The door to success – becoming a Dream Doors franchisee

Andy Wilkinson was no stranger to franchising when he headed to The British & International Franchise Exhibition in the Spring of 2013. At the time he was employed as an Area Manager for a professional tools firm, having started out as a franchisee of the same company 20 years before.

In spite of the excellent package he was enjoying as an employee, Andy felt it was time for a change, and that he wanted to be his own boss again. He was clear in his mind that he wanted to take on another franchise, having already directly experienced the benefits of the model. Andy did a lot of research to understand how the industry had developed and which brands were offering franchises.

As he assessed the different options available, Andy came across Dreams Doors. Andy had experience of renovating properties and even installing kitchens, so he recognised the potential of a business ‘giving new life to old kitchens’.

Andy researched the company further, even speaking over the phone with their Director of Franchisee Recruitment, Alex Waite. Knowing that Dream Doors would be at the exhibition, Andy went along to Olympia with the specific goal of meeting the brand and head office team in person. He comments:

“The benefit of a franchise is that you are working for yourself, but not by yourself. You are part of a bigger team and so I knew it was essential to meet the people who would have an influence on my potential level of success. You have to know you can work with them and there is no substitute for meeting the people behind the brand in person.”

Andy was pleased to meet Alex face-to-face and to have the chance to talk with the founder and chairman of Dream Doors, Troy Tappenden. Andy comments:

“I was extremely impressed with what Troy had to say and how he came across. His drive and passion was obvious, and it was good to understand the company’s focus on increasing turnover and maximising the success of their franchise network.

“It was clear that head office was continuously developing the training and marketing to support their franchisees, and that the business was very focused on them and their success.”

Meeting Alex and Troy at the exhibition “clinched the decision” for Andy and, following the event, he performed final due diligence and signed for the Dream Doors Beverley franchise. After intensive training on the products and services, in early 2014 Andy and his wife, Terri, opened their Dream Doors showroom in Beverley, helping customers in the town and surrounding areas transform their kitchens.

Andy comments:

“From the outset we’ve benefited from great training and support. Once you’re up and running you can get on with it yourself, but help is always available if you need it.”

“My time these days is split between meeting and greeting customers, working with them on their ideal kitchen designs, and running the business itself. We’ve got five employees now and have enjoyed year-on-year growth.”

Andy and Terri’s success was recognised in 2016 when they won the Dream Doors “Rising Star” award at their annual conference.

Andy summarises his experience of owning and running a Dream Doors franchise:

“I went into this with my sights set on financial rewards, which have very much materialised, but I also enjoy the whole experience of being a Dream Doors franchisee. There is a lot of close contact with head office and within the franchisee network – really, you feel you are part of a big, big family.”

“I think the fact that we’ll be renewing our license next year can be taken as a sign that we are happy and that this is working for us.”

Interested in following in Andy’s footsteps? Find out more about upcoming Franchise Exhibitions held in exclusive partnership with the British Franchise Association. Claim free tickets using promo code CAS1.

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