Archive for the ‘Blinds’ Category

The spin-offs of George’s PR

Friday, November 26th, 2010

George Stewart’s eye-catching publicity for his Apollo Blinds business in Hamilton near Glasgow has certainly been attracting the attention of new customers. It has also prompted other local traders in the town who have been begging him to share his secrets.

George Stewart from Apollo Blinds  Hamilton 1

The phoneline at his showroom lit up as soon as the latest edition of his local magazine landed on the doormats of homes across the area. On Monday alone this week he took four big orders as a direct response from the article about him. He is delighted at the reaction of his latest article which focuses on his great customer service and not directly flogging blinds – as you might have expected.

In between a raft of appointments with eager customers George attended a meeting of other traders to talk to them about how he markets his business and gets free publicity. He revealed his secret weapon – the ghostwriter who drafts all his articles for him as part of the ongoing free support provided by his franchisor.

George’s business is booming and he very graciously tells everyone he meets why being part of the Apollo Blinds franchise is helping him be a success.

Apollo Blinds launches new collections

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Say hello to our new collections…

Apollo Blinds bathroomApollo Blinds loungeApollo Blinds garden roomApollo Blinds lounge1

To see these new collections, contact Apollo Blinds in your area

Apollo Blinds on TV

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

We’re all fizzing with excitement at Apollo as our new TV adverts are now ready to air. You can be the first to see them here and here.

What do you think? Are you getting the Apollo magic?

They air from next month on the Home TV channel. We’ve chosen to advertise on Home (Sky 246 and Virgin Media 265) specifically because there’s lots of different programmes for people who love everything to do with improving their homes and gardens.

And with great offers on our breathtaking blinds we’re expecting to get a huge amount of enquires, particularly from people clicking onto www.apollosale.com to find their nearest Apollo Blinds.

Our strapline is that we make homes beautiful but now we can also lay claim to making Home TV beautiful as well with the Apollo magic.

The right kind of problem to have

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

The franchise owner for Lincoln has only been up running since May as a mobile sole trader but he is already thinking about taking on a fitter.

That’s because Dean Moore has spent most of this week fulfilling orders and installing blinds in customer’s houses – which is great news as he is obviously very busy. But he already recognises that while he’s fitting, he’s not selling.

Dean’s background is in sales and marketing and he, more than most, understands that devoting the lion’s share of his time to this is the right way to build a prosperous and profitable business.

As part of his training when he first joined Apollo Blinds, Dean became a skilled fitter and he is quickly getting to the fortunate position where he can take someone on to do the fitting, which will free him up to play to his strengths.

It’s a pattern we see time and again and definitely the right kind of headache to have for a new business.

A week to remember

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

What a fantastic week it’s been right across the Apollo network. It’s been one of the best weeks of the year for sales, two of our most gifted and experienced franchise owners ran a brilliant training course on conservatory blinds for others in the network and it was lights, camera, action for four of our Scottish franchise owners who faced the cameras to talk about their experiences running an Apollo Blinds franchise.

We’ve had the green light on our new customer deferred credit/interest free credit scheme and we’ve also been busy making preparations for the induction training of three new franchise owners.

But without doubt the best bit of news this week was that our newest franchise owner in Swindon, Andrew Gibbs, sold his first order of conservatory blinds – as a result of going on the training course run by Dave and Morris who own Apollo Blinds Salisbury and New Milton.

Andrew has only been trading a couple of weeks but has already sold one of our highest ticket items. If he masters his newfound ability to make sales of conservatory blinds in addition to the bread and butter of our core products, I’m sure it won’t be long before he breaks into our top ten achievers list.

Not bad for someone who’s new to the industry after spending 30 years in printing and engineering.

Why do people deal with Apollo Blinds?

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Earlier this week our GM asked the Apollo team one very simple question: why do people deal with Apollo Blinds?

As you’d expect the suggestions came thick and fast, and it wasn’t long before we had a lengthy list which covered all aspects of the business. And, after some serious pruning, we produced a list which encapsulates everything that’s good about Apollo Blinds.

After the exercise we all walked out of Gary’s office about three feet taller and bursting with pride. It was such a simple but effective way of stepping back and reminding ourselves of all the reasons why our customers (our network of franchise owners) and our customer’s customers (homeowners) keep buying Apollo products.

Take a look at our list for yourself and it’s easy to see why Apollo Blinds puts other in the shade.

2 – 5 year guarantee (depending on product
)
Wider product range than any competitor
Exclusive products
Part of Hunter Douglas Group
More than 97% of stock availability
One of top three recognised brands in the UK
Leading edge design
National brand for consumer peace of mind
Established for almost 40 years
National brand, local service
Our franchise network conveys a professional image
World class products
British manufacturer
Innovative products
Hand made made-to-measure products
Expertise of service
Friendliness of service – consultative approach
Flexible Payment terms
£1m of stock
Comply with all safety standards
Child safety is paramount
Best blinds offering best value

A snapshot of Apollo Blinds

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

It’s a hackneyed phrase but still so true: people buy from people. Which is why we have a strong emphasis on promoting franchise owners almost as much as the new Apollo Blinds businesses they are launching.

We organise for a professional photographer to take great pictures of new franchise owners that are then used in press releases, newspaper competitions and of course on their websites.

Snaps of our newest franchise owners in Lincoln and Swindon are on all the main pages of their new websites so that when visitors see the site they can view the personalities within the business. And that is a huge factor enabling customers to see who they will be dealing with – even before they have picked up the phone or clicked online to book an appointment. It gives customers more confidence in the brand, the people and their decision to invite Apollo Blinds into their homes.

It’s another simple but effective tactic that we use to help our franchise owners tick all the right boxes with potential customers – even before they have met.

Have a great weekend…while you still can

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Part of the fascination of launching new Apollo Blinds businesses in different parts of the UK is identifying which of our array of marketing activities is the most effective at generating enquiries.

In the case of Lincoln it’s definitely leaflets. We’ve inserted them inside the local weekly newspaper and the franchise owner’s phone has been ringing off the hook.

Since the first raft of leaflets hit doormats a week ago, the franchise owner has been on sales calls last Saturday and Sunday – and has had a full diary all this week.

Dean Moore is, of course, delighted – especially as that was the first of five weekly leaflet drops we planned for different parts of his franchise territory.

And while he is rushed off his feet, we keep reminding him of the importance of adding the enquiries to his database – in order to accurately monitor where they are coming from and also to build a mailing list of people who may also purchase builds in the future.

Have a great weekend…while you still can.

Everyone’s a winner

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Apollo Blinds in St Albans has just set the record for the number of responses to a competition in a local newspaper giving away blinds.

In exchange for offering a £500 prize of Apollo blinds, The Herts Advertiser gave our franchise owner half a page of space – which included editorial, pictures, contact details and of course the competition.

As well as running the competition in the newspaper, the Advertiser also ran it online and the result was incredible.

The best response to a competition to date has been about 350 responses but St Albans smashed it with a total of 1,300.

Not only has St Albans had a great half page of exposure in its local newspaper, it has also had lots of lovely names and addresses of entrants who were happy to have their details passed on to the franchise owner.

No doubt he will be burning the midnight oil adding all the details to his database. And I’ll bet a letter will be winging its way to all those unlucky entrants with a limited time extra special discount just for them to say thanks for entering.

With our newspaper competitions everyone’s a winner.

Earning a great reputation

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Tim Hunt, who runs Apollo Blinds in Northampton along with his wife and daughters, is a shining example of a man who fundamentally understands the value of building his business by reputation.

He is as focused on getting a great recommendation at the end of each job as he is the payment.

The family encourages customers to write testimonials – which can be found at their Apollo Blinds website, Facebook, Twitter, blog and on local directories such as thebestof.co.uk – as part of an ongoing mantra of building a great reputation for the quality of products and customer service.

This simple philosophy is working brilliantly – and not just in helping to build their reputation locally and giving new customers the confidence to buy from them. And it’s also underpinned their online marketing to such an extent that if you type ‘Apollo Blinds Northampton’ into Google at least seven of the listings on the first page point to the company.

So not only has Apollo Blinds got a great reputation locally, it also has a great reputation on the internet – which is priceless.