When did you become a franchisee?
I opened my in-toto kitchen design studio in Tunbridge Wells just over a year ago in November 2012 – and I have never looked back!
What did you do before joining the in-toto franchise?
I was a former employee of a large national kitchen retailer and had spent twelve years designing kitchens when an in-toto studio opened up nearby and diverted my attention. I’ve got a two year old son and a new baby so I wanted to provide a secure future for my growing family.
What research did you do?
I was so impressed by the in-toto offering that it was the only franchise company that I considered. After spending a few months researching the products, visiting in-toto studios and getting great feedback about the franchise from speaking to the franchisees, I realised my dream.
Why did you choose in-toto?
I love the products! There is so much choice for the customer, with kitchens available in lots of sizes and colour options – it is so much more flexible than my previous employer could offer. My favourite product is Vitus from the in-toto In-Line range - a glass-fronted handleless door that looks fabulous and has been the most popular with my customers. I think it is crucial to choose a franchise with a strong support system in place. The commitment from the in-toto National Franchise Manager has been so important to me in my first year – he always does everything he can to help my business develop.
How has your business progressed?
I expected the biggest challenge would be balancing the demands of a new business with my family life but in my first month of trading I sold £90,000 of kitchens and have ended my first year with £750,000 overall sales and a growing sales team of four! I believe location and product are key factors in my success. At my Tunbridge Wells studio I have a brilliant, high street position and I make sure I display modern, up-to-date kitchens.
What has been the best moment?
The best thing about being an in-toto franchisee is knowing that everything I put into my business, I benefit from. I’m really proud of where I have got to in only one year. I still get an amazing buzz when I sell a kitchen – I bounce around the studio for hours! Starting an in-toto franchise has enabled me to provide a secure future for my family and I wake up every morning with a smile now!