Lofty ambitions

Chesire-based franchisee Adam Shepherd, is ready to move up a rung with this More Than Loft Ladders business, after being invigorated by a new leadership team. He told us more…


When Adam Shepherd was researching new business opportunities, the home improvement franchise More Than Loft Ladders stood out to him for its unique value proposition and low startup costs. 

Now, over a decade later, he has not only found professional fulfilment installing customised ladders that “change lives” but he’s positioned for growth after overcoming early marketing struggles with guidance from More Than Loft Ladders’ new leadership team.

“I liked the idea that the work was in and out in a day with payment on completion, no cashflow worries,” he explains. “It’s a great concept that just about every house can make use of.” 

The affordable set-up costs also enabled him to minimise risk as he established the business. 

“Very affordable compared to other things I looked at, and I liked the fact that I didn’t have to pay any royalties on the first £20,000 earned, it gave me chance to get established without worrying too much about cashflow.”

After researching opportunities extensively for six months, More Than Loft Ladders’ unique service offering and support model stuck out as a good fit for Shepherd’s skills.

He recalls: “I was looking for about six months and nothing really leapt out at me, nothing that was affordable or suited my skills anyway. As soon as I spoke with More Than Loft Ladders it was an easy decision and I was working with them within three months.”

Getting on the ladder

In getting started, marketing posed the biggest challenge, as he struggled to drive leads and customers. 

“I suppose marketing was probably the bit that caused me the most challenges,” he says. “I knew nothing about it before I started but the franchise helped me out.” 

He cites the guidance he was given from the franchisor as crucial in overcoming the problem during the startup phase.

In fact, he believes that the support infrastructure has only improved with new leadership in place. 

“They were pretty good at the time, I must say though that things have got a lot better since Liam took over a year or so ago, we have new ideas and support as well as contacts with national marketing people,” he explains. 

Thanks to fresh initiatives like a partnership with trades recommendations service Checkatrade, Shepherd has seen a steady influx of new work. So much so, that it is pressuring him to expand the business.

“I am now struggling to keep up with demand to be honest and am looking to take someone on to help with the workload.”

In his decade-plus installing customised ladders and transforming storage spaces, he has come to appreciate the unexpected impact it can have on homeowners’ lives. 

“How much a bit of extra space means to most people, they are genuinely amazed sometimes when we show them what we have done, I love it when someone says ‘this will change our lives’ I didn’t believe it at first but now I understand what a difference we can make.”

While Shepherd follows the More Than Loft Ladders model closely, he admits to not being proactive enough in past years regarding marketing. But development days with Liam’s team have reinvigorated Adam’s approach. 

“I attend the development days we now have as every meeting gives us something new to take away,” he says.

The next rung

After realigning with the franchise system, he now anticipates hiring help to keep pace with surging demand.

Looking further ahead, he has his sights set on stepping back from installations to focus purely on management. 

 “I am still on the tools but this year I hope to take on an installer so that I can concentrate on expanding my business, I would love to get to two or three installers so I can come off the tools completely.” 

Though juggling work-life balance remains an ongoing struggle with a growing business, he says he feels proud of the financial sustainability More Than Loft Ladders has brought his family.

With a decade under his belt he is ready to scale the across Cheshire thanks to More Than Loft Ladders’ ever-improving corporate support. 

“I am earning good money and I am in a position to be able to think about getting a new van and an installer.” 

By helping area homeowners unleash unused attic potential, he has found professional purpose transforming living spaces and is positioning his business to climb even higher.

Ronnie Dungan
Ronnie Dungan