Industry Report: Domestic oven cleaning - A growing market

Domestic oven cleaning is an exciting growth industry, reveals Mike Holloway, Franchise Director of Cookerburra Oven Cleaning Services

With over 23 million households in the UK, franchises specialising in the domestic cleaning market have really taken off over the last decade as more and more people have become cash rich and time poor.

A niche sector within the domestic household cleaning market was created in 1993 when myself and my business partner David Dymond set up Cookerburra Oven Cleaning Services, with both Ovenu and OvenClean to follow in 1994, all of whom now run franchise networks.

In the last five years, the market has grown to over 50 companies providing this service throughout the UK, either as a franchise network, or individuals operating in their own right. Some domestic cleaning companies also provide this specialist service to compliment their existing customers.

The market is truly phenomenal when you realise that nearly every household in the UK has an oven and hob that needs to be cleaned. Market surveys show that it is one of the most detested jobs in the home.

People are put off cleaning the oven by a number of factors: lack of time, their kitchen sinks aren't big enough to take the oven racks and trays, and domestic chemicals don't do the job required, let alone the acrid smell they produce. As well as the oven and hob, other cooking equipment such as microwaves, BBQs, canopies, and extractor units all need to be cleaned. Ancillary sales can also be made through replacing light bulbs and selling cleaning products.

Apart from the domestic sector, other markets in this industry exist such as letting agents and let properties, university accommodation, B&Bs, hotels, pubs, clubs, holiday home sites, food vans, MOD housing...the list is endless.

Being part of an oven cleaning franchise network has many advantages, including hands-on training on the oven cleaning process. There are many different types of cookers and ovens now available, and most people who set up their own business have had little or no previous experience and are not aware of what is needed to run a business. This is why so many businesses go bust in the first year of trading. Having training and support from an established franchisor certainly improves the chances of success for a business.

Marketing is the lifeblood of any business, and using tried and tested marketing strategies in the first few years benefits a business, let alone helps keep up to date with market developments and trends.

Just as it is important to anyone looking at taking on a franchise, make sure you ask the right questions of the franchisor and do your market research, but also ask searching questions of yourself as to the commitment and energy it takes to build a business.

Starting a business is very much like a jumbo plane taking off: the amount of fuel and energy it takes to get the plane off the ground and then to cruising height, is enormous and the same applies to starting a business. But it's the arriving at the destination that makes it all worthwhile.