Dublcheck: 15 years of setting people like you up in business
Dublcheck franchisees showed they had something to celebrate at their recent summer ball, as the network converged to mark its 15th year of operations.
Celebrating 15 years of successful franchising, Dublcheck recently held a black tie summer ball. The event provided an opportunity for many of its 100+ strong network of franchisees to get together and compare their experiences, an opportunity which was not lost on franchisee Julie Berry:
'We had a great time at the franchisee ball. It was good to mix with people from varying backgrounds and learn about their experiences as Dublcheck franchisees.
'My husband John and I met a couple that do the total cleaning service themselves, and we also met someone who is totally devoted to the management side and employs cleaners to provide the service. We sat for the meal with a couple that has been with Dublcheck for 13 years and the information they passed on to us was invaluable - we learned a lot.'
With a background in retail administration, Julie and John had been looking into business opportunities in the domestic cleaning market when they discovered the Dublcheck franchise. 'It is obviously a more managerial option,' Julie reflects.
'We like that the company has a proven track record, the systems are already set up, and the fact that they obtain sales for us is also a big advantage.'
After combining looking after their two young children with operating the business part-time for its first year, Julie is planning to build the business up when her children go into full-time education in September.
'Taking a steady start has allowed us to stay flexible while building it to a decent level,' she reveals. 'The work has come through as soon as we have notified Dublcheck that we were ready for more, and we met our guaranteed level of turnover after eight months. We are currently bringing in £1,200 per month, but we will double or even triple that over the next year through a combination of making our own sales and bringing additional business in from Dublcheck.
'We have the option of purchasing additional contracts from Dublcheck, or getting them to secure appointments for us and converting them into business ourselves. I've had three appointments and got three contracts out of them so far, so I think that's the way we'll go.
'The support we have received from Dublcheck has been very good. They can provide a range of services for you, including accounts, payroll and collect invoices, but you're not forced to use these services - you can take them on yourself if you prefer. At the moment I have two cleaning staff, but I am still working in a hands-on role myself. I would like to develop the business into an office-based operation with a base for the staff and a couple of vehicles in operation. That's the aim and with Dublcheck's assistance I will achieve it.'
Dublcheck is a wholly UK-owned company which has built into its package guaranteed turnover* levels starting at £12,000 per annum for a hands-on business, up to £500,000 per annum for a management role.
'This is a massive market that keeps on growing,' says Founder Carol Stewart-Gill. 'Everywhere you look there are small to medium sized commercial premises in need of professional and reliable cleaners. With our experience and track record, we can say that if you put in the effort and follow our system, with Dublcheck the rewards are there for everyone to see.'
In the first six months since launching my business in January, Dublcheck helped to build my business up to a guaranteed level of turnover through their national sales team. That meant I didn't have to cold call, or even spend money on any marketing or advertising! Being in business is tough but having Dublcheck to support me and guarantee me customers puts my mind at rest.
I was previously a teacher, and three years ago I decided to look into doing something different. I looked at franchising were impressed by how Dublcheck has been growing and developing. Their knowledge of the marketplace and the support they provide made my mind up - and it has proven absolutely brilliant.
The training was very good and you come away with the knowledge you need to go out there and make the business work. However, when you come across simple, practical problems it's great that someone is available to assist you.
Now that I have reached my pre-guaranteed level of turnover, I want to keep growing at a steady pace. To achieve this I am going to invest in additional guaranteed turnover with Dublcheck, and am also going to start looking to leverage my existing customer base.
I decided franchising was the way to go when I was made redundant from my job in agriculture in 1998. I'd been in the industry for 25 years since leaving school and, although I had built up experience running a business, I had no knowledge of any other industry. I realised that with a franchise I could buy someone else's specialist knowledge.
I decided I wanted to get involved in a repeat business industry which would provide a sensible income - contract cleaning met my requirements and after investigating a number of companies I recognised that Dublcheck offered the best package. The other big attraction was the strong involvement of the management, who knew what they wanted to do, where they wanted to go and were flexible enough to allow me to expand my business the way I wanted.
I completed the initial training in September 1998, which provided a good balance of practical work (I previously didn't know one end of a vacuum cleaner from the other!) and the operation of the business including personnel, accounts and all the areas I'd been used to getting from an in-house department. It was hard work getting the business launched, although there is plenty of support there, and after six months it became obvious that this was a business that was going to take off in the direction that I wanted. I decided to become a limited company on the advice of my accountant, who could also see the way the business was growing.
My goal was to reach annual sales of £100,000 by the end of year two, but I smashed that and took £119,000. The business reached a turnover of £230,000 in 2005 and I have since been concentrating on my most profitable accounts to ensure I meet the high levels of service this business requires. After nine years in the business I'm at the point where my mortgages are almost paid off and my income requirements are dropping, so I've accepted an offer on the business and plan do a few things I've always wanted, such as going travelling in Australia.
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Invest from £9,000 to £190,000.
Turnover from £12,000 to half a million per annum.
With over 100 franchisees nationwide, and many more areas and opportunities available, you too could benefit from the proven Dublcheck system.
Dublcheck's unique franchise system is a proven way to build a successful business in a multi-billion pound industry.
Reported by Stuart Anderson