May 24

AGA Cleaning and Normal Day

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

I have been out cleaning today. The second day this week. I was out on Monday and cleaned a four oven AGA, one which I had done before a few years ago – it turned out to be a

English: A business ideally is continually see...

English: A business ideally is continually seeking feedback from customers: are the products helpful? are their needs being met? Constructive criticism helps marketers adjust offerings to meet customer needs. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

relatively straight forward job and best of all the customer had a Nespresso coffee machine! If you read this blog I am pretty keen on my coffee and we have had a Nespresso machine at home since I started oven cleaning, maybe thats the secret to my success! I went to the Coffee Number 1 (the fabulous local coffee shop) in Thornbury afterwards too,  and then back to the office for the afternoon.

I left home at 0800 today as I needed to allow time to get across Bristol in the rush hour traffic, I infact got there early and as no one was at home – they had left a key for me – I got cracking. It was a brown (unusual) brown gas deluxe AGA for a regular customer. So it was dirty but not over the top dirty like some AGAs that had never been cleaned before. So it came up well and I had the benefit of the company of two Cocker Spaniels Dotty and Holly! Names left on note from customer.

And then I drove across Bristol to clean a standard single oven. I had my lunch in the van as I couldn’t start the job until 1200 and then got there bang on time. The oven was an AEG Competence which has self cleaning sides making it an easier clean – the self cleaning sides are cleaned but it is quick and easy to do if they aren’t that dirty. It was for a regular customer who “just can’t get down there anymore” – in all the job, a full strip down including the fan clean, took me 45 minutes. Then across Bristol again to clean a standard double oven, I was running early but the customer didn’t mind me starting earlier even though on my job sheet for the day it said that the client couldn’t start earlier than 1400.

Again this was a repeat customer but not with this oven she had her oven cleaned in a previous house just before she moved out and the new owner had written to her telling her how thankful she was for the gleaming oven they had left. Also this lady told me the story of how she had found out about our service, she said I had a call from one of my friends who said “I am just sat her looking at my oven, it has just been cleaned and I can’t believe it – it’s just like new”. The oven a Diplomat was again an easier clean and I replaced the seals on the oven – the customer had ordered them through a local supplies shop and they had arrived that day. They really made a difference the tension in them was a lot more and they fitted tightly and snuggly a lot better than the old ones which had been sagging. So I learnt something here that replacing old seals even when they aren’t broken or split, which is usually the time I suggest they are replaced, really does make a big difference.

Anyway I got back to the office at 1450 so not a bad “day” with with a total day turnover of £234.

We are trying some new marketing methods to our customer base and yes it seems to be working well, we are also doing some deals and the latest marketing method seems to be a winner! I haven’t seen our weekly schedule so booked up so fast, so good news with our new operative starting out on his own next week. I’ll be able to concentrate on stuff in the office and the training videos I am currently doing. One of them is for the problem door, how to take the NEFF door with the triangles in the corner apart,  that I am forever asked about and can’t really answer very well on the phone!

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May 23

Oven Cleaner Starts Well

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Well it is a week since our new oven cleaner started and it looks like he is getting up to speed which means we will be able to book him in jobs next week. We just need to check him

English: Wheel Wrights Oven. The front of the ...

English: Wheel Wrights Oven. The front of the oven with both iron doors closed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

out on jobs and make sure that he is comfortable with the kit in his van and that he can heat it up at the start of the day, or overnight, and then he will be all set to go. For the last week he has been out with both me and the other guys so will have a good idea of what to do. My immediate impression when he started with me last week was that I wasn’t going to have any problems with him, he picked up taking the doors off and stripping down our Creda oven in the office, which I have had people really struggling with before now, and really was very keen to learn.  So tomorrow he will be doing the three jobs himself with our other operative close to hand just in case he has any problems and also to check the jobs out. We will then be able to see if we need to sort out any extra kit or not. From what I can remember everything should be in his van, but if not we are getting together tomorrow afternoon for our weekly meeting and we can sort out any problems then. So all being well he will be out next week on his own cleaning standard double and standard single ovens.

We’ll see how he gets on with that before giving him range cookers though this may be quick as he has been cleaning them in the last week and we will then give him some further training before we let him loose on cleaning AGA cookers.

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May 15

Oven Cleaning Devon

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

We have been cleaning ovens and AGA cookers in the county of Devon since I started OvenGleam in 2004. Really the big reason for starting the business was because I wanted to

Church Green, Devon

Church Green, Devon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

capture the ‘Devon AGA market’. So I started off with lots of lovely colourful, but expensive adverts, in Devon Life. They were hugely expensive and really I should have ditched them sooner rather than later as the return on them wasn’t enough to justify the adverts and I spent lots of time travelling to the extremes of Devon cleaning AGAs!

Now in Devon we are regularly cleaning in East Devon, places like Exeter, Exmouth, Sidmouth, Seaton, Axminster, and in West Dorset places such as Lyme Regis and Charmouth. And also places like Tiverton, Cullompton, Honiton, Crediton, Culmstock, Uffculme.

So if you are looking to get your AGA cooker, or your range cooker or your normal oven cleaned in these areas please give us a call on 0800 45 82 357 and we will be please to make that appointment to clean it for you.

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May 14

Oven Cleaning Job Interviews

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Last week I interviewed some people for our job vacancy for an oven cleaning operative – with no experience required! We have  a process in place that has worked well for us over the years and we find that we can usually get a few people together for an interview pretty quickly if we need too. So we did the advertising and then arranged the interviews for Tuesday and Friday of last week, Tuesday because it had been the Bank Holiday weekend for May Day.

It started off very well with the first guy getting there at 0750 and doing a fabulous interview, with the only issue being that he already had a job and would have to give 4 weeks notice. Then the other person in the

The Interview

The Interview (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

afternoon slot didn’t even bother to turn up. We phoned him and there was no answer. He then texted the main phone number saying he’d got a missed call. We rang him and asked him why he hadn’t turned up. He said it was too far to get too. What he meant was that has he didn’t have a car he’d have to catch two buses, one to get to the centre of Bristol and then one out of Bristol to us,  to get to the interview and he couldn’t be bothered with it. So, so much for trying to give a local Bristol youngster a job – he was 19.

The next interview day things went okay but one person, a lady who this time was in her late thirties didn’t turn up for the interview – again we left her a sarcastic message on her phone and this time she didn’t reply at all. The two that did turn up were okay though one had some points on his licence and the other one was as my wife and our office manager put it ‘lovely’. So I arranged for him to go out with our operative Matt the next day so that he could have a look at the job and decide whether it was for him and asked Matt for some feedback. Apparently the guy got stuck in, asked the right things and Matt liked him. Today I got an email from him saying that he was keen to get the job.

So today I did a couple of reference checkes and then I offered him the job and he starts on Wednesday of this week. So this week it means that I am going to be doing a couple of days training, and then then I am going to put him out with the other guys to get some more experience before letting him loose on his own, which should be in about two to three weeks time all being well.

I’m keeping the first interviewee in reserve just incase something happens…

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May 05

AGA Cleaners Are Go!

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

I’ve been out cleaning for the last week or so.  I haven’t really done very much cleaning since January and was getting bored sat in the office so I am really glad to be out cleaning

Deutsch: Traditioneller Pizza-Ofen mit Holzbef...

again. One of our operatives has left and another is on holiday so it means I am going to be cleaning for a while until we get a new operative. The adverts are out for a new operative and surprising we haven’t had many applicants yet so hopefully we will get some more to get some choice. I am going to be interviewing on Tuesday after the Bank Holiday and have two interviews arranged.

At the beginning of the week I had a great day cleaning a 3 oven AGA in the Cotswolds (its one I have cleaned three times before) and this was followed by a standard double oven near Bristol. We regularly do AGA cleaning Cotswolds.

I was out cleaning on Thursday and was back in the office on Friday. The Thursday cleans were a bit tough has I had three standard double ovens and the last one had a hob and extractor as well as the oven. The first was a Creda and was very dirty and as it was a Creda I had to strip it down completely, taking all the self cleaning panels off to dip them, and I even took the self cleaning panel off the roof which I only do once in a while (normally I clean it in situ) as its a real sod to get back on. Anyway yes I had a bit of problem getting it back on but in the end everything looked super. The customer wanted me to tighten up the handle on the oven door so I had to do a strip down of the door to get this sorted. In all it all added up and when I left the job I was running fifteen minutes behind schedule – I was allocated one and half hours to do the job in our scheduler. But as I had been given more than enough travelling time to get to the next job I managed to get there 10 minutes early and get cracking with that job. It was a standard NEFF double oven and wasn’t terribly dirty so I managed to do everything in an hour. So I go to the last job an hour and half ahead of schedule  (again generous travelling time) and again it was the same NEFF double oven which again wasn’t terribly dirty and a hob, and an extractor. The extractor gauzes were really greasy but after dipping them they came up very well. In all I managed to get everything done in just over an hour and a quarter and then I went back home. So I got home at 1420 which was two and half hours ahead of the time I should have got back. But somethings getting ‘easier’ ovens means finishing quicker though the reverse is also true getting really dirty ovens means a killer day and running over. But usually there is a mix of good ones and bad ones and it is just a case of making hay whilst you can.

But in all I’d rather have the AGA cooker then a single oven or standard oven day like the day at the beginning of the week in the Cotswolds.

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