DOUG Carter’s showroom is based on Wheelock Street in Middlewich, with plans to open their second in Knutsford in the coming months. His business Premium Doors of Cheshire does what is says on the tin, selling quality doors and windows.
His background is firmly based in retail, with a strong and successful career at Next, spending his twenties and into his thirties moving round the country, and going from shop assistant to regional manager. He was then headhunted by a national bank, as they saw his skills in retail would benefit their growth in that sector. Very quickly he became a bank manager, spending time working in Canary Wharf. Like many of the businesspeople I speak to, there does seem to be a positive theme; they reach time in their career where working for others doesn’t feel as rewarding, and over the years they have developed the skills needed to set up on their own. This was the next stage for Doug. He started a sales consultancy business, which has been going for the last ten years. Doug is not a stereotypical salesperson; there are no shiny polyester suits in sight, he is softly spoken and believes that the best way to sell is by being knowledgeable about your product and chat through with customers to make sure what you are selling matches their requirements.
Premium Doors of Cheshire was born when he linked up with a close friend who manufactured Aluminium and uPVC windows and composite doors. Doug immersed himself in the industry, learning all he could about the production process, the features and benefits, touring the factory and making sure he became an expert in the field.
More recently he took a trip to Poland to meet a new window and door manufacturer. Not just any front door, though. These doors are something special, with technology like biometric systems, which uses your fingerprint to unlock the door. You can add up to 500 fingerprints, anyone you trust to come into your house. This new door range is extremely energy efficient; with an insulation value almost twice that of a conventional door. Plus they have a lifespan of 45 years – these doors will outlive me!
Doug is not alone in his business ventures; he also runs Wheelock Business Hub with his partner Lillie, based next to his showroom in Middlewich. Twelve months ago, they took a shop which had been closed for many years and put it back into use, with affordable offices for micro businesses and SMEs, hot desks for remote workers, a meeting room and virtual offices to rent. The desks and meeting rooms can be rented flexibly, for an hour or a day, whatever is needed, with great WiFi and tea and coffee on tap! The offices have become a hub of complementing business, with JP Goldman who specialists in property law, Sanderson Clare Financial Solutions, Andrew Burgess mortgage broker, Oligomer Accounting and Carter & Co who look after wills, trust and LPAs.
2023 will be an exciting year for Doug and his business, with the opening of the Knutsford showroom and the launch of the new door range. I interviewed Doug for our podcast series, so to hear more about his journey and future plans.