Globe-trotting oil rig engineer finds true calling closer to home with Kitchen Makeovers

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It may feel overly ambitious to hear that with Kitchen Makeovers, people from all walks of life can forge huge, uncapped success – but not for Tony Simmonds.

Since day one, the ex-oil rig worker-turned construction manager-turned franchising high-flyer has exemplified that anyone with the right attitude to learn can turn their Kitchen Makeovers franchise into a highly successful operation. And as the franchisee closes out 2023, recording Kitchen Makeover’s highest-ever sales record, he is primed to continue capitalising on the doors being a franchisee has opened for him.

Tony embarked on his career as an engineer working on oil rigs, a profession that took him across the globe to South Korea, Australia, France, and Norway. However, as he welcomed two young children into his family, Tony recognised the need for a career change. He made a transition to working with his brother, who owned a building company, where Tony took on the role of site management. Coming from a family of successful businessmen, with both his father and brother running their own companies, Tony inherited that entrepreneurial spirit. This led him to explore the realm of franchising. And after a period of thorough research, Tony found Kitchen Makeovers – the opportunity the passionately driven entrepreneur was searching for.

Today, just over two years after launching Kitchen Makeovers Sutton and as he celebrates recording the highest sales figures in the company in 2023, he’s even creating employment opportunities to meet the growing demand for his services.

“I was determined to start something myself, but I didn’t have the time to start something completely new,” explained Tony.

“I started doing my research on franchising and something that would fit well for my lifestyle and skillset. When I started looking into Kitchen Makeovers, I really liked the concept – sustainability and cost-effectiveness not only resonated with me on an ethical level, but I knew it’s something widely sought after today.

What’s crazier is that, having done so much prior research and seeing nothing like it, I didn’t realise the potential of operating in a franchise structure built on championing those areas! Having a Kitchen that looks completely brand new in a couple of days, how would that even be possible? The idea excited me, and despite not having a background in renovations, I knew this was the opportunity I’d been looking for.”

Founded in 2018, Kitchen Makeovers introduced the UK to the future of kitchen renovations.

As one of the home improvement sector’s most innovative franchise brands, Kitchen Makeovers has established itself as an exciting, highly profitable opportunity by identifying and leveraging a gap in the market.

This trailblazing approach, evolving with the demands of the sector, is helping franchisees provide customers with a long-awaited, modern, cost-effective and sustainable service up and down the country, breathing new life into the heart of their homes.

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“Before I started with Kitchen Makeovers, I had to deal with some issues in my personal life. I went through a divorce that saw both of my children come to live with me. It was really important that I could be there to support them both and be a part of their lives whilst also working and making a sustainable salary.

Work-life balance was an imperative box for me to tick, and running my own company has allowed me to do that. I don’t schedule any work appointments until I’ve taken the kids to school in the morning, and I make sure I’m there for them after school so we can spend real quality time together.

This is definitely still a work in progress with my business being so young, but it balances out with how clear the success is as a Kitchen Makeovers franchisee. I’ve grown quickly, and I’ve recruited staff to help manage the business – I’m certainly looking forward to squeezing a couple more rounds of golf in this year to celebrate my and my team’s achievements!”  

Kitchen Makeovers attracts both first-time franchisees and seasoned entrepreneurs looking to move with the times, thanks to an impressive infrastructure designed for scalability and a revitalised approach to customer experience in the home improvement sector.

Franchisees are encouraged to fully exploit the success they can achieve within their territories by building a local network of expert tradespeople. Kitchen Makeovers’ approach of championing exceptional customer service is continuing to reap the rewards in a sector that has traditionally delivered below-par customer experience.

Through various income streams, low overheads, an impressive scope for growth and ongoing development, the opportunity for franchisees is huge.

“My approach with Kitchen Makeovers is quite unique, but we’ve had a really positive first two years.

I don’t have a sales background; I’m not pushy; I let the product sell itself. I’m very open and honest with the customer from the outset. I give them a fixed quote, and that is the cost of the work. If I miss something and we have to do extra work to complete the job, that is on me, and I’ll cover the cost – it’s about ethical business ownership and being a Kitchen Makeovers franchisee allows me to do that without making a financial sacrifice.

Every customer is different, but I’ve had a lot of success by being flexible, finding their needs and being open from the outset.

There are a lot of cowboys out there, people who mess customers around, but we make sure we prioritise the customer experience. Our reputation is key, and we pride ourselves on that.”

On track to welcome 40 franchisees by the end of 2024, sophisticated branding, systems, operations and processes have established Kitchen Makeovers as a leading voice in a market that was crying out for a cost-effective, fuss-free service provider before the brand’s inception. This has seen the franchise receive over 500 glistening five-star reviews from happy customers across multiple reputable online sources.

Since launching in October 2021, Kitchen Makeovers (Sutton) has shown remarkable growth. In his first year on the job, Tony fitted 45 kitchens; in his second year, he nearly doubled that to 89.

With a turnover of over £550,000 in the last year alone, Tony has surpassed all his expectations and more. Despite his impressive sales figures, Tony is looking forward to further growth and success in the future, also embodied in continuing to be a key figure in his children’s lives.

For anyone considering starting a Kitchen Makeovers franchise, I say go for it. When I first told my friends and family about it, they all said, “Don’t do it, think of the risks!” and two years later, I’m so glad I didn’t listen! I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme; it takes hard work, and you’ll make the occasional mistake along the way. But if you put the work in, you will get rewarded.”

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