Dream Doors held its 11th Annual Conference in Hampshire last month. Winners of the top prize, Oxford franchisees Elaine and Mike Hurley, closed out the year with just over a million pounds of sales. Second place went to Dorset-based Clive Coldwell and Angela Lowe, who posted an annual turnover of more than £800,000. The bronze award went to long-established franchisees, Chris and Paula Hann from Lincoln, who finished 2013 with £700,000 of sales in what was their 10th year of trading.
Several new franchisees from across the country were welcomed to the brand. And new showroom openings were celebrated in areas as far apart as Truro and Glasgow. The event gave franchisees old and new a chance to reflect on the most successful year in Dream Doors' 15-year history, and look forward to some exciting developments for 2014.
Franchisee, Roy Easthope from Croydon, there with wife and business partner, Lorna, said: “That was the best Conference to date. It was great to meet up with everyone again and share our experiences. It was encouraging to see so many new faces as well.”
Susan de Mey, who launched Dream Doors' most southerly branch last year, travelled all the way from Cornwall. “It was a really informative day with so much great content,” she said. “But that's what I've now come to expect from Dream Doors.”
Just over a year ago, at 2012's Annual Conference, Dream Doors Newbury and Basingstoke franchisee, Lesley Wallace, was planning the launch of her showroom. Husband, Adrian, was still working as a software engineer helping Lesley out with some administrative tasks in the evenings.
In the 12 months since then, Lesley sold more than half-a-million pounds of kitchen makeovers – in only her first year of trading. Adrian has since scaled back his engineering work to just one day a week so that he can become a more active partner in their business. And, at 2013's Annual Conference, the couple won the coveted 'Player's Player' Award – a trophy voted for by all 53 Dream Doors franchisees.
“That was a very proud moment for us,” said Adrian. “We had no inkling that we were going to win anything, nor did we have any expectations. We were quite taken aback by it.”
The 'Player's Player' Award is presented to the franchise that has given the most back to the brand. The Wallaces were recognised for the support they give to their fellow franchisees and, in particular, all the new starters who shadow the couple in their showroom and out on appointments.
“Lesley and Adrian were very generous with their time when we were starting out,” said Maidstone franchisee, Stuart Hewitt. “They definitely helped Lisa and I make the right decisions when planning our own launch.”
The final trophy of the night, Check-a-trade's 'Franchisee of the Year', was handed out by Kevin Byrne, managing director of the well-known independent monitoring scheme. Awarded to the branch with the highest scores for customer service, the Check-a-trade trophy went to Clive Coldwell and Angela Lowe of Dream Doors Poole.
“Achieving second place in the Dream Doors turnover rankings behind Elaine and Mike was some achievement,” said Clive. “But this is the award we'll cherish the most. In effect, the Check-a-trade award is voted for by the public. And it shows what a great service we deliver, no matter how many sales we make.”
Dream Doors will be on stand F10 at the National Franchise Exhibition, NEC, Birmingham on 14th and 15th February.