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Archive for August, 2019

Zerodrytime up-cycling furniture and lives with Orange Box North East

As the cost of living continues to rise, furniture poverty grows behind closed doors.

Around 14 million homes across the UK cannot afford one or more essential household goods at any one time. Schemes for families who can’t afford sofas and basic furniture are experiencing unprecedented demand as households continue to struggle.

There is real dignity in owning the basic items that make home life possible. We should not dump our unwanted furniture and instead pass it on to a local reuse scheme.

Established in 2016, Orange Box North East is a community led business that responds to a variety of issues faced by local people, one being furniture poverty and the lack of affordable, quality furniture for those on a low income.

Orange box North East is a not for profit organisation, with all funds going directly back into the company, both to support their running costs and offer employment to local people. They collect and re-distribute unwanted furniture received from the general public, as well as statutory and private sector partners and businesses.

leather sofa restoration and recolouring

Zerodrytime are supporting Orange Box North East, helping them recycle leather sofas back into the community, primarily to those on a low income and in greatest need.

The company’s leather recolouring and restoration workshops run throughout the year where Zerodrytime franchisees, staff and volunteers work together to restore furniture that may have been neglected. This opportunity gives attendees the chance to learn new skills, or spruce up on existing techniques, while also taking great pride in giving donated items a new lease of life and then recycling them back into a much-needed home through Orange Box North East.

Zerodrytime Managing Director, David Muirhead says “When the furniture comes into the workshop, it’s a bit battered but we see the potential it has, and we restore it to something beautiful again.

Leather is a soft, natural material and if not cared for using the proper products, its life span can be greatly reduced. By using our expertise and products to effectively coat the leather with a protective barrier that repels stains, reduces fading, and prevents wear and tear on the surface, we can revitalise tired leather sofas, so they look as good as new”.

Charities, community projects, and up-cycling schemes are desperate for our old furniture, with sofas being among the most in-demand pieces. By donating to Orange Box North East, not only will you be keeping your sofa out of landfill, but you will also be providing a worthy organisation with a donation that they can use to further their cause.

By donating sofas you no longer need, you’re helping provide a better home life to someone who needs it.

Why choose a Franchise over starting your own business?

In today’s fast paced world, businesses encounter demanding challenges with increased risk and often, high uncertainty. Anyone considering their long-term business strategies and goals should minimise their exposure to these factors as much as possible.

In the last four years, the UK franchise industry has grown by an incredible 10%, meaning this sector now contributes over £15 billion pounds to the UK economy. However, despite this impressive growth and over 550,000 people now employed in the franchise industry, a franchise business tends to come as an afterthought for many business people and would-be entrepreneurs.

Despite this lack of consideration, why is franchising becoming such a popular option? Really it comes down to three things; reducing risk; a wide variety of business opportunity and an increased chance of success. This is all achievable provided you’re prepared to put the work in.

A diverse future ahead

Franchising has evolved significantly over the last 30 years. While it was once renowned with fast food giants such as McDonalds and Subway, there are now thousands of franchise brands that cover an abundance of business models and styles.

Today, franchising also goes beyond just selling physical products. Services such as cleaning and consultancy are all rapidly growing opportunities, as are home-based businesses. Our own story here at Zero Dry Time is testimony to the rising popularity of franchising in the Cleaning services sector.

The UK has in excess of 26 million households and many hundreds of thousands of businesses that require carpet and upholstery cleaning.

Founder of Zero Dry Time, David Muirhead ran and operated a contract cleaning company before turning his hand to carpets and upholstery. Having worked as a carpet cleaner testing and trying every possible method, David identified a new huge potential market. He invested the time to discover ways to give people what they really wanted, travelling the world to source and develop the right machines and cleaning products.

In 2006, the Zero Dry Time Franchise business was launched. Utilising the latest technology and David’s advanced knowledge of the industry, the franchise business continues to grow year on year – there are currently 72 franchisees across the UK and Northern Ireland, with more businesses due to sign up in the coming months.

Proven successful track record

Investing in a business with a demonstrable demand for its product or service and a history of success, significantly reduces a franchisee’s exposure to risk. Successful franchise companies tend to be those with clear business processes that consistently deliver positive results to their customers. Over the years, Zero Dry Time’s franchisees have built up a track record for success that demonstrates the impressive, realistic potential for a new franchisee. Equally, our franchisees are proud of this achievement, and the company actively encourages people considering joining the Zero Dry Time franchise to speak to existing franchisees and support these claims.

An established brand

Anyone who has built a business from the ground up will at some point mention developing a strong brand. This can be a slow and exhausting process. One of the biggest advantages of franchising is that you are buying into an already well-established brand that has a perceived value in the eyes of their consumers.

Again, this increases the business’s likelihood of success and subsequently reduces the risk factor.

Training and support

Sometimes people forget that it’s in the company’s interest to give it’s franchisees the greatest possible chance to succeed. Most people who set up their own business must learn through trial and error, or at the expense of a business coach. However, Zero Dry Time’s proven franchise business model is perfectly positioned to teach new and existing franchisees the secrets of success. The team based at the company’s head office and training centre in the North East ensure new franchisees get on the road to a successful future with a series of mandatory training programmes that new franchisees must complete before hitting the road. They need to understand and learn the franchise’s values, business model and processes.

New franchisees don’t need any carpet cleaning experience – the Zero Dry Time team, headed up by David, train you in every part of the process. Most importantly, new franchisees are given real life training in customer’s homes and business premises, so they can see the Zero Dry Time System first-hand, learning all the parts including tips and terminology of the trade.

Beyond initial training, a good franchise continues to support its franchisees, helping them building better, more profitable relationships as they go. Zero Dry Time are continuously launching new products and marketing strategies to further support franchisees, making more sales collateral available, allowing franchisees more time to focus on building their customer base.

Like any other business, franchises can’t predict situations beyond their control, such as Brexit, fluctuating exchange rates and market volatility, but they are an excellent option for people interested in starting a new business, who want to reduce their risks and significantly increase their chances of success.

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