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Homecare & Property Maintenance
About Wilkins Chimney Sweep
Low entry costs – comprehensive package includes liveried van and hands-on technical training. Award-winning training and support includes business plan assistance - achieve up to 65% bank funding. Low overheads and early positive cash flow – receive recurrent revenue from repeat business. Diverse, year-round business with multiple income streams – chimney sweeping in autumn/winter and cleaning patios and driveways in spring/summer. Grow your franchise – take on staff and increase van numbers within your exclusive territory.
Wilkins Chimney Sweep has been sweeping chimneys in the UK since 1895.
Wilkins Chimney Sweep was set up by Tom Wilkins in Newbury, Berkshire. It was run as a family business until it was sold to Peter Harris, an employee of the company, in 1998.
The business was franchised by Peter and his wife Louise in 2011. Darren Taylor bought the franchise business in 2018 and is the company’s current managing director.
Today, all sweeps - Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchisees - provide a cost effective, efficient and clean service in many parts of the country. They’re fully trained in all aspects of chimney sweeping and maintenance and have £2m public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.
Services include chimney sweeping, removal of nests and blockages, fitting of cages, caps and cowls, CCTV inspection surveys and woodburner maintenance. They can also clean paths, patios and driveways.
In addition, franchisees can provide customers with carbon monoxide alarms, stove thermometers and moisture meters.
Wilkins Chimney Sweep is a member of the Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps and the Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme.
How does the Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise model work?
Initially, franchisees are owner operators, so adopt a hands-on role in the business, providing the various services offered by Wilkins Chimney Sweep in an exclusive territory.
Predominantly van-based, franchisees have administrative and marketing duties to complete as part of the franchise agreement. They are aided in this area of the business by having access to Wilkins Chimney Sweep’s bespoke ProSweep management software suite.
Once their business is established, they can increase the number of vans in operation in their territory and take on staff to grow the franchise.
Because of the nature of the business, franchisees must be physically fit, friendly, ambitious and commercially aware.
Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchisees have the opportunity to provide the Wilkins PowerClean service to customers who require the pressure washing of patios, driveways, paving, steps and decking.
How much does a Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise cost?
The total cost of investing in a Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise is £13,100 (plus VAT). Working capital is also required while you build your business.
The figure is for everything you need to get the franchise up and running, including a deposit for finance on a liveried and ply-lined van, a deposit for all equipment necessary to run the business, branded workwear and membership to the Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps for your first year as a Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchisee.
All franchisees need on top of this is a business landline, internet access, plus a tablet, laptop and smartphone.
What training and support do Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchisees receive?
Initial franchisee training lasts for three weeks and covers all operational and administrative aspects of running the franchise.
And it’s not just classroom-based. Wilkins Chimney Sweep says all new franchisees will sweep around 80 chimneys under the watchful eye of one of its technical trainers before training is complete.
Marketing support is provided during the start-up stages of the franchise, as well as on an ongoing basis to maximise customer awareness. Technical and operational back-up is provided and regular events and conferences are organised so the franchisee network can meet and share best practice.
Is bank financing available?
It is. Wilkins Chimney Sweep says funding of up to 65 per cent is available from a number of high street banks operating in the franchise sector.
To support an application, the franchisor can assist franchisees with the production of a six-year business plan.
What locations or territories is Wilkins Chimney Sweep looking to operate in?
Franchise locations and territories are available throughout the UK.
Why is a Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise a good investment?
This is a low cost, low overhead franchise that, says Wilkins Chimney Sweep, provides franchisees with positive cash flow from very early on and a potential for repeat business.
A franchisee is able to scale up their business by investing in extra vans and taking on staff, adding to its resale value. They can also bolt the Wilkins PowerClean cleaning service onto their chimney sweeping and maintenance franchise, increasing revenues further.
When it comes to demand for chimney sweeping, it’s an essential service as it prevents chimney fires and the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of blocked flues.
The UK Fire Service states that open chimney fires and oil and gas flues should be swept at least once a year, coal fires twice a year and wood-burning stoves quarterly when in use.
Woodburning stoves are currently a popular addition to many homes. According to the Stove Industry Alliance, around 175,000 are sold in the UK annually.
Where in the UK is the Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise based?
Wilkins Chimney Sweep’s head office is in Semley, Wiltshire.
What are the Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise’s terms of agreement and renewal?
The initial franchise agreement lasts for six years. Franchisees have an option to renew following this period.
How can I get started on setting up my own Wilkins Chimney Sweep business?
The first step to becoming a Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchisee is to fill out the enquiry form on this page.
A representative from the company will then make contact. A prospectus is also available, which provides further information about the franchise opportunity on offer.
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Wilkins Chimney Sweep
Specialist in chimney sweeping, maintenance and sale of associated products. Franchisees...£5,500 Minimum Investment