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2011 was a fabulous year for us although we had to work the hardest we've ever had to work in the office to get the guys all fully booked up. We had a few very quiet days but this made us change some things we do. So we did some things differently and worked out some new ways to market our business and get the jobs booked in, and it worked really well!
So we went to five guys working for us in May. We then had our best quarter ever in our history with a huge quarterly turnover, though we didn't like the VAT bill! And the newest guy left and we were back to four plus me which we are staying at for the forseeable future. So I ended up doing lots of AGA cleans.
We changed the way we take payments. We now only take payment by card in advance. The reason we changed this was we were becoming increasing concerned about the potential risk our guys were taking carrying around the takings they were getting. Also the cheque guarantee card was withdrawn in July and because of this we could see the demise of the cheque so thought it would be a good idea to pre empt this and take card payments only immediately. Also on two occassions in two days we'd turned up at jobs and the customer had said "sorry not today"! So as both were big jobs we lost the money.
With OvenGleamers things took off and we sold another four franchise areas – and we have three more sold in the first couple of weeks in January 2012. We now have got our van fit process right, the oven cleaning dip tank spec right (they are now built by our own manufacturer to my spec so they aren't obtained elsewhere), the business launch right and everything has come together very well.
We changed the ovengleam.com site again, now with the OvenGleamers logo and with a search box so people can search on postcodes to find out if we cover their area. The franchisees also get theeir own sites and videos.
Also our social media went wild. This blog went through the 60,000 page views barrier. My videos on Youtube had just under 20,000 views.
The OvenGleam van of the year 2012 winner for OvenGleam was Nigel and the employee of the year 2011 was Matt.