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Safeclean is a carpet and upholstery cleaning company that also tackles a range of other cleaning options, including stain removal and protection, curtain and mattress cleaning, specialist rug cleaning, deodorisation and sanitation, hard floor cleaning, and specialised allergy treatments that help eradicate substances that can inflame or cause asthma and allergies.
Safeclean businesses range from sole traders with a single territory, to management franchisees who occupy over five territories and employ a whole team of technicians.
What is Safeclean’s background?
The company has a family history that can be dated back to 1806 America when a paint dealership was established in Boston, Massachusetts - the company became known as Valspar in 1932, named after a popular brand of clear varnish the business first introduced in 1905. Today the Valspar Corporation is the sixth largest paint and coating corporation in the world.
Valspar Paints Ltd. has existed in the UK since at least 1960 and is nowadays part of Guardsman Industries Ltd., which has been supplying products and services for the protection of furniture since 1915.
Safeclean, was established in 1965 by Desmond Cook, a sole trader who developed the company into a network that now has 44 franchisees around the UK. The company began a close relationship with global furniture protection plan providers Guardsman in 1986, and was taken over by the company in 1991, creating Safeclean by Guardsman.
The carpet and upholstery cleaning company then had access to over 2m households whose furniture is cared for and repaired by Guardsman, and their partnerships with leading furniture retailers Furniture Village, DFS and Laura Ashley. Safeclean provides spot and stain removal for these plans, while also operating their own independent cleaning services.
Working with Guardsman is a mutually beneficial relationship as it means Safeclean franchisees have access to customers from day one.
Safeclean provides high-quality cleaning services to homeowners and commercial properties. The van-based franchise offers its owners the ability to run their own business with a hands-on approach as a sole trader responding to call-outs throughout their designated territory, or the option to take it on as a management franchise, employing others to run multiple vans.
Much of the business is repeat custom — by the second year the franchisee should be aiming at 80 per cent repeat business. A Safeclean territory is allocated on a postcode basis to each of its cleaning technicians, a typical territory containing 100,000 households and approximately 7,000 Guardsman policyholders to which they have exclusive rights. Guardsman policyholders may account for 5-10 per cent of the franchisees income.
Franchisees hoping to invest in Safeclean must have a minimum working capital of £10,000, while the typical initial investment of £19,995 (plus VAT).
A basic level management service fee is charged at £550 a month or 11 per cent of turnover, although fees are agreed on a one-to-one basis.
What support and training does Safeclean offer?
The successful franchisee will be offered 2-3 weeks of residential training at the company’s head office. This will cover everything from carpet and fabric cleaning to the technical, administrative, strategic and marketing aspects of the business that you will need to make a success of your franchise - it will also introduce you to the chemicals, tools, and equipment you will be using.
Once the theory is understood, a day of practical work is undertaken shadowing an experienced Safeclean professional in the field to get a feel for day-to-day operations.
To help boost confidence in your early days, you will receive a visit from a dedicated Field Support Manager with over 20 years of experience in franchising, who will assist in the completion of a comprehensive Business and Marketing plan. They will remain available to mentor and support you in the initial weeks and throughout your franchise term. After a month, franchisees will undertake a further two days recall training, including a machine maintenance course.
Safeclean also offers employee training, encouraging franchisees to expand their business and take on a managerial role once their business is established.
“Whilst experience with a technical/business background would be great, it is not essential,” says Safeclean. “Once launched, Safeclean are committed to making sure everyone in the network feels supported, that’s why there are a multitude of courses available throughout the year for all franchisees, free of charge.”
Safeclean will supply the franchisee with a bespoke website complete with contact form, a freephone number and Safeclean email address localised to you, ensuring that franchisees benefit fully from the Safeclean brand. Marketing collateral is supplied centrally to help you integrate your campaign.
Quarterly forums and an annual business conference, with speakers, workshops and an evening celebration, help spread ideas and suggest ways to develop your business.
What other services and resources do you receive as part of your franchise fee investment?
As well as an exclusive territory, each franchisee is given three months’ supply of cleaning products, a deposit on a fully liveried and fitted van, branded uniforms, and six months centralised mailing.
Your bespoke website — desktop and mobile ready — will be supported by a central website a customised in-house system will be installed on your computer to handle operating and customer management.
Marketing collateral includes a Google Adwords package and personalised business stationary.
No management service charge for the first six months trading.
What is Safeclean looking for in a franchisee?
According to Safeclean: “the relationship between the franchisor and franchisee is very important and is a two-way process. It is vital that, as well as being the right match for you, you are the right match for us.”
The kind of franchisees Safeclean is looking for are people want to build a business; who recognise the need to commit time and energy to drive success; who have strong organisational and communication skills; who are eager to learn and continually develop skills and knowledge; who have a high level of personal integrity; and somebody who is “a people person”.
Anybody with the drive to succeed can become a franchisee. You do not need to have a background in cleaning as Safeclean will train you in everything you need to know.
Where are Safeclean’s offices located?
Barnsley, Belfast, Bournemouth & Poole, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff & Bridgend, Chatham & Ashford, Cheadle, Chelmsford & Colchester, Cheltenham & Cotswolds, Chesterfield, Chigwell, Coventry, Crewe, Dartford & Bromley, Derby, Ealing, Glossop & Buxton, Great Yarmouth & Norwich, Guildford, Harrogate, Harrow, Head Office, High Wycombe, Hillingdon, Ilford, Ipswich, Kernow, Kingston Upon Thames, Leeds, Leicester, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, Milton Keynes & Bicester, Nantwich & Wrexham, Newcastle, Newton Abbott, North Kent, North London, Nottingham, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Rotherham, Sheffield, South Essex & Havering, Southampton, St. Albans, Stafford & Newcastle under Lyme, Stockport, Stopsley, Tyne Tees, Wakefield, Walsall, Wandsworth, West Midlands, Westminster, Wolverhampton and Worthing & Newhaven.
What are Safeclean’s terms of agreement and renewal?
A Safeclean franchise runs for an initial period of five years. However, at the end of this period, the franchise can be renewed at no extra cost.
How in-demand are cleaning services right now?
The British Cleaning Council industry report for 2017 revealed that the cleaning industry contributed nearly £24.4bn to the UK economy in 2015, turnover having increased 21 per cent since 2010.
TV programmes like How Clean Is Your House? with Aggie MacKenzie and Kim Woodburn, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners and Britain’s Biggest Hoarders have revealed just how dirty a home can get, and domestic cleaning levels are on the rise, thanks to millennials, with 16 per cent of under-35s having a cleaner compared to 9 per cent for older age groups.
Carpets remain the most common form of floor-covering, an AMA Research report revealing they hold the largest share in value terms at around 56 per cent in 2016.
How can I get started on setting up my own cleaning service?
The first step you will need to take is to talk to our National Franchise Manager and come along to one of our Discovery Days. To find out more, or to request further information on franchising with Safeclean, click on the ‘Send Enquiry’ button now.
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