Image by garlandcannon via Flickr
1. You will need some sort of van to get to the work. I would say that it would be best to get the newest one that you can afford and also the one with the most doors. More side doors especially help considerably in the day to day running of your business. I have used Citreon Berlingos, Peugeot Partners (same van as Berlingo) and Daihatsu Extols. Our current van of choice is the Mercedes Citan 109CDI which is the one all new franchisees now get.
2. You need some way to heat up a solution in the van, the reason for this is that you need some way of removing the thick grease when it on the oven racks and removable panels. The most common way of doing this is to have a oven cleaning dip tank in the van with a hot solution in it. When the bits are put in and left to soak for a while the grease will come away and they will be restored as new. There are two ways of doing this, using a metal dip tank that is heated up using a gas burner, or using a electrically heated plastic tank. The trend has been for most people go for a calor gas type burner and a stainless steel tray of some sort. There is a common metal design ‘oven cleaning tank’ which has a lid and somewhere for the calor gas bottle to go. Really for me I don’t think this method is safe, for example put into Google “oven cleaning van explosion” and takes a lot of time of the working day to manage.
We don’t use this method, we use something that is a lot safer and easier to use and allows us to do more jobs per day, our tank is heated up at the start of the day by plugging it into the mains and then the tank stays at the correct operating temperature all day without further heating. So stays HOT ALL DAY without further heating during the day. The reason it stays hot is the plastic tank is fully insulated and it’s like a vacuum flask. This means less time messing around with flames, gas bottles, boiling water in the back of the van during the day. You can get jobs done a lot quicker and in a safe way.
3. You need insurance. You need some sort of liability insurance for yourself and also some van insurance for the vehicle. You will need to mention that it is an oven cleaning business. Some insurances stipulate that you can’t heat up in the back of the van if you have the calor burner. This is because if there is a leak or you forget to turn it off you can get a build up of gas in the van and this is very dangerous. This is why you see oven cleaning guys ‘heating up’ on the side of the road.
4. You need to know the method of taking the doors apart and other parts of the ovens and putting them back together correctly. There have been occasions, when I first started, where I have been in blind panic trying to get something back together! For this you’ll need a basic tool kit.
5. You need to have a method of cleaning the ovens. Some cleaning companies put on a gel and the oven needs to be hot for this. Basically this is a caustic gel and I wouldn’t recommend this method at all as you get burnt and the stuff does irritate your nose even though it is relatively odourless and can hurt on your skin too. We don’t use this method and use a vegetable paste instead. It’s a lot safer and easier to use. You still need a method of working though as just using the paste won’t sort the oven on its own. So you will need a set of cleaning products and tools to do the job.
6. You need to run a proper business. This means you are going to have to advertise for work,answer phone calls, book people in for the jobs, turn up on time, do a good job and then deal with any problems etc. You will need to look after your own accounts and have a proper record of everything you do.
We have our own specialist software which we use and it helps to maintain customer contact and means more repeat business, we take payment in advance for our franchisees and also make bookings directly into their daily schedule. We market extensively nationally especially on YouTube and Facebook.Google+