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An interview with Maggie Adams - Chesterfield branch

Hi, my name is Maggie Adams and I'm a franchisee of a United Carpets store, based in Chesterfield. I've been at this store since 2009 so, therefore, approximately two and a half year, as a franchisee.

What inspired you to take the franchise?

I was looking for something different. I'd been an employee for the same company for 24 years and I was looking, really, to set up my own business. Me and my friend went along to a franchise exhibition, at Birmingham NEC, and we looked around the various stands. I was looking, really, for something that had brand power and something that was well-known, obviously an already established company. We went around various stands and decided to have a chat with the United Carpets team.

Following this, I did set up a meeting with Paul Davies, the Franchise Recruitment Manager, but before I went that far, I actually spoke to another franchisee, who was a friend that I knew. She'd been with United Carpets for approximately eight to nine years; she was one of the first franchisees to join. At that time, United Carpets was a smaller brand and obviously as the years have gone on, has become a bigger brand within the market place. That got me interested, obviously because it has continued to grow.

Following my meeting with Paul Davies, we discussed various locations. At the time, I didn't feel any of those were suitable for me, but then the Chesterfield branch came up as a franchise, and Chesterfield was my home town, so therefore I was very interested. The company was very transparent - I was able to see the stores profit and loss accounts, and the sales that they had been doing and the forecasts for the future, and I felt that it was the right type, or right town, for me to become a United Carpets franchisee.

How did United Carpets take you forward

Well, I didn't have any carpet experience, I was from a background completely different, so I suppose the first thing was it was a big learning curve for me. When I joined, I had some in-store training within the Rotherham branch. I was there for approximately four to six weeks. Following this, I then started within my own store. At the time, I was given a United Carpets Manager to work alongside me for the first month, which obviously really helped me to get an understanding of the business. Following this, I did have two members of staff that had been in the store for quite a long while, so obviously I did lean on them for their experience.

So I suppose my first year, really, was a big learning curve. The sales, I would probably say, weren't quite as good as what I expected, but then the growth in year two and year three has been fantastic on the back of this, and following me being a more integral part of the business.