A week in the life of a Kitchen Refresh franchisee
Kitchen Refresh franchisees LOVE owning their own business. They all enjoy the freedom of being their own boss and knowing that their efforts bring personal satisfaction, a flexible lifestyle they crave and, of course, rewarding financial opportunities.
Some franchise owners come from or have a passion in the interior design world and build their daily responsibilities around those types of tasks. Others come from the carpentry world and are more immersed in that side of the business. Some may have performed the work in the past and are excited to get back into it. Regardless, franchisees from any of those “worlds” can find success by building their skills in their weaker area, or relying on a good co-franchisee partner who compensates for their areas of weakness, or utilizing employees or subcontractors who have those skills.
And, even though there isn’t a typical day of being a Kitchen Refresh owner, here’s a highlight of a week in the life of Fargo Territory Kitchen Refresh co-franchisee Andrea Coleman, from her world of an interior designer perspective (a carpenter owner-operator week would be a bit different, of course). Andrea is also our corporate designer, so you’ll see some mention of items related to that in her week-in-the-life snapshot here.
Andrea preps some notes and other information and then heads out the door for a weekly 8 a.m. meeting she has lined up with her co-franchisee and a part-time business manager of hers. Andrea uses the weekly meeting to gather at a local coffeehouse where they plan out the week’s projects and tie up any loose ends.
Andrea completes a client consultation that she had scheduled. Normally, with a “straight Refresh” consultation - a project that only involves new doors and drawer fronts being installed and a refinish of the cabinet boxes, not much extra such as floors or countertops - it lasts just 30 to 60 minutes. This consultation, though, will also include flooring, backsplash and countertops, so it runs a bit long - an hour-and-a-half. But Andrea had discussed the project with the client on the phone before the meeting, so she knew to plan ahead with how much time would be needed as well as for her co-franchisee installer to be there.
Andrea answers a quick call from a contractor to clarify a question on a project. She is very detailed and an excellent project manager, and provides several resources to her team and contractors to stay informed about projects, schedules and timelines, but regular calls to and from contractors are normal as project scopes get determined, details get finalized and schedules get firmed up.
Andrea goes through emails, texts, new lead notifications and the voicemails that have come in over the weekend. She completes callbacks on new clients, and existing clients who have additional questions. She also follows up on reminders she had put in her calendar to reach back out to clients of recent consultations she had completed and who needed to finalize details of their projects before giving her the green light to proceed, such as financing or making final decisions on the door finish or hardware selections. For contacts she makes to clients, she also updates her Kitchen Refresh Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system so that it reflects details of any information she has sent, conversations she’s had, voicemails she’s left, appointments she’s made, or other important information that it will be helpful to refer to with notes. This helps her stay organized so she can reference among the dozens of potential clients what the most recent discussions or correspondence was, and other details. She also grabs lunch, checks in with her contractors and makes any project schedule adjustments.
Andrea meets with a design client she will provide additional design services to. This is someone she first met when the person was a Kitchen Refresh client who has transitioned into also needing additional interior design services unrelated to the services Kitchen Refresh provides, so this will transact as bonus “non-franchise” revenue for Andrea. Having additional cross-sales like this is common for our designer and carpenter franchisees and, unlike other remodel franchises, we encourage this.
Andrea completes any additional emails, texts, voicemail call backs, CRM leads and to do list items that have arrived since around mid-day, and she chats briefly with a contractor on an upcoming project.
Andrea closes her laptop and calls it a day.
Andrea sends out reminder emails to her Kitchen Refresh team and contractors of the client install schedules for the following week. She also has a quick morning call with one of her contractors for a project they have coming up.
Andrea meets with our Sherwin Williams paint representative to develop two new custom paint colors to go with two new Thermofoil finish colors Kitchen Refresh will be introducing.
Andrea goes through her new emails, texts, and voicemails to complete callbacks on new clients, or clients who may have additional questions, and she updates the CRM. She also grabs lunch, chats with a contractor, sets up consultation appointments with clients and updates the home office with the new paint codes she finalized to complement the two new Thermofoil finish colors.
Andrea meets a client that she garnered through Kitchen Refresh for their cabinet makeover project. They meet at a stone vendor for new countertops that will be part of their Kitchen Refresh cabinet transformation and the sale and income of the countertop will transact through her separate design business as bonus “non-franchise” revenue.
Andrea works on completing any additional emails, texts, voicemail call backs, CRM leads and to do list items that have arrived since around mid-day, and talks with a contractor on a client’s project. She also calls and chats with two potential clients about projects they have and then coordinates the details of their consultations.
One of the great freedoms of being a Kitchen Refresh franchisee is flexibility - being able to tend to the needs in your personal life without having to ask your boss for the day off, or for time away from work. Today, Andrea’s oldest son has car problems, so she takes the time necessary to go to his high school to pick him up from sports practice and to make sure his car will be taken care of, too.
Andrea goes through emails, texts, new lead notifications and voicemails to complete callbacks on new clients, and clients who have additional questions. She also tackles a to do list and talks with a vendor about a floor and tile order. She also meets with her co-franchisee installer and her business manager to discuss efficiency goals for improvement with the franchise, projects, installs and other potential areas of improvement.
Andrea arrives at a scheduled appointment that fit the client’s after-work schedule. One thing you’ll recognize thus far is - although other activities throughout the day start or stop at quirky times - going through emails at 3:47 p.m., for example - Andrea always shows up at the client’s home EXACTLY at the time the in-home appointment was set. She never shows up early or late. (Note: For in-studio appointments, Andrea tries to have everything ready at least 30 minutes prior to a client’s scheduled arrival). Here she explains her philosophy on this:
“Always be exactly on time to all of your in-home consultations with clients,” Andrea says. “Be ‘on time’ - not early and not late. Meaning, for an in-home consultation, be at the front door precisely at the time your appointment is scheduled. It is a common misconception that being 10 minutes early is considerate but oftentimes being early is just as stressful to a client as being late.”
It’s a “work-from-home in her ‘comfy clothes’ day” for Andrea, so she fires up her laptop knowing she doesn’t need to be anywhere until later this evening. She has office work ahead of her that she needs to accomplish, though, so she hits it head on: Estimates, emails, texts, CRM lead work and vendor follow-ups.
Remember, your design studio is “by appointment only” - you don’t have to worry about a store that needs to be staffed. That makes it conducive to plan around important family time, like today, where Andrea works from home and then breaks for a long lunch and to accompany her youngest son on his baseball practice.
Andrea is back home tackling some more office work: Estimates, draft layouts for clients, emails and texts, etc.
It’s dinner in the oven and then relax a bit to eat with the family, check-in, and talk about everyone’s day. Then, later, Andrea prepares for an evening appointment she had made with a client who has a larger scope project that will entail more than just a “standard Refresh" which is typically just refinishing the cabinet boxes and installing all new doors and drawer fronts, and new pull hardware.
Andrea arrives for her evening consultation. It’s a larger remodel so she had previously planned for her co-franchisee contractor to meet her there, too. The project is more than the standard Refresh, so having the contractor there enables her to deliver the estimate on-site, that day, while meeting with the client, which is always the goal of the successful Kitchen Refresh franchisee.
Andrea begins the morning texting a new franchisee design consultant to set up her training, then hits the office work again: Estimates, emails, etc.
Andrea enjoys a lunch and then meets with her countertop vendor for selections on a new design studio she is building out.
It’s office work again: Estimates, emails, texts, CRM lead work and any vendor follow-ups.
It’s time for a reveal: The installer completes the door and drawer front installation at a client’s home, and Andrea has set up to meet with them for their kitchen reveal! This is one of the most satisfying aspects of being a Kitchen Refresh franchisee: The culmination of your sales, design consultative work, project management and conclusion as you witness the positive reactions of clients to the transformation you delivered to them!
Andrea arrives at a design consultation in one of the nearby communities within her franchise territory radius.
Andrea enjoys her morning coffee while she enters clients into Quickbooks who are scheduled for upcoming consults. This advanced entering is advisable because she can then bring their information up quickly and perform their in-person estimate and consultation without the interruption and awkward delay and waste of the client’s time of having to enter their name, address, phone and email information into Quickbooks while meeting with them. After she completes entering those, she reviews her new design studio “cut list” order of doors and drawer fronts and her hardware and submits that to the home office production facility where they will be produced and ordered and delivered back to her in about 3 weeks, enabling her to complete the buildout of her new design studio.
Andrea prepares to head out for travel she has planned that day: A mix of personal and business. Because her territory is located near a popular area in Minnesota where many residents have high end lake homes, and because that area of lake homes is an open non-franchisable territory due to the seasonality and smaller population density there, she has opted to provide Refresh services outside of her guaranteed service area around Fargo and into and around that lake area, too. This is a solid business move on Andrea’s part as it helps boost her sales.
On her way to the consult, Andrea stops at her parents’ place and drops off her oldest son to help her dad.
Andrea arrives to complete a Refresh client consultation. It goes well, and then she heads off for lunch in the lake area.
Andrea arrives to complete another consultation in the lake area, it also goes well, and then two-and-a-half hours later, completes another one, which also goes well. She will likely end the day with three sales.
Andrea arrives at her parents’ place and calls it a day.
It's Your Life, Kitchen Refresh can make it more rewarding.
There is one common theme among Kitchen Refresh franchisees: They feel their life is more rewarding. If you have an interior design background, Kitchen Refresh provides an income source to greatly enhance your existing interior design business, or it provides the option to make the leap from an interior design employee to interior design owner of your own business. If you have a carpentry background and already own your own handyman or carpentry business, Kitchen Refresh provides a strong income stream to greatly enhance your existing arsenal of carpentry services, or it provides the option to make the leap from carpentry employee to franchise owner.
Either way, Kitchen Refresh provides the systems and resources to give you a successful, flexible, independent lifestyle you’ve been seeking.