Detail Clean: 'Significant earnings & market potential'

Servicing both the domestic and commercial cleaning sectors, Detail Clean franchisees have a varied market at which to target their business

Homeowners are coming around to the way of thinking that having your house cleaned regularly by a professional cleaner is no longer just a status symbol, but rather a normal part of everyday life. Working couples, expectant mothers, the elderly or simply people that don't like cleaning, the customer base for domestic cleaning is growing all the time.

But how can homeowners be certain that the person they are letting into their home is proficient, reliable and trustworthy? Detail Clean was founded in 1999 to tackle this very issue. By focusing on professionalism, timekeeping and consistency, the Detail Clean company-owned operation in Bedfordshire boasts a 100 per cent reliability track record.

'Combine this burgeoning market with the very valuable and recession-defying commercial cleaning market and Detail Clean franchisees have a varied market at which to target their business,' reveals Sandra Leggett, Managing Director. 'Our ultimate aim is to provide comprehensive and exemplary services to our customers spread all over the country and we are seeking well-organised, honest and self-motivated people to help achieve this. We have an extensively proven pilot company-owned operation, a franchise package professionally developed with the assistance of Franchise Development Services (FDS) and our first two franchisees trading successfully.'

The cornerstone of the Detail Clean business model is its state-of-the-art vehicle tracking system that ensures franchisees can provide a reliable and professional cleaning service. 'We were one of the first domestic cleaning companies in the UK to adopt a Vehicle Management System and this is what differentiates the Detail Clean concept,' Sandra explains. 'This system remote manages the position of every vehicle through tracking devices to allow confirmation of arrival times, reduce insurance costs, provide detailed directions for cleaning crews, and eliminate unauthorised breaks and vehicle use.'

The system uses the latest software, GPS Satellite and the internet to automatically update a master computer every six minutes with information including location, journeys, time at location, and the speed of the vehicle. 'The benefit to franchisees is that they don't need a separate computer for this and can contact the master computer at any time of the day to view their vehicles' data at a cost of just £8 per week per vehicle,' says Sandra. The company provides full and ongoing support for franchisees, starting with three days of classroom training covering sales and marketing, recruiting and managing staff, administration and customer service. This is complemented by a further five days of hands-on training at a company branch.

'Franchisees are then ready to launch their businesses,' Sandra continues, 'and we spend six more days assisting at their office pre- and post-launch to vet, hire and train staff, begin marketing and to supervise their first cleaning jobs.'

The support package includes a helpline facility, regular visits and communications from head office, research and development, new product testing, national marketing, newsletters and group meetings to encourage the exchange of ideas.

The initial investment requirement of £12,825 and the opportunity to target both domestic and commercial customers appealed to Akpata Wanogho. He explains: 'I met with many prospective franchising companies and each time the franchise package required me to pay huge amounts of money in return for a certain annual turnover. These companies were offering very small and limited territories and I was growing very tired of dealing with them until I met Detail Clean.

'On my meeting with Sandra, the Detail Clean franchise was fully explained to me and they were offering substantial territories. Sandra's honesty and the future aspirations for Detail Clean were very appealing to me. I also appreciated that it was a management franchise in domestic and commercial cleaning, as I had initially only looked at franchises in commercial cleaning.

'I was given training at the Detail Clean head office and at the cleaning site. I have always been fully supported in running this business. Although my business has only recently launched, I already feel that there is a bright future ahead of me.'

In addition to honesty and self-motivation, candidates must possess drive, ambition, good communication skills and leadership qualities. Paul Hague, FDS Consultant, endorses: 'Detail Clean's own business has done extremely well and its franchisees have a great opportunity to build very good businesses for themselves.'

Reported by Rachel Spaul