Elvis Sings at Launch of Latest Dream Doors Showroom
The Birmingham borough of Solihull rocked to the sounds of an Elvis tribute act booked, to celebrate the opening of the area's first Dream Doors showroom in February. While franchise owner Tony Smyth was busily topping up glasses of bubbly, the King kept customers entertained as they took in the vast array of kitchen doors on display.
Now, a month later, Smyth can reflect on the dramatic changes the showroom has had on his business. “Appointments have quadrupled since we opened the shop, and even at a conservative estimate, our turnover will treble.” he says. “My advice to any new franchisee is to get the keys to their showroom as quickly as possible!”
It has been a long journey to get to this stage – longer then normal for a Dream Doors franchisee, who will typically open their showroom within six months of joining – and Smyth acknowledges it should have happened sooner. “We had some issues with landlords when we first began looking for premises. But with the help of Dream Doors and all their experience, we finally secured the lease on this shop. It's in a great position on a very busy road. In fact, this is the main road in and out of Solihull so there are thousands of people going past our showroom every day. We're now know that a great deal of our customers drive past, or see us while on the bus, then come back in the next day to book an appointment. It's well worth the extra rent to have a prominent position, and in the long term we won't need to spend as much on advertising as we did pre-showroom.”
From the moment both parties decide to enter into a franchise partnership, franchisor-led research begins on area demographics, local marketing channels and retail locations. All homes are a potential source of business, but the primary target market for Dream Doors is people aged 50 - 80 years old, and in social groups ABC1. Using a digital postcode analysis tool, Dream Doors support staff are able to determine the best locations to position their showrooms – those with the highest proportion of core customers.
“Since 80 percent of our customers are over 60, and 70 percent of business comes from within a five mile radius of the showroom, it is critical we get the location right,” says Dream Doors founder and Managing Director, Troy Tappenden. “Tony's showroom is in a fantastic position, on an extremely busy road that must see tens of thousands of cars go past it every day. I went through this myself twelve years ago, and working from home just doesn't have the same impact. My turnover trebled when I opened my showroom, and that's in little old Gosport. The standard of premises is much better now than it was back then, and some of our franchise owners have seen their turnover increase eight-fold.”
He adds: “My vision is to have a showroom in every major postcode in the UK within the next ten years. We have well over 30 showrooms now, and while it is challenging finding good business partners – those people who are talented enough, and with sufficient capital to invest – we are seeing more and more enquiries. I believe that is because Dream Doors is a very prominent brand, with multiple awards and the bfa's greatest seal of approval. We support our franchisees to the hilt, and we want them to be successful. That's not just out of the goodness of my heart, since Dream Doors relies on Management Services fees to fund its own growth and success. Without successful and profitable franchisees, there would be no Dream Doors. It's as simple as that.”
Dream Doors will be at the British & International Franchise Exhibition in London on 18th & 19th March. Tappenden and his management team will be on stand number B01 all weekend, and Operations Director and BFA Board Member, Kelly Chambers, will be speaking at two franchise seminars. Dream Doors franchisees from Oxford and Croydon will also be speaking at franchisee forums over the weekend.