In the Spring of 2005, Georgina and Leigh Prendiville discovered the frustration of trying to employ domestic cleaning company following the birth of their first child.
Thinking that others might be having the same experience in finding the flexible service that they wanted, the Prendivilles decided to start up their own domestic cleaning service and Domestique was born in July 2005.
Domestique offered its first residential cleaning franchise in 2010 and now has 30 domestic cleaning franchise owners across the United Kingdom.
Paul Wayt, having established his credentials with Midland Cleaning Services — launched as a business in 2001 and as a franchise operator offering contract cleaning opportunities in 2014 — became the director of Domestique in April 2015.
Each franchise of Domestique is a member of the Domestic Cleaning Alliance.
How does the Domestique franchise model work?
The franchise model was based on the techniques established in the years before the company took on its first franchisee. Hiring domestic cleaners is a growing trend, answering the demands of today’s busy lifestyles. According to an Esure survey, growth is being driven by busy millennials, with almost twice as many under-35s hiring domestic help compared to over-35s. 33 per cent of the 17m who pay for help with domestic chores say that it is simply easier to hire a professional to get the chores done properly.
Over 40,000 businesses operate in the cleaning industry, with the franchise sector making up a significant part of the market as cleaning is a relatively low-cost investment with few barriers to entry and can be run on a part-time or full-time basis. Should you choose, there is no need to undertake any of the cleaning yourself — as a commercial cleaning franchise owner you can hire staff on a self-employed basis, reducing the need for many obligations you would face with full-time staff.
The franchise owner has their own unique territory and will require few sales skills, as clients will contact you once you have established a marketing strategy — with Domestique offering pre-designed materials to help you advertise locally and paying for six months Google Adwords digital marketing.
A strong brand identity means that you may even wish to expand the business into other areas, including over cleaning, carpet cleaning and window cleaning, which can be offered as additional services.
All incoming calls, appointments and messages are handled centrally by the Domestique head office call centre.
What management fees are charged by Domestique?
The management flat fee is up to £150 + VAT per month for the basic package, up to £300 + VAT for premium, which covers a number of additional services that Domestique handle, including a dedicated franchisee website area and forum, access to, and use of, Domestique documentation, software, and ongoing training support.
“Although we clearly provide an enhanced level of support to our franchisees we still price the franchise surprisingly competitively,” says Domestique, “Our initial fee is lower than almost all of our competitors. We believe in making our money when you make yours. Our ongoing fees are very reasonable and at least a third of these are ploughed directly back into supporting you.”
What support and training does Domestique offer?
With five year’s experience offering everything from regular daily and weekly home cleaning to annual spring cleaning services, Domestique developed a business model that worked for the company, which it wishes to pass on to its franchise partners.
Franchise owners will be offered a full start-up instruction course to train them in the use of Domestique’s custom-made Management Information System. Business software will be tailored for your territory and you will receive up to 12 months with no management fees, allowing the franchisee to concentrate on establishing their business locally.
Domestique will create a website for the franchisee, provide a local phone number, and will provide all the software and marketing material requirements. Domestique also offers ongoing training and support, either over the phone, or in person at its head office in Sutton Coldfield. The brand also hosts bi-yearly franchisee meetings.
All potential employees are interviewed in their own homes and references are obtained and checked before any work is offered. Cleaners employed by the firm will be trained and will usually be allocated to a new client within three to 10 working days.
What services does Domestique offer?
The basic Domestique service is the employment of a trained, experienced cleaner to offer regular maintenance cleaning of domestic residences. They also offer one-off services, such as spring cleaning, and can recommend other services such as carpet and upholstery cleaners, window cleaners, oven cleaners and patio and driveway cleaners.
It is also possible to offer gardening services, as Domestique has obtained special rates through two well-known gardening companies. Domestique customers will benefit from special deals negotiated with the other suppliers.
What guarantees can you offer your customers?
Cleaning packages are tailor-made for each customer to suit their needs. Domestique is the only domestic cleaning company to offer a written quality guarantee and a promise to replace your cleaner should they disappoint.
Customers can be reassured that they will usually get the same cleaner every time. Some have had many year’s experience with Domestique, but even the newest employee will have had extensive training and support to ensure they meet the service standards of the company. Holiday cover can be provided.
All employees are covered for public liability and personal injury. Breakages are also covered, but the excess depends upon the cleaning package chosen by the customer. Employees are insured for all household work, but they are not insured for any work required outside the home.
Where does Domestique have franchises operating?
Aberdeen, St. Albans, Wokingham, Bracknell, Hampshire, Swindon, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Leighton Buzzard, Reading, Hertfordshire, Sutton Coldfield, Edinburgh, Elgin, Nuneaton, Knutsford, Cambridgeshire, Wiltshire, Oxford, Rugby, Banbury, Northampton, Selly Oak, Barnsley, Bangor (NI), Barnet, Solihull, North Surrey, Poole, Maldon, Dorking and High Wycombe.
What are Domestique’s terms of agreement and renewal?
The Domestique franchise runs for five years and has no renewal fees.
How in-demand are cleaning services right now?
The British Cleaning Council‘s cleaning and support services industry research from 2017 revealed that the cleaning industry was worth £24.4bn to the economy, with turnover growing 21 per cent between 2010-15.
The use of domestic cleaners has been rising for over a decade, increasing from 5m home to 6m homes in the 10 years to 2011. Demand for domestic cleaning has risen by 25 per cent in the past five years, with much of the growth coming from young professionals in one or two bedroom properties.
“Many people of all ages are turning to domestic cleaners to get back quality time that is lost to having long working hours, having a demanding family life, or just not being physically able to cope with domestic housework and its associated tasks,” says Domestique.
How can I get started on setting up my own cleaning service?
Domestique offers a comprehensive start-up training course. To find out more, or to request further information on franchising with Domestique, click the ‘Send Enquiry’ button now.
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