Martin and Michelle Hillman joined the Venture brand in 2011, opening their studio on London Road, Southampton in January 2012.
“We had looked at several franchise opportunities in the market, as had considered working for ourselves for some time, we were open minded about what type of business we wanted to get involved in, but the more that we looked at the Venture Model it became more appealing over others that we had looked at given that Venture provide a unique experience, which creates a product full of emotional value to the customer.”
The opening of the Venture Southampton studio followed a well-defined end to end process, which is fully supported by the Venture team. This begins with locating a suitable property, helping on presenting business plans to the bank to raise funding, through to full training for the franchisees and recruitment and training of the studio team.
“We worked with Venture extremely closely for a full 6 months prior to opening the studio, a key part of the opening process was obviously both me and Michelle being trained on how to operate the venture model, and we spent time in other studios to observe the model in operation. As you can imagine it was an incredibly busy time in the run up to opening the studio! Key to a successful opening was making sure that we had an effective marketing plan in place in the 8 weeks prior to launch, which subsequently would ensure that we opened on day 1 with a diary full of customer appointments. It obviously worked as we turned over £100K in our first two full months of being open!
The Southampton studio continues to be one of the most successful studios in the Venture network and has turned over an average of £600K over the last three years.
“Being completely honest the first two years were a very steep learning curve, and it’s been hard work, however that hard work has paid off and the financial returns of the business have exceeded our expectations. Coupled with this it has been really satisfying to be involved in such a unique and powerful brand, every day we see how thrilled customers are when they see the amazing photographs that we take of their families”
Martin and Michelle Hillman, Venture Southampton