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The shutter bug
Friday, 06 September 2013 00:00

S:CRAFT's franchise scheme, shuttercraft, has proved a success so far and the company is now looking for more interested parties.


S:CRAFT launched its pilot franchise scheme under the name of shuttercraft 18 months ago in order to provide existing customers, as well as new entrants to the market, with an accelerated route to the retail shutter market providing exceptional growth.

Matt Blewett – owner of the shuttercraft Gloucestershire franchise - initially worked for another company, selling their conservatory blinds and shutters, but wanted to be able to realise the full value of his efforts and also be able to manage his own schedule. He realised what he was missing was the marketing experience and the backing of a brand name to get him started. He wanted to concentrate on what he knew he was good at – selling, surveying and fitting shutters. With year one, sales well in excess of £100K, Matt is pleased with the start he has made and is on target to reach the £200K mark for year two. shuttercraft’s secondfranchisee – Martin Burge of shuttercraft Bristol – came from totally outside the market and with shuttercraft’s guidance on sales and marketing is on target to achieve, if not exceed, Matt’s first year figures.

Now another three franchisees have started with shuttercraft safe in the knowledge that the first two franchisees are exceeding their budget figures.

Michael Schnuppe, S:CRAFT’s head of Sales and Marketing, comments: “Although we have had new starters from outside the industry entering into the shutter market by purchasing a franchise, we are also in discussion with some existing customers who feel that they do not have the marketing experience to grow their business as rapidly as they could. In these cases we take into account the goodwill and existing expertise the customer brings to the negotiations and adjust the franchise fee accordingly. We are working with them on transitioning from their original company name to working under the shuttercraft banner in such a way that goodwill is not lost but that they can benefit as quickly as possible from shuttercraft market leading brand and marketing support.”

Amongst a number of benefits that shuttercraft provide franchisees, one of the main focuses is of providing full marketing support including a fully search engine optimised website and a launch marketing campaign that is spread across both web and print advertising. Ongoing monthly meetings ensure that the marketing plan is refined and that shuttercraft work closely with the franchisee in order to best exploit local opportunities and help drive leads and sales into their business.

Cassim Gibbs, S:CRAFT’s marketing manager says: “When a consumer makes a purchasing consideration it is not just down to price – especially when the purchase is of a higher value. There are a number of contact points between consumer and retailer that influence the decision. Is there consistency between the marketing collateral i.e. does the brochure, website, van, corporate clothing, demonstration equipment, quote all fit together in such a way that it meets their view of the product they are purchasing? Are they with a reputable company that they know will be here tomorrow and one that’s supplies a quality product? With the shuttercraft retail brand and the S:CRAFT product range we believe we are tying this all together for the franchisee and ensuring not only a higher number of inquiries, but also a higher quality of lead which results in a higher conversion rate and higher sales price.”

Michael adds: “We have got it covered both ways really. If you come to us with more of a sales and marketing slant, but are inexperienced at measuring and fitting shutters, then we can provide real in depth training. If you already have those skills but lack the sales and marketing experience, then you have a quality team here that can get those inquiries rolling in.”

shuttercraft are only looking for franchisees in specific geographical locations. For more information on the franchise, shuttercraft recommend interested parties visit shuttercraft where initial applications can be made via this site.




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