From retail management to Schmidt business owner
As the saying goes, timing is everything – and that was certainly the case for the new Schmidt franchise owner Dave Longman.
Although it’s fair to say that his franchising journey wasn’t, necessarily, planned to be that way!
"My background has always been in retail management,” as Dave explains, “I’ve worked for several big home brands such as Currys, PC World, Topps Tiles, Bathstore. A couple of years ago, I then made the move into the car industry. But almost immediately, COVID hit – what were the chances of that!
“Like many people in the country, I was on and off furlough for what felt like an age. It was unpleasantly unpredictable, but the upside was that it gave me time to think about my career. Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to work for myself, so I set about looking into franchising.”
Dave found Schmidt.
Falling for Schmidt franchises
With so many franchise options to choose from, Dave made sure he did his research to find something that met his circumstances and expectations.
“I spent a lot of time looking into franchises, wondering what’s out there,” he says. “I didn’t want to open a franchise where you have to pay lots of money upfront before just sitting there and hoping you can sell something to make your money back."
“I discovered that it’s a bit different with Schmidt. They offered a lot of support, both financially and with education on the product and all the training you need to get off to a running start. So while it technically is a franchise, it felt more like I’d be entering a partnership."
“It was then I fell in love with the Schmidt concept.”
Tailor-made for franchise success
Having decided on his future business, it was very much down to business with Schmidt.
“After talking everything through with the Schmidt franchise team, they agreed to come down to Eastbourne to look for potential showroom sites. Once we settled on the perfect location, we had a good measure up, and I got involved in the design of the showroom."
“I’d visited other showrooms in Dorking and Sevenaoks in the meantime to help with inspiration, which was also a great opportunity to meet with other franchisees and talk with them about all things Schmidt.”
In recent decades, Schmidt has helped more than 400 people like Dave successfully run their own thriving business, growing against all pandemic-mandated lockdowns.
Schmidt grew their sales across franchises in the UK by 40% during 2021! An achievement made possible thanks to a comprehensive, tailor-made training programme that ready new Schmidt franchise owners for the home improvement boom in the current post-pandemic era.
As a matter of fact, Schmidt is of our five best furniture franchises to invest in for the UK! This is due to their six decades of experience, a global brand presence, and high-quality furniture.
Dave continues, “Ahead of opening the showroom, I went on a five-week training course with Schmidt’s franchise team. It was intense because you’re getting a huge amount of information in that time, but it was fantastic. It was certainly enough to make me feel confident about opening the showroom.”
The franchise guidance did not end there.
“I still have training once a month in my own showroom and will do so for the next six months. The support I’ve had is ongoing and just fantastic.”
Dave's sense of pride
Dave’s Schmidt showroom in Eastbourne opened in March 2022, providing kitchen and home-interior solutions to the seaside town for the very first time.
“Standing in this beautiful showroom after it was completed, knowing that it was my business and my place of work, was just incredible,” Dave says.
“I’m so proud of it.”
With his design team hired and his stunning showroom ready to go, it was time to open the doors. However, even with his many years of retail experience; it was still an anxious moment.
“That first day was quite nerve-wracking; just waiting for the first person to walk in so you can show off all your hard work up to that point. But both I and the designers had total confidence thanks to all the preparation we’d been given.”
Looking to a beautiful future
After a bumpy time during the pandemic, Dave now looks ahead to an extremely exciting future running his own business with Schmidt's backing.
He says: “We want to give our customers the best option in our local marketplace, and we believe we offer exactly that. Customers absolutely love the showroom and it really helps bring our exciting range of products to life for them. Everything’s been really, really positive.
“The first sale was a very special moment – especially as it was our first quote as well! It was a great feeling for everyone and gave us immediate confidence that we’ve got a product that does sell.
"Now we’re looking forward to getting more and more orders!”
Discover more about the Schmidt franchise growth journey and its enticing and profitable opportunity by contacting one of our experts through this Schmidt franchise profile page.
Jakob Pii, Point Franchise ©