An established franchisor details what his franchisees get for their investment - and why
Many people who are attracted to running a franchise have a long-held ambition to be their own boss and a desire to generate a decent income in return for their hard work.
For some, it’s a lifestyle choice; they wish to adapt their working life to fit around their home life, rather than the other way around.
Whatever the motivation, most have little to no practical experience of running a business and this can be hugely daunting.
Those who do have previous experience often find themselves heading down the franchise route because their former ventures did not quite go to plan. That might be due to a lack of expertise in a key area, their product or service not being quite right or just sheer bad luck.
Main advantage: extensive training and support
I would argue that the main advantage of buying a franchise is the extensive level of support on offer, something no start-up could ever hope to afford or access.
Franchisees receive a comprehensive training package and enjoy back up from a major brand that is built upon tried and tested products and procedures. From the start, we do everything possible to ensure that they are set for success.
Ovenu is the world’s largest network of locally-based, franchised oven cleaning and valeting experts who are recognised for their outstanding level of customer service.
Our technicians have earned more than 26,000 of the highest five-star ratings on review site TRUSTist, so it’s no surprise that much of our business is founded on repeat custom. That is the benefit of joining such a powerful and recognisable brand.
In return, Ovenu’s foundation franchise costs £9,950 (plus VAT) and the standard franchise, which comes with a larger territory, costs £15,900 (plus VAT).
Sharing of knowledge and expertise
What do you receive for your money? I believe our franchise package is the most comprehensive in the sector and part of its success is founded on my commitment to share the company’s 26 years of knowledge and expertise.
Firstly, all franchisees attend a five-day induction course and no prior experience is needed. This not only ensures each one is thoroughly trained in how to clean and valet a cooking appliance, but also that they gain the necessary marketing, pricing, bookkeeping and data storage knowledge to run a successful and profitable business.
They’re also equipped with everything they require to produce world class results, including all the tools, and we even ensure vehicles are professionally sign written to ensure corporate uniformity.
In addition, we supply enough of our bespoke products and quality consumables for the franchisee’s first three months of trading. The core eco-friendly product range, costing just three percent of turnover, is unique and meets all current legislation and health and safety requirements, reflecting Ovenu’s sustainable ethos.
Sales leads and marketing assistance
Using our proven systems, franchisees receive direct sales leads to quickly generate turnover and profits.
There is the potential for each franchisee to generate turnover of well over £1,100 a week and many go on to expand their businesses, run extra vans and make even more money. We also put together a digital marketing campaign across a range of platforms to support sales and customer engagement.
Keeping franchisees ahead of the competition
Franchises must always look to innovate. An investment of more than £15,000 in the mid-2000s allowed Ovenu to build autonomous websites for each of its franchises, allowing customers to contact them directly.
The network has also introduced a centralised 0800 freephone number for prospective clients to call as an alternative, with a facility to route all calls directly to franchisees.
Ovenu has kept ahead of its competitors by constantly reinvesting in the business and is currently on version six of its consumer website and version three of its franchisee recruitment site.
As well as tracking and managing customer interaction and prospects, our bespoke and cost-effective CRM system also contains the Ovenu manual as well as a range of selfhelp documents and videos that franchisees can turn to if they need further support. It also doubles as an excellent communication channel and allows everyone to keep up to date.
An ongoing investment in people
However, the most important aspect of any franchise is its people, especially in the oven valeting business, where our franchisees are crucial to ensuring we continue to deliver the highest standards of customer service.
They remain the best possible adverts for the business and as a result must believe in the product and feel invested in, and appreciated by, the business.
That is why we hold both regional and national conferences. I personally look forward to meeting and speaking with the more than 100 Ovenu franchisees in the UK, most of whom are sole traders.
It’s vital to both listen and learn if the business is to continue to move forward and for our franchisees to communicate with one another. This element proved itself through the initial coronavirus lockdown period, when our businesses temporarily closed.
I took the decision to hold regular Zoom meetings with franchisees and they’ve been so popular I’m considering continuing the practice even once the pandemic is under control.
It has allowed those who normally operate in their own little bubble to communicate, exchange ideas and, above all, support one another through these most challenging of times.
The result has been that Ovenu franchisees have an even stronger affinity with the brand and encourages long-term commitment, which really is worth pursuing.
Money well spent
6 ingredients of a first class franchise
1. Comprehensive training.
2. Back-up from an established brand.
3. Tried and tested procedures.
4. Marketing assistance and client leads.
5. Cutting edge products and services.
6. A culture of collaboration and support.
Rik Hellewell is managing director of Ovenu