At just 25 years old, Craig swapped his Deputy Managers role with a national retailer for self-employment as a Dream Doors franchisee, giving him the work-life balance he'd always craved.
"I'd worked my way up through the ranks, starting out as a part-timer on the shop floor at 16 and becoming a store supervisor by the time I was 21. But as my responsibilities increased, so did my hours – exponentially! It got to a point where I'd leave the house before my partner got up and return home so late at night that she'd already gone to bed! I had no life outside of work.
There's a culture within the retail sector that sets expectations way too high. So, while you might be contracted to work 40 hours a week, you're held accountable to the job itself, not your hours. And that's fine for a while. But when you're increasingly expected to work yourself into the ground, where the job takes over your life and your stress levels go through the roof, those expectations become both unacceptable and unsustainable.
Since joining Dream Doors I've never looked back."
Recognising the need to change career was simple, says Craig. And finding that Dream Doors, the UK's largest kitchen facelift retailer and an award-winning franchise brand, had an existing business for sale less than 20 miles from him was perfect timing.
"I took over the business in the January and, to be frank, the transition from employee to employer and business owner was pretty seamless. The work itself is not that different from what I was doing before, but the experience couldn't be further removed. I'm in charge and, at last, I'm able to balance my work and my life! I've put a team in place who are all playing to their strengths and I know this business can only grow, giving me a future with financial freedom and security. We've just had the biggest month this showroom has ever achieved, coming close to £100,000 of sales in one month!.
I'd recommend a franchise to anyone else who is in the same position I was back then. You need personal discipline and drive, of course, but being part of a franchised brand has given me access to a supply chain, economies of scale and support that I couldn't hope for on my own."
Dream Doors is looking for more franchisees, like Craig, to open new showrooms or take over existing resales. Experience isn’t necessary as award-winning training and support is provided.
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Matt Jones, the new owner of Dream Doors Truro, worked as a design technology teacher for 12 years before taking on a franchise.
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The training and support has been fantastic and has really reinforced the fact that we made the right decision. The initial training was really helpful and there have been plenty of visits from the Franchise Support Manager to keep us on the right path.Helen Mahon
Everything about the franchise works as it is written in the manual and, in your early days, this is important while you learn the business.Paul Reeder
If you want to work for yourself and have more flexibility, I would recommend a Dream Doors franchise. Also it’s good to know that you can run your own business, but still have the back up of a national company.Matt Jones
nThe kitchen industry is booming and, as an alternative to standard kitchen compaies, Dream Doors offer our customers a solution that saves time, money and hassle
By replacing the doors, and usually the work-surfaces and sink, a kitchen can be transformed in 2 days