Monthly Archives: July 2014

Jul 31

My Old Oven Cleaning Van

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

So a nice video about finding your dad’s old car.

Thinking of the cars I remember sitting in the back of when I was kid the three I remember the most are a grey Austin Mini Seven, which was actually my brothers (who had changed the badge on the back so it read ‘Austin  Mini Cooper’ and put a very loud exhaust on it, and painted the whole interior including the seats matt black) but my dad drove it as well and I could lie down on the back seat, no seat belts then;  a chocolate brown Austin Devon A30, 1948 which my dad bought for £10, after finding it in a field of stinging nettles on the A39 at Ashcott behind a garage there, when I was about six. We went out on picnics on the Quantocks in it, down small little lanes, and across the tracks, it had fabulous leather seats and I can still remember that smell. And thirdly the car which he picked me up from school when I was older which was a Ford Poplar two tone (claret bottom half, grey top half) registration 228 MME, with only a three speed gear box.

I did see the chocolate brown A30 in Taunton a few years back so it was still around then, and I did see the two tone Poplar about ten years ago, again in Taunton, but I’d be surprised if they were still around now. And also would my dad really want to see them now? He is 90 next March and as he hasn’t driven for the last twelve years –  since he met my step mother  who is 14 years younger than him. Though we’d probably have a laugh about it if I did as there will be some irony there.

For me if my son or someone wanted to surprise me they could get my first means of transport – a yellow Puch Moped MZ 50 which I got new in 1976 registration R 915 SYA to get to school on, which my parents thought would save them money on bus costs, it didn’t as they had to pay the finance for the moped even in the holidays. Or my red Suzuki GT 500 motorbike which I bought from Pat Hosburgh, two days before passing my car driving test,  or my Suzuki GS 750 which I stormed up the A38 from Taunton to Bristol on and sold because of the huge cost of the insurance.

Or cars:  my first car – a blue Mini Clubman which crabbed (I don’t think so), or my MG Midget (better though the person I sold it too wrote it off two weeks after I sold it to him, luckily he or his passenger was killed as it ended up on its roof), or best of all my MGB GT – registration I can’t recall right now but started with a K and ended YAW, unusually it’s a Cobra fronted MGB GT Mark II which had the later MK III grill fitted after I had it repaired after the front was smashed in completely when a labrador dog jumped from a hedge on the side of the road directly into my path when I was travelling at 60 mph on the A378 one Summer evening, going home to Taunton from Curry Rivel, just next to Fivehead Service Station. I can remember breaking violently with the dog stuck under the front of the car for a long time before the car stopped. I made the claim for the repair through my own insurance after the dog’s owner refused to make any contribution saying to lose her dog was enough; which looking back I think she was right.

And of course there is my first oven cleaning van, my Ford Transit Connect which I bought brand new in 2004. Though really I wouldn’t want to see that again – two failed engines, one fixed under warranty, but the other one at 117,000 caused me to write it off and sell it to a garage for £500. We nearly went out of business at the time as my other Ford Transit’s engine failed at the same time. So we were faced with two engine replacements at a cost of £3000 for each van. We decided to keep the newer van and scrap the older van.

All that frustration and angst with Ford dealerships, poor service, scruffy service garages, queues at the service desk ; I’d never go near a Ford again. It is probably still out there but I don’t want it back!

Jul 20

Look A New AGA: Pimped Up With Bling

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

AGA have just brought out a New Look AGA model. The changes are aesthetic and they have basically blinged the old style up. This new styling is only available on the AGA Total Control and AGAaga new look Dual Control cookers. Both have three ovens. Available in 12 colours but I like aubergine.

So what are the changes to the ordinary design? Well there are six, in AGA’s words

1. NEW handrail Stunningly sleek and tactile, the stainless steel New Look AGA handrail features redesigned brackets made from chrome-plated aluminium.

2. NEW hotplate handles Consumers now have a choice between the original chrome-plated handles or a statement-making new design made from nylon-coated steel.

3. NEW badge The New Look AGA badge is made from chrome-plated zinc alloy and is recognisably AGA. It looks fantastic and it’s high-shine finish makes this new model really zing.

4. NEW door plate A stainless steel plate has been added to the front of the New Look AGA, which works brilliantly with the revised, stainless steel door catches.

5. NEW door hinges While the doors remain the same as those on all AGA cookers, the New Look AGA features a hinge lug spring in chrome-plated zinc alloy.

6.NEW base plinth The chrome-plated plinth fascia makes a real style statement. Traditionally it was black, but this new metal finish offers a completely differ

Generally I like where they have gone with this, the last thing that AGA did anything like this was for the Millinienum edition AGA and it was less bling then. It looks modern and also a bit retro. I particularly like the badge. All together the new bits do add and make a statement for a modern kitchen which is what I think they are aiming at here.

For an AGA cleaners point of view I hope the new chrome bits on the hinges don’t make it more difficult to get the oven doors off.

If I was buying a new AGA tomorrow and I had the £10K to buy one. I’d buy the AGA Dual Control in Aubergine. Why not the AGA Total Control? Well it really isn’t a proper AGA as such (not on all the time so no radiant heat, no proper flue outlet like all other AGAs have, and people are still having problems with them, condensation, venting, electrics. I don’t think AGA have got the design right as the AGA was never designed to be switched on an off for convenience. The AGA Dual Control on the other hand is a refined AGA with the complicated electrical bits removed that were problematic in the 13 Amp AGA, the top plate design of the AGA TC, and has excellent ECO feature to reduce running costs which I apparently are around £14 a week. So for me it is the AGA to go for. They look great, I saw one in Spillers of Chard showroom the other week. I was surprised that you can get the add on bit to make it like a 4 oven AGA, but as the Dual Control has three ovens in the main bit it makes it a 5 oven AGA. The ovens on the left 4 and 5 are heated up by an electric element that is in the back of the oven, with a switch on the front.

AGA New Look brochure download click here

Photo used from this page http://www.agaliving.com/our-products/aga-range-cookers/aga-dual-control/aga-new-look

Jul 20

Summer Interest in OvenGleamers Franchise Opportunity

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

It’s really hot weather at the moment and our franchise is heating up too. My wife Catherine has just given me a list of the those people who are still very keen to see us at one of our open days, it’s quite a few. We still have a few people considering going ahead with us to the extent of we could be hearing from them soon about starting. So in all very encouraging and we are excited about getting new franchisees started soon. On the online marketing front I’m doing some tests at the moment on a couple of platforms, and we are getting some great results. So I’m looking forward to the new challenges in the franchise areas.

So if you would like to join the people who we are going to be seeing in the week starting 21st July 2014 please give us a ring now to book your place:

01275 370571

 

 

Jul 11

Clean Your Oven

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Whilst checking to see if my new OvenGleamers franchisees ads were running I found this video in YouTube called Clean Your Oven. It has been put together by Hampshire College students for Hampshire College students; that is Hampshire College in Amherst USA. I thought it was very good.

Basically highlighting that the task of cleaning the oven is something that the students should keep on top of as they will be setting the fire alarm off and causing the local Fire Service some aggro in attending for a non fire event. They missed out a bit which I would have added and that is that most of the time the reason for the oven smoking is a build up of grease on the top of the oven, either on or above the grill element. These can be difficult to clean though.


In this video it shows the speed of how a fire can take, especially if the fire detector has been covered over.

I’ve been in invited in the past to talk to students, who have just moved into halls of residence at a local university and the fire brigade representation spoke on similiar lines to this that the Fire Brigade might find it difficult to respond and get to the fire quick enough to put out any fires. So keeping the oven nice and clean is the way to go, especially the extractor paper which needs to be changed regularly to stop it greasing up and becoming like a wick that will light very easily.

Jul 08

Elicia Celestial Extrator – I can’t believe it’s an extractor!

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

One of our guys had a single oven, hob and extractor to clean but when it came to finding the extractor he couldn’t see it! He asked the client where was the extractor and she said there it is right in front of you.elicia celestial kitchen extractor

The reason he didn’t see it was because it didn’t look like an extractor but looked like a light fitting, more a disco light ball than an extractor.

The extractor that looks like a disco ball is an Elicia Celestial Extractor made of glass and stainless steel and retails at about £1800 and if you’d like a remote control its an extra £149 though some retailers are throwing this in as a freebie. It really does look like a very posh light fitting and nothing like an extractor.

To clean it was a bit for a phaff, the sides came off in sections, six sections each holding multiple glass panels, and he gently cleaned each one with a cloth. I’m not sure what you are going to do with these if they are really greasy.  I think it is going to be a bit of a job, as you are going to have either clean them with a good grease remover, which I don’t think will do a thorough enough job as you won’t be able to rub the glass bits, or have a go at dipping each of the sections, which again may be both tricky and risky. I can’t see it being cheap to replace one of the strips of glass if it gets accidentally broken.

So I’m thinking a totally impractical extractor which we will probably refuse to clean if its too dirty because of fear of breaking it. And the possibility of them getting greasy I think is quite high as I don’t think its going to be much good as an extractor. It only has a very small fan inlet at the bottom of it which certainly isn’t wide enough to extract over the full width of your single oven. And it doesn’t extract anywhere, that is there are no extractor ducting to take the smells outside. So it probably contains some carbon in the filter and its main use is to extract smells only, which is confirmed in the spec for it where it says contains 8 odour filters. If you have a fry up the glass is going to be completely coated in grease. Though if you are quick you can get your step ladder and whip off the side panels and put the ‘washable’ panels in the sink to get it off. I think for the demographic this extractor this is aimed there will be a fat chance of that happening!

 

One of our franchisees got one too the other day. He phoned our man who had already cleaned one. In the end he didn’t take the sides off but just cleaned the extractor bit at the bottom, which comes off and can be dipped.

Jul 07

Is The Parked Up OvenGleam van in Bristol working Graham?

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

I parked one of my old vans in Bristol right next to the busy road in Bristol where all the commuter traffic pass each day a few weeks back. It’s an OvenGleam sign written van and it’s sat there all nice and clean.

Oven cleaning vans oven gleam

Oven cleaning vans oven gleam (Photo credit: GrahamRogersOnline)

Have we had any business from this van? Well I’m not sure but we may have, nobody has said I saw your van parked next to the road in the place where it is. Though the other day I talk a call from a lady and I asked her where she got our number from she was a bit vague and said she had either seen a van or friend had recommended us. So I’m guessing she had a piece of paper in her hand with our number on and she was unsure where she was when she had written the number on it, or perhaps her husband had given it to her.

I’m guessing it may be working. The van is parked in not just a busy place but a very busy place and cars pass it every day, slowly, as the queue on their way to work. So subliminally I think it might be working. The placement of the van combined with the other advertising we are doing contributes to getting people to phone us.

But anyway it isn’t costing us anything and it is worth keeping there for the time been. The value of the advertising is more than the worth of the van, which after eight years and 110,000 miles is going to be low. Where I’m parking it there are paid advertising vans there too, for example Spec Savers sign written van, and I’m guessing that this isn’t cheap to pay for this to be done for you.

If you see it and can tell us where you have seen it we will give you a free gift – A Cooking Book – if you book your oven in for a clean.  Just say OvenGleam Prize when booking your oven in oven for a gleam. Ring us on 01275 370571

Jul 05

New Oven Cleaning Dip Tank

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

I’ve heard through the grape vine that one of my competitors, that is franchise company competitor, is looking at changing from their gas heated

electric oven cleaning dip tank

English: A typical heated pizza bag, with a plug at the bottom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

dipping tank to an electrically heated dip tank in the next few months. I’m wondering if they have been feeling the heat of my sales video which sort of lays out the disadvantages of using a gas heated tank rather than an electrically heated one. That is danger of using the gas, and the length that each job takes. see oven cleaning franchise opportunity They’ve been using one since they started which I think was over twenty years ago.

So its going to be a big change for them as they are going to have a new way of operating completely, that is no more going into the house at the start of the job to get the water from the client, no more throwing the dirty water into people’s flower beds at the end of the jobs, no more having to spend all day on the jobs they are doing, a new operating manual.

So now its a case of what is that tank going to look like, I’ve just got a new design tank myself, and it looks a lot different to the ones you may have seen in my videos. It has got some new key features which has some benefits over the old design, it’s easier to use, stays hotter longer … you’ll only be able to find out if you visit us on one of our Franchise Open Days here in Bristol 🙂

Jul 04

Sales Calls Bother

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

I’m in the office this week taking calls, doing holiday cover,  rather than doing the internet marketing stuff I normally do. The Summer weather has been fantastic

BT Tower in London

BT Tower in London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and our new office has lots of glass and as I’ve been sitting in our call centre bit I’ve been boiling hot.

And it’s been a particularly hot week for sales, I’m not sure whats happened, its always good but it’s suddenly got even better and we’ve being doing roaring business everyday. Perhaps the weather does affect people!

I’ve been struck though by the number of sales calls we get, that is people trying to flog stuff to us and our franchisees, business to business sales calls. In the last two days I’ve had calls from people who said they were following up on the ‘conversation’ we had last month, though I couldn’t remember the conversation, and as I normally work from home I’m sure we didn’t have the conversation! One company made me think they were something to do with BT as they were called GT and they said they were working with BT Open reach on our exchange. As we’ve had problems with our exchange I spoke to him, but when I told him that we now owned our telephone system he told me that he had nothing to offer us!! Hows that for using a confusing name and reference to another company to blag yourself through to the key person?

The thing is its a numbers game and I’m sure that they get business out of the calls it’s just very infurating when you are small business owner being bothered by all these people. So usually as I’m not answering the calls our ladies, our ‘Gate Keepers’ who answer the phone have become very good at  stopping the calls getting to either me or my wife, they say sorry he’s not here, he’s in a meeting, he’s out etc. Also we do the same for the franchisees, and they ask  could they put it into writing by sending an email. Seems to work just fine.

This week we’ve had ‘get you to the top of Google calls’, new phone system for you office calls x2, new business telephone rates x2,  radio advertising call, van sales enquiries etc.

 

 

Jul 03

How Do I know What Oven Model That Is?

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

When people phone up to book in their ovens with us they sometimes say it’s such and such model and they even walk into the kitchen to see what model it is. If I’m answering the phone, like I have been this week, it’s a case of

microwave oven door detail

microwave oven door detail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

what? I know AGA models pretty well but for others I just tend to remember the manufacturer. So for example a NEFF standard or double, A Belling range etc. We’ve got a process in place where we ask the enquirer what the layout of the cooker is, and we nearly always find the correct layout of the cooker so we can give the quote. So we ask them the right questions to find out what their cooker is so we can give them the right price.

We really only need to know the exact model when a replacement part needs to be sourced. Say the seal has broken, or the light bulb cover has gone missing, or the hinges on door need replacing. Then it’s a case of finding the little silver ‘type’ plate that gives the model number, the serial number, etc. These are located sometimes on the door frame and sometimes on the inside of a warming door (on 90cm ranges). In the past when I have been cleaning an oven and I’ve seen the ‘type’ plate all dirty I’ve taken it off; guess what happens next? I’ve broken something and I’ve had to make an spare part order but where’s the model number??

A lot of people keep the manual for the oven in a draw in their kitchen, I know this as I sometimes get shown it – when I tell them that we don’t usually take that door apart, for example the last time it happened was when we were cleaning a NEFF Slide and Hide single oven. The lady said that he told you how to do it in the manual and produced it. We did take off the door in the end and clean the glass. I’ve done a training video on it – I’ll upload it soon.

Jul 02

Oven Gleamers Cleaning Fareham is Go

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

I spent last week out with Matt Owen as he was doing is was finishing off his  franchise training. So it was a case of going out with him on jobs

oven cleaning fareham

IMG_5609 (Photo credit: Peter Black2007)

and ensuring he could cope with the jobs we had.  It was all straight forward with Matt because of his previous  hands on experience of putting cars together and  racing Lawn Mowers; so he has had the advantage of being practical and therefore hasn’t had the sort of handling problems new franchisees   normally have with hinges and other bits and pieces, he learnt very quickly. So its just be a case of learning the processes we use and getting experience of the cleans.

 

We had some tough jobs though, a very dirty range, and an extremely dirty single oven range and extractor. But they all looked like new at the end of the job, as you would expect. On his ‘sign off job’ we used his van which has the new OvenGleamers oven cleaning dip tank that I have designed. It is a big improvement over the old one and I have been pretty excited about it.

 

His wife joined us at the end of the week for the business training with my wife Catherine and then they drove their OvenGleamers van, fully loaded up with the oven cleaning supplies we supply,  back to Fareham on the Friday. All set and ready to go.This week, as I write this on Wednesday, he has had seven jobs booked in producing a revenue of just under £700 so an approx average of £100 a job.  So not a bad start and it means the launch marketing we are doing in the area is working!

For oven cleaning fareham please give us a ring on

01489 23 23 22

We clean all type of oven including AGAs and AGA type cookers. We also clean all range cookers, extractors, hobs, and BBQs.