What attracted me to Granite Transformations is actually I was one of the first customers in the UK to ever have this service done. As almost a guinea pig involved in the network, I saw the instant opportunity and the scope of what was available and was involved, almost from day one, as the first franchise in the whole of the UK.
The customers respond to the products; really they see that the true value in it is on that day of installation. They've got an expectation that we always hope to exceed in our installation process, and purely from our recommendation and referral, the feedback that the customers give us, tell us that we have a great product and service, and you have to do no more than what you promised to give you extra free business, because referrals and recommendations is the best business you can get.
Twelve years we've been running the franchise and we've got Tunbridge Wells, the head office, where we've got the showroom and the workshop which is runs brilliantly for when the customers come in, because they can not only see the showroom, but they can see how it all works downstairs, we can take them downstairs and show them how the product is made.
The other, Polhill, we've got a garden centre in Polhill, Buxley Manor Garden Centre, and the showroom at Sidcup.
I've been working with Sally, actually, for 20 years, so we are very attuned to each other' strengths and weaknesses. Sally is from the administration side of the business, I'm on the selling, and those two come together and hopefully produce a seamless operation.
So, we get on famously; we never argue. People wonder how we do it, goodness how we do it, but we do... what did he say!?
The versatility of Granite Transformations' product is so diverse, you know, that we have it traditionally in the kitchen worktops, but we upsell all the time, on our opportunity to sell in to the splash backs, kick plinths, waterfall drops, the bathroom sector gives us vanity units, window sills, shower walls, it's just on and on and it keeps changing, and our application keep extending on a regular basis.
My staff within this franchise are our greatest asset within the business. They're truly the people that bring me the business going forward. I think the average term of service within this company is around about eight years; we have around about 12 full-time employees. Truly the job that they do on the site i the job that gives me the referral, the recommendations, that makes up for almost 20% of this business does on a month to month basis.
I've never looked back since, in the 12 year that we've been trading. It's given me great opportunities, we've built up a great business here, with some fantastic people within it, which ha seen us go from strength to strength over the years and seen a growth in the company now; that' all due to the people involved in it, but I still feel like we're skimming across the surface and got a long way to go yet.