I’ve noticed that there are a couple of oven cleaning franchisors offering a management option and therefore this means you would be a manager running a multi van operation. From what I understand you would have to pay a load more money to get this sort of franchise licence from the respective franchisors. Also you would be ‘locked’ into a area where you could only service a certain number of postcode areas – lets say 100,000 households, and then have to pay a large ongoing franchise fee. From our own experience of running a multi van operation in our area – we’ve had more than one van for over two years now and we haven’t got restrictions of where we work and haven’t had to pay ongoing franchisee fees, as we are an independent company, so we can go large distances – I can tell you it’s tough and is alot of hard work. Its tough all the way from getting the right people to apply, selecting the right people and then managing them once they are working for you, and managing the vans. Lucky we have an excellent software package that helps with this. Work tends to flucuate and we spend a huge amount of money on advertising. We have a great percentage of current clients rebooking and we have a referral system in place, but the problem is the level of knowledge that people have about domestic oven cleaning. We meet people everyday who look at us with a puzzled expression when we tell them what we do, and then say ‘Thats a good idea I never knew such a thing existed!’. As people don’t know about it you need to market like anything to make them aware and it this takes up a large amount of cash and substantially reduces your margins. People need to be Educated of the different standards of oven cleaning; to get it clean so that it gleams – i.e like new – needs a professional oven cleaning like ourselves to carry out the work.
"Ok", you are saying "what about the commercial oven cleaning market? "Well yes and no, there is a market but we seem to be contacted by the new owners of pubs who have just moved in a find a ‘disgusting’ kitchen and this means a day of really hard work for us and from experience I now tend to keep away from them. Also pubs, and restaurants want you to clean out of hours as you get in the way of the Chefs. For us we don’t want to do this – we are really happy to work from 9 to 5 each day. We have routinely carried out cleans in student accommodation but the budget that the cleaning companies have been given to clean the whole kitchen are sometimes very close to our quote for cleaning the oven – but of course we do a more professional job than contract cleaners and we get it an as new condition, using ecological products, and this standard is now become the standard that new students expect their ovens to be in.