Ritchie Laing explains why he invested in a franchise with The Kitchen Depot and how the business has already exceeded his expectations
What made you want to become a franchisee?
Previously a plumber/tiler, setting up my own business had been a long-held ambition.
I began looking at franchising as a low risk way to help me get established in my own venture, while having the security of the backing of an already established larger company.
Why the kitchen depot brand?
I initially visited a few different companies, but it was the friendly reception and founding family values of The Kitchen Depot that struck a chord with me.
Practicing what they preached, with family working throughout the business, they reflected much of what I wanted for my own business. Another important factor that led me to The Kitchen Depot was the product superiority, as I need to have full confidence in any product I sell.
How did you fund the business?
After meeting with the founders of The Kitchen Depot, I invested £20,000 to set up a franchise.
Although the franchise fee normally starts from £64,000, the owner and director - a father and son - agreed to lend me the balance, after agreeing that we would be a great match as a franchisor/franchisee team due to my skills, experience, enthusiasm and family values to match their own.
How would you describe the training and support provided by the kitchen depot?
I received a fully comprehensive training package that was not only delivered at a pace to suit me, it was also tailored according to my strengths and weaknesses, so I could concentrate more in areas new to me, such as running a showroom.
All the team are extremely knowledgeable and in terms of support, nothing is ever too much trouble.
Can you describe your typical working day?
As a business owner, every day brings different challenges, but because of the working atmosphere we’ve adopted and the support network we have, it’s always a pleasure to be in work each day.
Ensuring smooth running is essential, but because of the professionalism of my team, I always have the reassurance of flexibility to enhance my family life too.
Best thing about being a kitchen depot franchisee?
Within my first year of business I doubled the £500,000 turnover target I had been set, so I can already see the rewards of my investment. The business has far exceeded my wildest expectations and my wife has also now given up her job to join me.
I could not have achieved this on my own without the support of the franchise behind me, but I love to be in control of my own success. I get great job satisfaction from having the means to provide an excellent product alongside an excellent service.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m enjoying the best of both worlds in terms of work life and family life so, at the moment, I’m just very happy to continue enjoying the success and keep striving to be the best kitchen provider in Dumbarton, while staying true to our family values and those of the founding brand.