Running a business is certainly not a new venture for Robert Thomas, who has recently taken over ownership of the ColourFence Plymouth franchise. After two weeks of intensive training, set to be completed by the end of January, Robert will be on his way to success, providing ColourFence products to Plymouth and the surrounding area.
As a businessman, Robert has a keen eye for identifying a quality product. After being made redundant from the Merchant Navy in 1984, 26-year old Robert settled down with his family to run the family business – a local caravan holiday park based in Modbury.
“I was very new to running a business and managing a team, but you’ve got to hit the ground running and learn as you go.”
After taking over managing the park in 1985 he ran the site for nearly 16 years, but then Robert decided it was time to sell the park or invest and redevelop the park.
“Competition was increasing, and holiday companies were expanding and taking over the holiday park industry, so I had to either keep up with that or sell it.”
Some heavy weighing up led him to put the site up for sale, and it was sold in 2000; leading Robert into self-employment.
As a strong-minded and determined businessman, he has seen himself working for various solar panel businesses, selling their products to consumers whilst developing his own business ideas. This finally made Robert decide it was time to focus his time, money and energy into one project.
Having always taken an interest in developing businesses, it’s no surprise that Robert has decided to invest his time and capital into the ColourFence Plymouth franchise.
“I started to look at businesses for sale in the area, trying to ignore any preconceived ideas and keep an open mind. When researching different business ventures, I came across ColourFence and became excited when I read about how unique the product is, I realised this would be a great product to market in the Plymouth area, providing a much-needed alternative to conventional timber fencing.”
In September 2019, Robert did some number crunching and decided to visit their factory based in Wales for an open day, explaining – “I started to get excited about the prospect of running my own business again.”
The ColourFence brand has been franchised throughout the UK with over 50 franchisees across the nation, Plymouth being the most recent. Despite being relatively new products, both ColourFence and the sister product ColourRail see high national demand which Robert as the local representative in Plymouth will be helping to fulfil.
The product was first marketed in Australia and has been a popular garden feature for decades, accounting for at least 35% of the domestic fencing market down under. The product was brought to the UK 15 years ago by Climar Industries Ltd, the UK based manufacturer and distributor of ColorbondTM steel fencing and other long-lasting, low-maintenance home and garden products.
ColourFence is a unique product, there’s nothing else like it in the UK.
Unlike standard timber fences, ColourFence is designed to resist harsh weather conditions, and when installed by an accredited fitter will withstand wind gusts of up to 130mph. It also won’t crack, peel or warp in the sun so whatever mother nature has in store, ColourFence protects your garden all year round for decades to come.
The weatherproof and durable ColourFence range has a number of core benefits that appeal to homeowners, not least the 25-year guarantee*. No painting, preserving, repairs or harsh cleaning chemicals, just an occasional hose down to keep it looking as good as new.
When fencing maintenance costs are high, you want an option that is easy, low maintenance and cost-effective; and ColourFence is all those things and more.
The product is manufactured using ColorbondTM steel manufactured in Australia where it has been developed over 50 years and incorporates industry-leading technology to resist corrosion. The components are manufactured in South Wales and are hand-inspected to the highest quality standards. The care and technology that goes into the product ensures that even when the colour layer is scratched, the steel forms a protective layer to prevent corrosion.
ColourFence is becoming increasingly popular across the UK with homeowners fed up of losing fences to winter storms and the hassle of replacing them. Equally, timber fences decay rapidly with a standard wooden fence often lasting less than 10 years and requiring regular treatment with paint and chemical cleaners. What is more, frustrated homeowners sometimes find that despite caring for their side of the fence, the neighbours are not always as proactive.
You can fit ColourFence into your own style by reflecting your own personality with 4 different colours to choose from and other options available to add, including decorative trellis or ball cap finials.
Whether you would prefer to mix and match colours and styles or keep them uniform, you can choose a design to suit you; traditional Evergreen or Brown, or the more contemporary Bluestone or Cream might suit you better.
The panels are 2.35 metres wide compared to 1.5 metres wide for standard timber panels (so you need fewer panels like for like) and can be cut on-site to custom fit your garden, whatever the size and the natural contours of your land. The extended training process that accredited fitters undertake also means that they can fit customised solutions and a range of matching gates, plus ColourRail and the new ColourShed.
First-class customer service is at the heart of everything ColourFence do and with a strong sales background, Robert is fully committed to ensuring every customer remains satisfied.
“We don’t hassle our customers – it sells itself”
The team pride themselves on providing a service you’ll remember for all the right reasons. Robert tells us that his team will never pressure customers into a sale or outstay their welcome. ColourFence have put in place their ‘No Pressure Promise’, meaning they’ll always be punctual, polite and professional when completing your free, no-obligation survey and quote.
Work will never be carried out unless Robert and his team are certain it will be an asset to the company and your garden. ColourFence are dedicated to ensuring you receive a high-quality product with a professional service that meets your needs. Robert is always on hand to answer questions and queries.
Pricing transparency is something else that sets ColourFence apart from other suppliers with the baseline prices for products and installation available on the website for a range of styles and heights up to 2 metres. The quality of customer care is demonstrated by all enquirers being able to book a free survey of their garden so they can get a precise quote for their job, meaning no nasty surprises.
“We also offer bespoke pricing for custom solutions, for example, if the garden slopes.”
ColourFence places value on being fairly and competitively priced; when compared to timber fencing. With no ongoing care costs for the length of the 25-year guarantee*, ColourFence offers unbeatable quality and value.
ColourFence may be a relatively new product but it’s already experiencing huge demand with thousands of fences being fitted across the UK every year. This has driven the development of gates, sheds and railings as happy customers strive to extend the ColourFence benefits to more of their garden.
The future is looking bright for Robert and the ColourFence team as they roll out orders across Plymouth and the surrounding areas.
Not looking to retire any time soon, keeping his mind active is a top priority for Robert, making ColourFence a perfect fit for him. He is confident this incredibly long-lasting alternative to standard fencing will see the people of Plymouth change their view of garden fencing forever. His smart business attitude, desire to develop businesses and love for customer service, means we’re sure he’s going to have every success with ColourFence.
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