The Christmas Decorators

Investment: £10,000 - £19,999

Category: Home Services

The Christmas Decorators is a national company that supplies and installs spectacular Christmas decorations and Christmas lights to homes and businesses both indoors and outdoors.  Commercial clients include hotels, spas, golf clubs, car showrooms, retail stores, bars, restaurants, offices, local authorities, shopping arcades and shopping centres. Residential clients range from large homes belonging to wealthy folk to smaller homes whose owners who want to make Christmas special for the family and friends.  We install Christmas decorations during November and December and then come back to take them down and store away in January.  Customers can choose to rent or buy the decorations from us. 

The business was started by Liverpool couple Nick and Sarah Bolton whilst living in Colorado in 1999.  The business was brought to the UK in 2005 when Nick and Sarah returned home.  After an experimental first Christmas to prove that Brits would take to the concept, the business was further developed after an overwhelming success. 

After the second Christmas, turnover of £118,000, certain problem areas were addressed in order to make the third Christmas run more smoothly.  These problems were; how possible was it to be in London one day, Edinburgh the next and then Birmingham the day after when the business was based in Liverpool? What do we do about enquiries in Bristol from someone only wanting to spend £850 yet requiring a visit from us?  How do we control the cost of having to accommodate staff  in hotels whilst working away and how do we charge clients for having 3 staff  travel for 4 hours to get to and from a job for installs and takedowns? What happens when lights need maintenance on a customer’s house that is on the other side of the country?  How do we eventually grow the business so that we can fulfil the demand?  How can we respond to phone calls approximately every 5 minutes when we are out installing decorations?

With all these issues to resolve, we hadn’t even heard of franchising or knew what it really meant until we consulted with Franchise Development Services at a business convention.  What led us to franchising the business was the simple fact that franchising addressed all our problems. After vigorous assessments and consultation it was decided that the business model could be duplicated and therefore made franchisable.

We have now been franchising since 2007 and have 20 areas of the UK and Ireland franchised.
 

Who

1. We have to like you.  You need to have a nice personality and be able to fit in with us and our other franchisees.  We're all fun people and get on famously.
2. You must have the enthusiasm for what we do and it obviously helps to like Christmas.

3. You must be able to market and sell the concept and be comfortable to talk with potential customers.

4. You must be driven to succeed, no-one will hand you a pay check on Friday afternoon.

5. You must be self motivated to get up in the morning and get on with what you've been shown to make your business successful.

6. You must be polite and be able to deal with your customers professionally and efficiently.

7. You must be willing to work incredibly hard for a few months of the year.  By incredibly hard we mean 10 to 15 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Some work will be outdoors so will also involve being exposed to all weather conditions.

8. While we can teach you everything you need to know about Christmas decorating you must have a keen eye for what looks good. 

9. A certain level of computer skills is important for working with spreadsheets, writing proposals and making computer generated images of how a customer's property will look after it's decorated. Of course we teach you how to use this simple software.

10. You need to have the financial ability to take on this business.  Finance is available to spread the cost over the term of the franchise, however you need to support yourself in the interim. 

11. You need to be realistic.  This is not a get rich quick scheme.  It is a genuine, highly profitable and enjoyable business for those who are prepared to work hard at it and grow it over a few years.  Any day dreamers who have read about franchises that deliver riches in the first couple of years need to dream on elsewhere.

12. Support from spouse, friends and family is important especially if you have children. In years 2 and 3 it can get intense, after all you are earning a lot of money in a short space of time!

13. Honesty.  We don't do bulls$@t.

14. Focus.  We've made all the mistakes and done all the hard work.  Listen to us and remain focused on the system that works and don't try to re-invent the wheel.

15. Co-operation. Although you will own your own business you need to work with the whole head office team and fellow franchisees for the greater good for all.

Training

Our franchise team offer full training.

Support

We are only successful when you are, so we make sure that we are there for you throughout the year to support you on sales appointments, help with writing proposals, your first install or just to chat about ideas.  Your dedicated franchise manager is on hand throughout the year via phone, Skype and will visit you regularly. In March we hold our annual conference and a further pre Christmas conference in September as well as several training sessions during the year.
 

Interested? Then just get in touch...

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