Derek and Pauline Delaney

Franchising can be something of a family affair, with husband and wife teams increasingly involved at ownership level.

Granite Transformations franchisees, Derek and Pauline Delaney, epitomise this approach, with both actively engaged in running the business and son Daniel employed as a qualified master installer. They were also shortlisted for a Family Business Of The Year Award, run by their local paper.

The Delaneys came to the home improvement market from quite disparate backgrounds. An apprenticed mechanic, Derek spent almost twenty years in automotive retailing, latterly in after sales management, followed by a spell in industrial engineering. Pauline began in fashion retail, then applied her creative skills to in-store merchandising in the crafts and hobbies sector. Then, like many people in their middle years (most franchisees begin a second career path in their forties), they looked at the possibility of setting up on their own.

“We’d always wanted to run our own business, but thought the only way we were really going to achieve this was through franchising,” says Derek. “With a franchise, all the business problems have already been ironed out for you.”

Having come across Granite Transformations at a franchise exhibition and liked the product and the package, they opened a showroom in Bolton and gradually built up a thriving business. Derek applies his skills to managing the sales and installation team, worktop production and putting the business systems in place; while Pauline turns her creative eye to customers’ kitchen and bathroom décor, as well as ensuring the showrooms are amongst the best merchandised in the trade.

“It’s been hard work building the business, but it has been very rewarding in the sense that we are our own bosses,” says Derek. “We have customers who come to us from all over the region and we’ve also opened a new showroom in Altrincham, extending our franchise territory to take advantage of the market potential there.”