my kind of business

Having established an enviable reputation for providing value for money and distinctive designs, mytiles is expanding its retail operation throughout Northern and Southern Ireland via franchising.

With a contemporary store design that is customer-friendly and incorporates bathroom and shower displays; an extensive range of tiles; and high visibility advertising, mytiles has established an enviable reputation for providing value for money and distinctive designs throughout Northern Ireland and into the Republic of Ireland.

mytiles Founder Mark Bradley has many years of experience working within the tile industry, both as retailer and wholesaler. He opened his first retail outlet, Blue Aries Tiles, on Boucher Road in Belfast in 2002.

The business continued to expand into one of the most recognised and quality brands in Northern Ireland. In anticipation of expanding through franchising a central warehouse facility was opened and a fleet of vehicles delivered orders from the warehouse to the customer's door.

Two further stores have been opened as franchise units. Both franchises have developed very successfully and continue to exceed targets. Brand awareness has significantly increased and mytiles is developing a strong reputation for quality and value for money.

Having developed the franchise package with the assistance of Franchise Development Services' Ireland Consultants, Gordon Patterson and Gary Rigby, mytiles Ltd is aiming to award a number of additional franchises throughout Northern Ireland before expanding into the Republic of Ireland and mainland UK.

Mark reasons: 'Experience has shown that stand-alone small businesses cannot compete with multi-nationals. We have developed a system whereby franchisees do not need to employ warehouse or delivery staff, or raise the capital for stock. This is all provided by us from our warehouse facility, enabling franchisees to compete with these multi-nationals.'

mytiles is ideally suited to the open market and attracts a wide range of customers from all sectors including new builds, refurbishments, small contracts, commercial and domestic. mytiles has developed a number of innovative marketing strategies including road signage, radio and regional TV advertisements, and national and local press advertising, to drive customers to individual stores.

The company is looking for motivated and people-orientated individuals capable of managing a mytiles showroom. No experience is necessary, but sales experience would be advantageous.

'We provide full training so franchisees can feel confident and relaxed about entering into this new business opportunity,' Mark reassures. 'The training will include actual work experience in a mytiles franchise and observing a tile fitter, so franchisees understand all aspects of maintaining corporate standards in store, selling, ordering and administration. Ongoing support will be provided by head office and includes regular on-site visits.'

mytiles as franchisor offers a simple yet profitable way for individuals or partners to become self-employed with the support of an experienced team: 'mytiles provides a proven formula that has been working successfully for five years and an experienced and motivated team, who have over 30 years of industry experience between them.'

James McCullough, Newtownabbey - Pilot franchisee
I was previously the Manager of the Boucher Road, Belfast store. I wanted to be self-employed and so jumped on the opportunity to become the mytiles pilot franchisee.

It's been fantastic and the transition from Manager to owner has not been as difficult as I thought it would be. I've opened a new store in Newtownabbey and the response from customers has been excellent.

The public perception is that our store is one of the best in the marketplace. Our displays are better and the layout of the stores user-friendly. We display an up to date range of tiles and our prices are very competitive.

Having opened for business in January I am now looking to advertise more and employ additional members of staff. Within the next two years I'm aiming to have a second store.

I thoroughly enjoy owning and running my own business, which I believe has tremendous potential.