Diamond Home Support was founded as a domestic cleaning franchise by Andrew Watton in Sittingbourne in 2011. Watton, a mentor with The Prince’s Trust, expanded the business quickly over the next few years, sometimes adding three, four or five franchisees a month until the network reached over 70 franchisees in the UK.
As well as the standard domestic services of cleaning and ironing, it was always Watton’s plan to expand into other service areas to ensure that while franchisees were growing their businesses locally, Diamond Home Support was also working to grow their businesses centrally. In February 2012, they launched a home assist service with an additional range of services, and added a gardening, weeding and pruning service in 2013.
“At Diamond Home Support we’ve reduced the financial risk by lowering start-up fees and monthly fees to an absolute minimum. That allows our franchisees to enter into business with vastly reduced risk,” Watton said at the time. “Secondly, by continually improving the model and increasing the range of services that our franchisees can offer we are widening the opportunities for our franchisees to grow.”
Diamond Home Support was rewarded with a 5 Star Franchisee Satisfaction 2018 by Smith+Henderson based on positive feedback from its network, and was a finalist in the Business to Consumer category of The Best Franchise Awards 2018.
What services does Domestic Home Support Offer?
Diamond Home Support offers three broad income streams:
Domestic Cleaning and Ironing: “We offer a comprehensive domestic cleaning service across most of the UK. In the main that means a regular weekly or fortnightly cleaning service. Whether you are a busy professional, or a family looking to buy back time, or you are elderly and trying to stay independent, we can help you. We do not provide a rigid list of jobs that our cleaners carry out because we recognise that every client is an individual and will have differing needs.”
Home Help: “Some of our local offices also offer our Home Assist Service for the elderly. This service is very much like the old-style home help service. This might be laundry, bed making, cleaning, ironing, shopping, accompanying to appointments, or even just someone to pop in for a cup of tea and check everything is OK. It helps clients to stay independent in their own home. We can provide a wide range of services to help clients with that little extra support around the home. Please note that we cannot offer personal care (e.g. washing and dressing).”
Gardening: “Some of our local offices also offer a basic gardening service. This might be grass cutting, pruning, weeding, tidying, sweeping, planting, etc. If you need a little help from time to time to cut the grass, trim the hedge, do some weeding or planting then this service may be for you.”
In some areas Diamond Home Support also offers carpet cleaning, either directly from some of its local offices or in partnership with On Demand Carpet Cleaning.
How does the Diamond Home Support franchise work?
Diamond Home Support has a very low start-up fee — just £2,495 plus VAT — which includes everything you will need to get started. As well as offering support and training, Diamond Home Support also provide some six months initial marketing to help you get started. Diamond Home Support has a modern and progressive approach to marketing and training. This is reflected in its franchise package which offers prospective franchisees all they will need to start cleaning, home help and gardening services in their local area.
If you are looking for a business opportunity that is based on a real service-based industry, then cleaning and domestic support management may be for you. Franchisees are the middle man, finding self-employed workers who can provide the services to offer and then match them with clients who are looking for someone to provide those services for them.
A Diamond Home Support franchise can be run from home and all you need is a computer, a phone and a little storage space for leaflets.
The monthly fee is not based on your turnover, rather, Diamond Home Support has a low, fixed monthly fee which is introduced in month three. This is the amount that is paid for the first five years regardless of how large the business grows. “We do not penalise your success,” say Diamond.
What support and training does Diamond Home Support offer?
The franchise cost covers an entire business package which includes a territory of approximately 100,000 domestic households; operations manuals with step-by-step guidance on how to replicate our business in your area — Diamond still runs its original Sittingbourne business; a unique, 100-page book Our Pathway to Success; modern marketing material and strategies; 15,000 A6 flyers, posters and pens, and six months of Google Adwords marketing and search engine optimisation.
The training also covers the bespoke online database application that will help the franchisee run and manage their business; advice and contracts for banking and insurance; access to the franchisee intranet, forms, contracts and stationary templates and templates for cleaner and client and payment records. The franchisee will be added to the Diamond Home Support website — relaunched in 2015 in a new customer-friendly format — and a corporate email address.
Training for the franchise is ongoing and there are numerous online training videos available to franchisees as well as regular webinar training sessions. There is also an active franchisee forum and telephone and email support is always available.
The Home Assist and Gardening Services have their own manuals, contract templates, marketing collateral, etc.
What makes Diamond Home Support different to other cleaning franchises?
Diamond Home Support franchisees can take advantage of three separate steams of income — regular and one-off domestic cleaning (end of tenancy, spring cleans), ironing, gardening and domiciliary help, such as doing laundry, shopping, bed making, companionship and escorting to appointments. “That’s three businesses in one!” says Diamond. “Secondly, our start-up fee is low at just £2,495 +VAT. Finally we do not take a percentage of turnover, we have a low, fixed monthly fee (which starts in month three).
“The main cost will be marketing the business as well as recruiting workers. There are other overheads normally associated with running a home-based business such as telephone, etc. Therefore, once you have joined us, and have made a start, you will have the option to extend your territory if you wish (and if the area is available). Around a third of our network have done this.”
How does Diamond Home Support recruit workers and clients?
Diamond Home Support is always looking for reliable cleaners, home helpers and gardeners to service their clients throughout the UK. They have developed a variety of strategies and tools which are available to franchisees to help them look for people with experience of domestic cleaning, or care work, or gardening and who have two checkable references.
All its domestic service providers and tradespeople are vetted and insured to ensure the best service is delivered to customers. Diamond tries to provide the same reliable and experienced professional cleaner for every visit so that it can understand the client’s requirements and can offer a regular service made to meet each client’s needs. Diamond will endeavour to provide holiday and sick cover, and should you be unhappy with someone, the company will be replace them without question.
Diamond Home Support has been marketing to clients in the industry for years and, while it is the job of the franchisee to find new clients, Diamond Home Support can show them exactly what works — using cost effective, modern strategies — and what does not work, six months of marketing is included in the start-up package of the franchise.
What reassurances can Diamond Home Support offer?
“Buying into any franchise business is a big step,” says Diamond. “You are putting both your money and your time at risk and it is only natural to want to reduce the chance of failure as much as possible. Operating within a franchise business helps to reduce risk because you know that others have followed the model before you and so it is simply a case of following what others have done. In the case of our franchise business, we have a large number of franchisees all following the same model.
“We recently requested an independent consultant to survey our franchisees about what they thought of our franchise. We had a very high percentage of positive results and achieved an overall satisfaction rating 10 per cent above the industry average. As a result of this we won the 5 Star Franchisee Satisfaction Award and we were a finalist in the 2018 Best Franchise Awards. We are also in the the Top 100 Franchise List for 2019.”
What are Diamond Home Support’s terms of agreement and renewal?
The Diamond Home Support franchise licence runs for five years with an option of extending.
How in-demand are domestic cleaning and gardening right now?
Domestic cleaning and home help are both growth areas. Turnover for domestic cleaning has jumped by 21 per cent since 2010.
The home help sector is also growing due to the UK’s ageing population, with 873,500 people receiving domiciliary care in 2014/15, a figure expected to grow as the number of people over the age of 65 grows from 11.6m in 2015 to 17.3m in 2035.
Around three quarters of all UK adults have a garden or allotment, with The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) Garden Retail Market Analysis reporting that £1.7bn was spent in 2016 on garden care and another £2.4bn on garden leisure and plants and spending is expected to grow by 8.6 per cent in 2018-23, according to The UK DIY & Gardening Market 2018-2023.
How can I get started on setting up my own cleaning management business?
Diamond Home Support offers a low initial investment entry into the domestic cleaning management business. To find out more, or to request further information on franchising with Diamond Home Support, click on the ‘Send Enquiry’ button now.
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