Charlie Goes From Franchise Marketeer to Shutter Pioneer…

Charlie Scott graduated in 1998 with a degree in Business Studies and spent the following 19 years was spent in a variety of Sales & Marketing roles.

In 2005 he joined a franchise organisation’s head office team as the Sales & Marketing Director with responsibility for marketing strategy, national accounts and overall revenue delivery.  This was my first exposure to a Franchise Network with over 300 franchise areas in operation.

Shuttercraft Franchisee Van

Since then he has held several senior roles at HomeServe Plc, Rainbow International (another franchise organisation, part of the ISS Group and the Dwyer Group); launched his own digital start-up and been part of the turnaround team for Home Energy Services, an MBO from E.ON in 2013 which was sold to Homeserve in 2015.

Prior to making the decision to buy his Nottingham based Shuttercraft franchise Charlie was Global Head of Client Development at Homeserve Labs, a wholly owned subsidiary of Homeserve Plc with a focus on innovation in the Home Emergency sector using smart technology.

"I was confident that the franchise model would work for me"

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So why choose franchising over an employed career?

Having held Board level positions at two large franchise organisations he had seen how the franchise model allowed the businesses to scale rapidly and diversify locally to create a balanced business model.

“I had witnessed, first-hand, that a master franchise is only as successful as its franchisees, driven by ongoing support, innovation, USP’s and a great working relationship, I was confident that the franchise model would work for me.  Franchising offered me a fast-track back into self-employment, accelerating my learning as I entered a new sector and providing an established brand to build on.”

Charlie explains why was Shuttercraft was the best choice in his eyes: “The recent growth figures in the shutter industry and the quality of the S:CRAFT product initially gained my interest.  The follow up meetings with Shuttercraft head office gave me confidence that the market was there to build a successful business and that the support network would ensure I could deliver market leading levels of service and value in my area. I was also going to be part of Shuttercraft’s pioneering management franchise model which is a first in this sector. This appealed greatly as it offered me the ability to scale the business quickly and efficiently.”

How did you raise the finances required?

“I had the funds to finance the franchise personally, but I chose to use a business loan for approximately 40% of the initial set-up costs and cash-flow requirements so that my personal finances remained in good shape.  This approach has been a good one as it reduces the financial stress levels knowing that there is a safety fund there if needed.”

Training and Support

Charlie is not short of praise for his franchisor when it comes to training and support, saying that: “The training and support has been first class, and I already feel like a seasoned expert when it comes to shutter configuration, surveying and even fitting.  There is always a helping hand at the end of the phone and the availability of practical hands-on assistance whenever needed.”

The Challenges

“I have always enjoyed learning new things, so it’s been a really exciting time for me.  From a business perspective, having to learn the accounting software and be my own financial controller has been the biggest challenge, but the support from the accountants is great.”

“After nearly 20 years in a corporate B2B environment it was certainly a culture shock knocking on customers doors with a bag full of shutter samples – but I’ve got used to it now and enjoy meeting new people every day.”

Charlie is obviously loving being his own boss with the support of an established franchisor: “There are highs and lows in any job or business but my biggest ‘highs’ are definitely on the day of fitting when the customer sees the shutters in place for the first time.  Having made a considered choice to invest in shutters for their home, waited for them to be manufactured and delivered and then to see them in place – I have already had several customers shed tears of joy!”

"The training and support has been first class, and I already feel like a seasoned expert"

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

The Future?

Charlie knows that he needs to establish his reputation in his area for premium quality and great value, but he says: “This is progressing well and existing customer referrals are already a major driver of new enquiries.  I have fitters working for me, but the plan is to employ additional sales people and surveyors too so that we can grow the business and give the people of Nottingham the beautiful shutters they deserve.”

 What advice would he give to anyone considering a franchise in the near future?

“Research, motivation, dedication and more research.  There are free resources out there to help you understand more about your options and to match your skill sets to the different opportunities.  Take your time to make the right decision as it is an important one.”

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.

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