Last Updated: 13-January-2021
"The brand, system and support was really appealing"
Name: Paul & Lisa Wells
Location: Yorkshire & Humberside
Franchise: Just Shutters
Date launched the franchise: May 2019
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise business?
I was employed as a General Manager for various supermarkets, the most recent 12 years for Aldi and then Lidl. I am married to Lisa, and we have 5 children (4 daughters and 1 son).
Can you also tell us about the franchise you have bought?
Just Shutters are the largest independent shutter company in the UK, supplying premium plantation shutters to customers. Linked with their excellent customers service, it is a winning combination!
Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose your industry? And why did you choose your franchise?
After 23 years in the retail industry I decided to get out, I wanted to go down the self employed route – however going from a salaried income meant I needed to do something I could get up and running fairly quickly. I chose plantation shutters as all the elements suited my skill set (I have always done a lot with my hands, I understand company administration, I am good face to face with customers etc). I chose Just Shutters after significant research, I spoke to several existing owners. The brand, system and support was really appealing, after meeting the head office team Lisa and I knew it was the right fit for us. A real family feel with understanding and support clear and evident.
How did you raise the finance?
By inviting my parents to be shareholders, no external finance used.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Just Shutters were willing to provide as much training as required, I felt comfortable with the product, process and systems quite quickly – but if I needed more I could have had it. As with anything, there is a lot of learning once you are out there doing it – the support is always there and any difficulties are answered/solved.
How would you describe your day-to-day role as a franchisee?
As I am still in my first year I would describe it as “I do everything” – design/sales/administration/communication/installation/aftercare… And I love it! Learning daily!
What challenges have you faced?
Cashflow is the biggest challenge to any new company, and has been for me. I have lost sleep over it at times – my parents were in business for many years and have told me they too lost sleep many times!
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Massively – I never saw my family before, now I spend every weekend with them, do some morning school runs, some school pick ups. There is a feeling of pride too, and excitement due to being in control of your own destiny.
What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?
Research a lot to find the right fit, talk to other owners. It is not something you can just change your mind about a few months in!
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
Work ethic, passion, personal strength of character.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue to grow my business. First employee late in year 2.
If you had to do it all again, what would you do differently?
Honestly, nothing comes to mind. Really happy with what I do :)
Interested and want to know more about Just Shutters?
The Just Shutters profile outlines all aspects of their franchise opportunity and allows you to contact them for further information or to ask a question.