Karen Kelly – Cleanhome Domestic Cleaning Founder and Managing Director
1.What are the benefits of having a Cleanhome franchise?
I started my first cleaning business, Cleanhome, when I was 50 and wanted a better quality of life while maintaining a successful career. Following the success of the first Cleanhome branch, I decided to franchise the business model so others could benefit from it.
For me, it’s important to allow franchisees to work around their family time as this reflects how they feel about the business and a positive and enthusiastic approach to the business automatically makes the clients happy. Our franchisees can design their workload around their family commitments, they can work from home and they can schedule client and cleaner meetings whatever time works best for them.
To further enable our franchisees to work flexibly, we have also invested in developing our own bespoke internet based operational system, GENESYS™ which has been created to help them run their businesses from anywhere they can get internet access. GENESYS™ operates as a personal assistant which organises the total process/administration and finance sides of the business. We are constantly improving it based on suggestions from our franchisees so we are always developing new features that will make our franchise operations more efficient or save them money.
2. How long have you been franchising?
I started the first franchise area four and a half years ago and we’ve been franchising the business for 28 months now.
3. How many franchised outlets are you running at the moment?
We currently have 15 franchised outlets across the UK.
4. Have you had any franchisees fail?
5. How much does your franchise opportunity cost, franchise fee, equipment and working capital?
£9,995 + VAT is the franchise fee, the working capital is minimal and the equipment needed is limited to telecoms, a PC and a printer
6. What are the average gross and net profits and do you provide accounts and a business plan?
Once the business is set up the average net profit is 80% of turnover.
We have accounts based on the very first franchise area’s results, we offer support with the business plan and we can help franchisees to design their long-term strategy.
7. What are the ongoing fees such as commission, marketing fees and royalties?
There is a £300 + VAT monthly franchise fee.
8. How much/what training do you provide and is it on-going?
There is a comprehensive two day training programme for all new franchisees – included in the franchise fee. When I created the training programme for the Cleanhome franchisees, my objective was simple; at the end of the training programme I wanted each franchisee to feel confident about meeting clients and cleaners but equally confident about actually running the business.
Some of our franchisees have never run a business before so the ‘back end’ – the administration, legal and finance and technical functions – is as important as the ‘front end’, the clients, so it was critical that both aspects of the business were covered within the training programme.
To make sure we didn’t overwhelm new franchisees with too much information all at once, we designed a training course which balances the information they need to know with practical role-playing exercises which teach them to feel confident about actually selling the business. It’s vital for us to help our franchisees develop their knowledge and build their confidence during training which will prepare them for dealing with clients on a day-to-day basis.
Sending our new franchisees out to accompany an experienced franchisee on a real-life meeting is also a really important part of the way we train our franchisees. It helps them see how an experienced franchisee sells the service to potential clients and it gives our new franchisees tips and ideas on how to approach it themselves.
9. How much head office support do you provide?
Cleanhome provides all of our franchisees with as much support as they need, or wish to have on an ongoing basis. In general we find that more support is needed when the franchisee is new and then as they get more and more confident in running their business they need less support on day-to-day issues and more support on longer term strategy.
Leaving your franchisees to their own devices without the back-up of a supportive management team can have serious repercussions for a franchise. One of the risks you take with a hands-off approach is that your franchisees can feel demotivated and unsupported which will have a detrimental effect on how they run their business.
One of the advantages of being part of a franchise operation rather than starting completely on your own is that someone else has almost certainly encountered any situation you will come across and therefore they are able to access a ready supply of advice and encouragement, and practical examples of how to deal with issues they may face.
As I built and still run the very first Cleanhome franchise, it’s easy for me to relate to franchisees when it comes to running the day-to-day business and I am also able to identify with the issues and challenges they face on a longer term strategy for their business
Being approachable as a franchisor is a vital part of the ongoing support process and I want all Cleanhome franchisees to feel comfortable to call me or drop me an email if they feel unsure about something or just want a sounding board.
For more information visit: http://www.cleanhomeuk.com/franchise_opportunities.php