Oliver and Lynne run our Worcestershire office covering Worcester, Wychavon and Stratford-upon-Avon. They joined the network at the end of 2011.
Oliver told us that they joined the network because, “The simplicity of the business model appealed to us. We wanted something with a framework already set up and evidence that the system worked. We did not want a business which obliged us to be involved in employing staff, training or health and safety certification…such as in the care industry.”
When asked why they chose Diamond Home Support Lynne said, “Good sales pitch, approachable franchisor who was very realistic about what could be achieved. Price was right as was the time we happened to find this particular opportunity. It also afforded the chance to work from home.”
When reflecting on early experiences with the business Oliver told us, “The setting up of the business was very straightforward…we followed the manual to the letter. It took us longer than anticipated to find the first workers and we were very much aware that we had no idea whether they were any good. At one point we considered letting each worker clean for a fussy friend of ours but never did. Finding good and reliable workers is still the hardest part of building up the business. This without doubt is the main limiting factor. But not a prohibitive one as our business is growing steadily. The support from the franchisor has been excellent and most importantly very realistic about the business model. Andrew is also very approachable and willing to listen to new ideas. He is in touch regularly and always has suggestions as to how the business can be progressed.”
We asked Lynne to share what marketing strategies are working for them, “Without doubt leaflets…but we use the local newspaper delivery system; we rarely deliver by hand. Sometimes we share costs with another advertiser. We also network whenever possible e.g. Rotary. We get through quite a few business cards as we give them out at every opportunity. We have not found the need to be particularly varied in our strategies because we can only service as many clients as we have workers. Finding clients has never been an issue.”
When asked for advice for potential franchisees Oliver said, “You need to be able to talk confidently to prospective clients. They need guidance as to the time required for cleaning and a clear explanation regarding both elements of the payment system. With regard to workers you need to explain the benefits of being part of DHS and allay any fears they may have about being self employed. Good communication skills are essential. You must also be organised and be able to keep on top of the book keeping. It helps to be a bit creative in your thinking too.”
In relation to new franchisees Lynne said, “Don’t give up the day job until you are established! Believe in the system…it does work. There will be days when things go wrong but more often things go well.”
When asked to reflect on the benefits of the business Oliver said the, “potential income, working from home and building up relationships with clients and cleaners.” When thinking about the drawbacks Oliver said it was primarily trying to find good, reliable workers. Oliver’s tip for franchisees, apart from everything above, was to try and ensure you match the right cleaner with each new client.
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