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From being tied to a greengrocers with no holidays, Dublcheck franchise owners Peter and Prue Davies are now enjoying trips abroad and looking forward to a cruise. They've enjoyed their business so much, they've even encouraged Peter's brother to invest in a neighbouring territory

Following the sale of their greengrocer business, Peter and Prue Davies were keen to operate another business together in a more profitable industry. With its guaranteed turnover, ongoing support and a proven track record spanning 15 years, commercial cleaning franchise Dublcheck caught their attention.

'We had been greengrocers for 12 years,' reflects Peter. 'We had reached a point where our profits were steadily falling as we could not compete with supermarket prices, so we decided to sell the business. Prue and I work well together and we had enjoyed working for ourselves, so we knew becoming employees was not an option.

'We wanted to start up a business in a completely different sector and decided franchising was the safest route. This is because as franchise owners we would have access to ongoing training, support and guidance from the franchisor, which would ensure we did not make any avoidable mistakes. We found Dublcheck during our research into the franchise industry and immediately liked its concept of a guaranteed turnover* with the franchisor finding you your clients and guaranteeing you the level of turnover you desire.'

As greengrocers, Peter and Prue (pictured right) developed close relationships with their customers. They both enjoyed interacting with the public and were keen to find another business where they could do this again. 'The great thing about Dublcheck is that you can either manage the cleaners to do the work or take a hands-on role, interact with the clients and do the cleaning yourself,' enthuses Prue. 'We wanted to do the cleaning ourselves and so, since the launch of our Manchester-based franchise in May 1995, we have grown the business to a size we can both comfortably manage.'

As part of the franchise package Peter and Prue were put on an initial one-week training course, where they were taught every aspect of running the business from cleaning and bookkeeping to recruitment. In terms of support, as well as providing the couple with contract work the head office provides ongoing advice and guidance to help them manage their growing business. 'When we first launched, knowing we could pick up the phone and ask for help at any point was comforting,' comments Prue.

Since they became franchise owners, Peter and Prue have been able to enjoy foreign holidays to Egypt, New York and Greece and have a cruise around the red sea planned for later this year. 'Holidays are a novelty for us,' says Peter. 'When we owned the greengrocers we could not take too much time away from the business because otherwise our customers would purchase their fruit and vegetables from our competitors and we would have the problem of stock going off. Now, as Dublcheck franchise owners, we have built a loyal client base that understand if we want to go away for a week or two.

'We would highly recommend this franchise. In fact after just over a year of trading I suggested my brother Paul and his wife Barbara invest in the brand, which they did and they have gone on to build a very successful business in the territory next to ours.'

*Guaranteed turnover is not a guarantee of profit

Reported by Jess Sturman