For these partners, a second business with Betterclean Services proved to be just the ticket to an ideal work-life balance
Liam Godwin was tired of working long hours that restricted the time he could spend with his young family. When he realised his colleague, Sam Pumford, was in a similar position, the entrepreneurial pair bonded over their desire to take control of their work-life balance. After launching their own successful grounds and maintenance company, Sam and Liam decided they wanted to expand by adding a commercial cleaning arm to the business. A Betterclean Services franchise presented itself as the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Born and raised in Birmingham, when Liam finished secondary school, he made the decision that he would not be staying on to take A Levels. Instead, he enrolled on an electrician course at his local college. After a few months of not enjoying his training, Liam decided that this wasn’t going to be the career choice for him and left.
Although he was unsure of where to go next, Liam made the firm decision that his future career would need to be something that would fulfil him. After an offer from a friend, Liam embarked on his first step into a maintenance career, gardening with a private company. He really enjoyed the role from the outset and spent his first few years in the trade honing his skills.
“I got great satisfaction from the work and it came at the perfect time for me, having just left college,” he says. “Throughout the years I was able to develop my skills and it was in 2014 that I started working with Sam. We had both been in the trade a few years, now had young families and had common interests, so we became friends quickly. However, we were both becoming increasingly exasperated at working long hours and not being able to spend time with our children at important stages of their lives.
“After Sam and I bonded over these discussions, we both reached the conclusion that we had come as far as we could working for somebody else. Working long hours, we just knew it wasn’t sustainable – the flexibility wasn’t there for us to have any kind of work-life balance. We recognised that there had to be a lifestyle change and by 2016, my wife and I had decided that we wanted to grow our family. So, Sam and I took the ultimate leap of faith and decided to set up on our own.”
In 2016, Sam and Liam set up their own grounds and maintenance company and grew the business to form a facilities management service. As the business began to develop, the pair decided they wanted to expand by adding a commercial cleaning offering. They began researching their options and the Betterclean Services franchise model stood out.
“If we were going to grow the cleaning side of our business alone there would be considerably more expenses, starting with having to buy all of the required specialist equipment. After much research, the franchising route seemed the best bet and we soon discovered that in terms of time, cost and expenses, Betterclean Services was the perfect solution for us.
“Their expertise, accreditations and reputation in the market put them down as the best option by miles. Their head of franchising, Mike Pinwell, was extremely transparent from the very beginning. It was that first conversation with Mike that originally sold us – we had been in discussions with other cleaning franchises but we just felt Mike and the team were so supportive. We knew if this support was combined with our own hard work, we could be successful as Betterclean Services franchise owners,” explains Liam.
Liam and business partner Sam launched Betterclean Services Birmingham in August 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. Due to stringent measures put in place by the team, they were still able to undergo their initial franchise training at head office in a COVID-secure environment.
All new franchise owners undertake thorough and wide-ranging training that ensures they are well equipped with essential knowledge, facts and comprehension to maximise the opportunities for their businesses. The all-inclusive programme focuses on understanding the market, selling Betterclean services and covers all sales and marketing and administrative systems.
“With a Betterclean Services franchise, the ongoing support is just brilliant. I am in contact with Mike once a week and he is always available for advice. We are also in contact with the other franchise owners and we know they are always there for advice too. The support system from both head office and the franchise network make us feel like we are part of something bigger,” he says.
Liam and Sam were able to continue work with the maintenance side of their company in a COVID-secure setting in order to earn a steady income whilst they prepared to launch their commercial cleaning services. The savvy duo started creating brand awareness within the community to generate new business enquiries. The pair are optimistic they will reap the rewards of this initial groundwork as restrictions ease.
“Even launching during the pandemic, we didn’t feel an initial pressure to start making sales as head office understood our plans. By dedicating the time to the initial groundwork that comes with starting a business, as restrictions ease, the future looks promising,” says Liam.
“We hope to turnover around £60,000 by the end of this year alone and we’re really looking forward to getting into the swing of running a commercial cleaning business. After launching during the pandemic, we are very much looking forward to getting out there, providing excellent services for our clients and building those relationships.
“I’m going to be running the cleaning side of the business with our Betterclean Services franchise and Sam will be operating the grounds and maintenance side which will work really well for us. Our dynamic works well due to the different aspects we enjoy working on – whether that’s quotes, managing staff or managing clients.”
In his spare time, Liam is focused on spending time with his wife and their young family. He particularly enjoys football with his seven-year-old son, a new football fanatic, and his two-year-old twins – whether that’s playing in the park together or all watching a football match on TV at home. Liam is looking forward to taking his children to their first games at a football ground soon.
“I’m really looking forward to gaining a stable work-life balance as a franchise owner. We’re really impressed with what we’ve managed to turnover so far despite all the obstacles the pandemic has tried to put in our way. We’ve created four new employment opportunities so far, so I’m very happy with our progress and our profits.
“Not only does this franchise offer me and Sam a better work-life balance but I think a franchise like Betterclean Services is potentially the easiest, quickest way to grow a sustainable income.”