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Mark Holmes - in-toto Tunbridge Wells

Mark Holmes - in-toto Tunbridge Wells

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!