Archive for the ‘New franchises’ Category

Apollo has big hitter appeal

Friday, November 12th, 2010

It’s always fascinating to spend time talking to the people who attend our Discovery Days and find out why they are considering becoming part of our franchise network.

We thought we’d heard everything in meetings with people from all walks of life but one fella we met on Tuesday stood out.

To say this guy’s CV was impressive is an understatement. He has been a big hitter in corporate telecoms and has set up huge operations in Europe, Asia and America.

So it did rather beg the question why Apollo Blinds? He said he was coming back to the UK to be with family and saw the way the wind was blowing with the UK economy and realised window blinds was his opportunity. This, he explained, was because whatever the state of the housing market homeowners will always need blinds. If homeowners don’t move they improve and if they do they make their new home their own.

He also explained that the strength of the brand and the quality of the products (see pics) was what sets Apollo Blinds from national and local competitors. And that’s why he was talking to us.

Apollo Blinds garden roomApollo Blinds lounge

We can’t deny it was music to our ears but we also saw it as a huge compliment to our network of Apollo people all over the UK. Our teams have already recognised the opportunity to build prosperous businesses with us to help homeowners right across the UK make their homes beautiful with affordable window blinds from Apollo.

The Apollo advantage

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

This week our newest franchise owner has had all his expectations realised as to why he joined Apollo Blinds rather than setting up his own independent blinds company.

Neil Redpath, who owns Apollo Blinds Lancaster, has only been trading a couple of weeks but he’s been racking up the orders – even in the face of stiff competition – and it’s all because of one simple thing.

Neil Redpath Apollo Blinds Lancaster

He is using our customer care pack as the vanguard of his sales strategy and it’s the first thing he shows every customers. The pack covers the guarantee on all our products, advice on how to maintain our blinds and details of all the safety features available – which are of particular interest in homes where children play or visit.

And simply by showing them the pack first, Neil is securing orders because customers are so impressed with the level of professionalism of his franchise company in comparison to local independent companies and they want the peace of mind that only a brand like Apollo Blinds can offer.

It’s such a simple but powerful example of why Apollo blinds stands out from the crowd.

BFA Franchise Bible

Friday, July 16th, 2010

We’ve just submitted an article towards the British Franchise Association’s new book the Franchise Bible which will hit the bookshelves later on this year.

Our article encapsulates who we are, what we look for in new franchisees joining our network and the different aspects of support they get to help their businesses get off to a flying start as part of a plan to make them a prosperous and profitable.

We’ve posted an extract of the article below

Apollo Blinds sells stunning blinds that make homes beautiful.

We’re at the forefront of the home improvement market which has consistently grown in both good times and bad because people have an overwhelming desire to make the most of their surroundings.

The UK window coverings industry is currently worth around £1.34 billion and this is set to rise to £1.48 billion by 2012 according to a recent AMA Research report.

The study found that 68% of homeowners buy made-to-measure blinds and that fashion is likely to remain the key driver for window coverings purchases in a market which is expected to grow by at least four per cent in each of the next two years .

All this bodes well for a company which is already Britain’s biggest blinds store chain and has ambitious plans to increase the size of its franchise network which already stands at more than 70 franchises in the UK and Ireland. And all this is backed by Apollo’s owners Hunter Douglas, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of window blinds.

What’s in it for you?

You’ll become part of a company which has more than 35 years’ franchising experience and a proven business model, market-leading products, a robust supply chain and an excellent support structure in place to enable committed and determined individuals to make a success of their franchise from day one.

Using an established and trusted brand we continually encourage our franchise owners to maximise every opportunity within their business. Through dedicated training and one-to-one support we cover everything from selling and fitting high value items with confidence to using smart marketing to keep your Apollo Blinds franchise at the forefront of consumers’ minds. This is all backed up by an astute programme of seasonal promotions to offer consumers just the right window blinds solutions, just when they need them – a great example is that we always have a promotion on blackout blinds when the nights draw out in spring.

All of the above is designed to help you make the most of your business – which is ultimately judged by the income generated, profits made and the value of your business when you eventually come to sell it on.

Making your Apollo business a success

We have a tried and trusted programme of training and support from day one which is designed to give new franchise owners the best possible start and show an early return on investment.

Launch a new franchise

Our dedicated sales and marketing expert works alongside new franchise owners to create a launch plan specifically for their area. It focuses on raising awareness and generating enquiries as quickly as possible by advertising across a variety of media including radio, newspapers, magazines and direct mail. It also harnesses the power of the Internet – especially social networking which has become increasingly important and influential.

Product and installation training

Having one of the UK’s most extensive collections of window blinds, awnings and plantation shutters may seem a little daunting at first but franchise owners soon become familiar with our collections. That familiarity soon helps them to identify exactly the right shading solution for any window in any house or commercial premises.

Practice makes perfect-fitting blinds and our installation specialist is with you every step of the way and for as long as you need until you can confidently fit everything from a roller blind in a single window to pleated blinds in the roof and sides of a conservatory. Oh, by the way, we have existing franchise owners who are specialists in particular products and share their knowledge with the rest of the network by running advanced training courses.

Sales, marketing and business training

We have honed a simple but effective process to demonstrate and sell our range of products. Following this process significantly improves sales conversion rates and our expert sales training will work alongside you until it becomes second nature.

Similarly, our marketing, design and PR team is at your disposal to help you manage local campaigns which focus on maintaining continued awareness of your brand and promotional offers to keep those enquiry levels high. Your local activity is also backed up nationally as Apollo promotes the brand to consumers across the UK.

But the single most important aspect of our mentoring programme is helping with the nuts and bolts of running a business. As little or as much help is on tap from the entire Apollo team on a whole range of issues related to running a successful business.

So that’s us. What about you?

In our experience we have found that the most successful franchise owners have one or more of the following key attributes needed to run a successful Apollo Blinds business:

You will be practical and good with people and have the drive, dedication and commitment to both us and our brand values. As a sales-oriented individual, you will be self-motivated and have a commitment to delivering exceptional customer service.

Having a creative flair is also advantageous because the ability to provide a consultative role in advising customers about which blinds will transform their homes and make them beautiful is vital.

Discover Apollo Blinds

If you like what you’ve seen so far and want to know more then just visit www.apolloblindsfranchise.co.uk. And if you want to take the next step you can also sign up to attend one of our Discovery Days that we host monthly where you can come and meet the team and see for yourself why we are an expanding franchise network in a growth industry.