Just Shutters Case Study Andy Cox-Peel
Interview with Just Shutters franchisee for Birmingham, Andy Cox-Peel, who launched their Just Shutters franchise in 1st April 2016.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise business?
I was self-employed working as a sole trader with a mix of work including working with children and adults outdoors, tree surgery and carpentry projects.
Can you also tell us about the franchise you have bought?
The Birmingham Franchise covers Birmingham and some of the surrounding areas.
Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose your industry? And why did you choose your franchise?
I was very interested in shutters as a beautiful and functional window covering – I bought some, installed them myself and hadn’t really planned to go into the industry, but an opportunity arose to look into it, and I found that the only realistic way to get into the industry seemed to be a franchise which taps into a pre-existing business set-up and model, with a clear brand and support structure.
How did you raise the finance?
I inherited an amount of money which was nearly enough to buy a franchise.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
I had previous experience installing shutters, so didn’t receive much training on that front, but am always ready to learn from others and see how different methods and techniques work.
I received a few days training at HQ on systems and product info, measuring, quoting etc.
Sales Conferences have been excellent for on-going training and updating of various aspects of the business and a good time to get together with the whole crew.
I receive excellent on-going support from HQ in terms of admin, lead-generation, follow-up and appointment booking, loads of behind-the-scenes stuff that goes unnoticed that I’m grateful for. Business support from the top both in terms of Chris and Simon working on behalf of us franchisees to get good deals with suppliers, checkatrade etc etc, and much-needed advice on issues that I need help with. I feel able to go direct for support, which is invaluable!
How would you describe your day-to-day role as a franchisee?
Generally pretty full-on! As a business owner there is always much to do. I enjoy the practical work and the design side and enjoy people, so it’s a good mix. I really enjoy the work.
What challenges have you faced?
Sometimes difficult customers crop up and can be incredibly difficult to manage.
Ensuring there is sufficient fitting support, currently this is working well for me, but I’m also keen to plan for the future as we grow.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
In the sense that you become increasingly responsible to many more people and financially responsible for employees.
I’ve always had a good work-ethic, and given that I’ve never worked harder than during my time as a franchisee, it is important to try to prioritise otherwise it could become less healthy!
What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?
You’ve got to be willing to work very hard and be committed to people – ultimately people are buying from you as a person. Got to be genuine – if you don’t really like shutters, this isn’t for you!
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
- Business acumen
- Desire to work hard and do an outstanding job for people
- Know where to find true joy
What are your plans for the future?
Keep going! Looking forward to renewing for a further five years!
If you had to do it all again, what would you do differently?
Not that I was able to do so, but if you are in a position where the business doesn’t need to pay your household bills from day one, this would give a bit of a cushion to get rolling. Very grateful to have been able to support my family from the first month!