“We tackled the COVID-19 crisis in a professional and can-do manner and while the business couldn’t actively trade we introduced a home measuring kit to keep the sales coming in.
“During this time, many of our franchisees chose to support their local communities by providing a shop-and-drop service to the elderly or vulnerable. I’m exceptionally proud of all their efforts.”
There are now Just Shutters franchises in over 175 towns and cities in the UK.