They liked it so much they bought a franchise!

In the final stages of renovating their home, Ben and his wife decided they wanted a modern, energy-efficient and stylish window covering. So they decided that interior shutters were the perfect match for all of their requirements. They met with Gene Astall of Shuttercraft in St Albans and Bedford, and fell in love with the look and feel of the Shuttercraft products. Little did they know that this encounter would lead them to make a life-changing decision.

Ben had been project managing their property renovation and looking after the family whilst his wife carried on with her career but now that the house was almost complete, Ben had begun to think about what to do next, he wasn’t actively looking for a job, but he got to know Gene well and agreed that if ever he needed any help installing his shutter orders, he would be interested in working for him on a part-time basis.

As the boom in home improvements took hold during the pandemic Gene got in touch and Ben began working with him, 2 days a week to begin with. However, the orders were coming in thick and fast and eventually this increased to 6 days a week. Ben loved the entire process – the customer interaction, the installations and eventually surveying and sales visits and knew from his previous business experience that the Shuttercraft franchise was a robust model with lots of potential.

"A successful team, makes for a successful business"

    Book a call

    Book an appointment for a callback with a member of our team to take your first steps with Shuttercraft.

    Lynn (Shuttercraft in Cornwall and Devon) talking to Ben (Shuttercraft in Bedford) at Shuttercraft annual workshop.

    Lynn (Shuttercraft in Cornwall and Devon) talking to Ben (Shuttercraft in Bedford) at Shuttercraft annual workshop.

    Ben (Shuttercraft in Bedford) at Shuttercraft head office annual gathering

    Ben (Shuttercraft in Bedford) at Shuttercraft head office annual gathering

    So why choose franchising?

    Gene’s Shuttercraft territories were St Albans and Bedfordshire. With the increase in sales, Gene was keen to focus on his home territory and was looking to sell the Bedford territory franchise. He was so impressed with Ben and knew that he could make a success of it that he offered him first refusal.

    Whilst he wasn’t necessarily thinking about running his own company, Ben had had an early exposure to the pros and cons of what was required. As a child he was involved in helping his parents run their business selling specialist conifer trees. He learnt about the importance of hard work and the focus and determination required to succeed. This had served him well in his successful career culminating in his last major employed role was as a supervisor for an engineering firm. He was responsible for a team of engineers working on electrical and mechanical plant equipment. Working for demanding clients taught him the importance of time management and customer service. He credits this as the one that role made him realise the importance of presentation, team management, responsibility, and the relevance of setting goals and meeting targets

    He also knew from his experience working with Gene that what he had learnt about the Shuttercraft franchise, would stand him in good stead to make a success of his own management franchise. As Ben said at the time of his interview with Shuttercraft Head Office “all of the different jobs I have had have given me the experience I need to make a success of this.”

    Looking at success

    Today, just 11 months after joining as a Shuttercraft franchisee, Ben is running his own extraordinarily successful Shuttercraft franchise business in the Bedford territory. He is exceeding his head office targets by 200%; has held the highest conversion rate across the network for the last 2 financial quarters and is forecasted to turnover £400,000 in his first year of operation; unprecedented in Shuttercraft franchise history.

    Ben attributes this success to three things; the fact that he purchased a business that had been set up to be operationally efficient and sales driven; that the Shuttercraft head office team have been amazing in supporting him; and lastly, that through his broad range of experience he understands each of the component parts of what makes a business successful.

    "All of the different jobs I have had have given me the experience I need to make a success of this"

      Book a call

      Book an appointment for a callback with a member of our team to take your first steps with Shuttercraft.

      The Future?

      At the present time it is just Ben and his wife who are setting the strategy and running the business. This is allowing them to learn all they need to know, but they have exciting plans and intend to build a team in the coming months to expand even further. He views a reputation for providing excellent customer service and products as key to his growth strategy and loves the fact that he can offer complementary products from the Shuttercraft range. Having already won several orders that might not have come through because of his ability to offer blinds, Ben is excited to see what other products Shuttercraft add to their portfolio and will be making the most of the opportunities that these present to grow his business.

      Ben is extremely grateful to Gene who continues to mentor him in running the business. As Ben says, “It was chance that brought us together, but it is hard work and determination to succeed that is driving us both, now in our respective territories.”

      Shuttercraft are one of the UK’s leading window shutters franchise companies offering highly profitable franchise opportunities in selected parts of the UK.

      In 2016 Shuttercraft re-launched the franchise (established in 2012) and made a considerable financial investment into re-branding the business, implementing “next generation” IT systems and investing in key staff to take them to the next level.

      They made this investment due to the extraordinary growth of the UK shutter market and felt that by investing now they would future proof the business. As a company they have grown by 30% each year, which is extraordinary since the UK shutter industry is still in its infancy.

      As a Shuttercraft franchisee you will not be fitting shutters; your role is to effectively manage the business on a day to day basis, managing one to two fitters while you will focus on developing relationships in your local area.

      Ideally you will already have some management and sales experience. However, Shuttercraft do offer full training and support to help franchisees develop their sales and marketing skills.

      Good communication and interpersonal skills are essential and franchisees must be prepared to work hard, follow our system and be fully committed to getting the business off the ground in their assigned exclusive territory.

      You will benefit by having the on-going support of a fantastic, industry leading brand, and a highly effective head office support team which includes:

      • Specialist multi-level franchise support
      • Outstanding marketing & sales training
      • A dynamic logistics and Customer service team
      The Market

      Shutters are the fastest growing and most on-trend window coverings segment available today in the UK. In the U.S. one in every six windows is covered with a shutter whilst in the UK it is estimated that the plantation shutter market is now worth approximately £60-80m per annum.

      Book a call

      Book an appointment for a callback with a member of our team to take your first steps with Shuttercraft.

      Book a FREE Survey


      Request A Callback