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“After 30 years in the force, it was time to be my own boss”

“After 30 years in the force, it was time to be my own boss”

Cleaning services franchise Zerodrytime has provided Phil Hewish with a new path after a career in the police

After retiring from a 30-year career with the police, Phil Hewish was looking for a means to supplement his pension income and occupy his time.

The idea of running his own business was attractive, as Phil explains: “Having been told what to do every working day of my life for over 30 years, it was time to be my own boss.”

Why franchising?

Franchising appealed to Phil as these opportunities are based around an already well-established business. He attended a franchise exhibition to research the brands and business types on offer.

“By the time I attended the exhibition, I knew I wanted a van-based franchise,” Phil says. “I wanted a business that would keep me active and away from a desk and one that allowed me complete control over my work schedule.”

Why Zerodrytime?

Phil explored the vehicle-based showcase feature at a franchise exhibition and was immediately drawn to the dry carpet and upholstery cleaning brand, Zerodrytime.

“I approached their stand, where I met David Muirhead and Dean Davis, who run the business,” he says.

“I must have taken up a good 90 minutes of their time, getting every detail of how the franchise network operated, the services offered and what would be required of me.

“It was invaluable speaking with them face-to-face to truly understand the business. Both David and Dean have years of hands-on experience in delivering the services their franchisees provide.

“The business was established in 2008 and has over 70 franchisees across the UK. I was impressed with the cleaning services Zerodrytime offered and the support that was available for all their franchisees.

“The support provided by head office with launching and marketing the business was so good, it really made getting my franchise off the ground feel easy.”

Life as a franchisee

A year into running his own business, Phil says: “Even though I’m in charge of my business, I still feel like I’m part of something bigger.

“Coming from such a tight-knit work environment as the police and always having worked as part of a team, it’s great to feel like I’m not alone.

“Zerodrytime head office is run by a team of supportive family and friends and this culture filters down through the franchise network. The franchisees are always in touch with each other, sharing support and advice.

“Zerodrytime offers several services now, from dry carpet cleaning to leather restoration. Some customers present us with challenging tasks, but you can feel confident saying ‘yes’ to jobs because you’ve got the experience and advice of head office and other franchisees to draw upon.”

Being your own boss

Phil explains what it’s like running his own business: “I’m enjoying being in charge of my own work schedule after all those years of having every shift pattern dictated.

“I’m now in a position where I can take a day off or book a holiday exactly when I want and I can go out at short notice or even spontaneously. I don’t have a set pattern and can work exactly when it suits me.

“Time with my family has expanded and my social life has really benefited since becoming a Zerodrytime franchisee.”

At a glance


May 2008

Number of franchised outlets:


Location of units:

across the UK

Investment range:

£24,950 (plus VAT)

Minimum required capital:

funding available


David Muirhead

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