Dublcheck, your passport to success

Dublcheck was inundated at the recent National Franchise Exhibition, with prospective franchisees making a beeline for the stand (see pic)

The two days were non-stop. Prospects were able to chat and meet with a range of personnel from Dublcheck - sales staff, support staff, existing franchisees, directors and founder Carol Stewart-Gill.

It's easy to see why the stand was so busy - Dublcheck is the franchise where you don't need to be able to sell. The exhibition was a great opportunity to be able to share how Dublcheck obtains all the business for a new franchisee.

You can start with a turnover of £12,000 per annum if you want to run your business hands-on while retaining the security of your current position, or up to £500,000 per annum if you want to run a management business.

You know exactly what turnover you are buying into and it leaves you free to concentrate on looking after your customers while we do the sales. Once you are up and running, with a stable base of customers, Dublcheck will help you to naturally progress into sales.

This is usually prompted by referrals from your existing customers. It is entirely up to you how large you want your Dublcheck franchise to be. Dublcheck, founded in 1993 and one of the UK's fastest growing companies according to the Sunday Times and Virgin Fastrack 100, is clearly the real deal in an industry full of imitators who fail to deliver. Carol Stewart-Gill still has a very active day-to-day role and understands that making the right franchise choice can be difficult.

'There are so many franchise choices out there, each making different promises. It's important to realise that to be successful requires hard work, commitment and good support which isn't something that a franchisor that's only been around a couple of years can guarantee. With our experience and track record, we can safely say that if you put the effort in and follow our system, with Dublcheck the rewards are there for everyone to see.'

Franchisees Mike and Wendy Masser can confirm that Dublcheck's system works.

They've been franchisees since 1994 when they returned from Saudi Arabia after Mike left British Aerospace. They decided that only a franchise could realistically maintain their lifestyle, without courting the risks involved in starting up an independent business.

They looked at several different franchise options, from van sales to parcel delivery, but Dublcheck was the only one that would guarantee finding the work for them - and actually guarantee their income. 'That really appealed to us and it has worked incredibly well,' say Mike and Wendy.

Their initial turnover was £12,000 and three months into their first year, they bought an additional £36,000 worth of business from Dublcheck. After another three months of operation, they felt ready to purchase a further £24,000 worth of contracts, and today they achieve an annual turnover in excess of £200,000.

Mike recalls: 'We wanted to expand rapidly, and Dublcheck came up with the new contracts very quickly, after which the business has grown through referrals, as well as through new contracts I've found myself.' Underpinning the Massers' success is Dublcheck's package of training and support, which covers all the essential 'nuts and bolts' of running a business.

'There's a terrific relationship with head office,' say Mike and Wendy. 'They've been with us from the start, from the training, through getting initial promised business, to currently the way in which we have now built and consolidated a true management franchise.'

Franchisee profile 1

'The key thing about the Dublcheck franchise is that the head office sales team takes responsibility for winning your business sales to get you to a guaranteed level of income,' reflects franchisee Mujeeb Sayed, who took early retirement from his position as Service Director to concentrate on building his own business.

'I invested in a guarantee of £120,000 turnover, which they achieved in year one. As you get to learn the business, such as staff recruitment and management, building customer relations and providing the cleaning services, Dublcheck builds up the sales for you at your pace.'

Another benefit enjoyed by Mujeeb is the electronic means of handling the business. 'Dublcheck has made significant advancement in this area,' he comments. 'Everything is handled by an internet-accessed database, which handles all aspects including invoicing, documentation, debt management, sales history and general communication.
This makes managing the business that much easier and allows you to concentrate on dealing with staffing, customers and suppliers.'

Mujeeb and his wife Maureen launched their franchise in July 2003, and initially did the cleaning work themselves. 'Being hands-on allowed us to get to know the customers quickly and set high standards. We've now got 50 contracts, so I train the staff cleaners on site and meet with customers regularly. The differentiator from the competition is the provision of excellent customer service. Usually in this business customers change cleaning suppliers whenever they are slightly unhappy, however the retention factor for Dublcheck is very high.'

Maintaining the business at £150,000 turnover, Mujeeb is now enjoying his role as a mentor to other franchisees: 'I've been helping new franchisees to give them a quicker start to managing their business properly, and plan to carry on for the foreseeable future.'

Franchisee profile 2

After 30 years in agriculture, redundancy caused Ken Holland to re-examine his options. 'I'd been in agriculture my whole life,' he reveals. 'I was a senior manager and was made redundant over night because of the severe decline the sector is suffering. With no experience outside agriculture I needed to buy some expertise, so I began looking at franchising.'

Ken created a profile of the opportunity he wanted based on his own relevant skills, and got serious about the commercial cleaning industry. 'I wanted to carry on managing people and wanted an area with the potential for repeat business,' he explains. 'Dublcheck offered the best package - the guaranteed starter package gives me revenue and got me off the ground. Also, the training provides a British Institute of Cleaning Science qualification.'

Four months after the September 1998 launch, Dublcheck had generated £36,000 of work for Ken's business. 'By that point I'd also already started my own selling, and it built up from there,' he reveals. 'My franchise became a limited company in June 1999 and gradually increased to just over £200,000 a year. With myself and a full-time supervisor, that's just about as much business as we want to handle.

'I now earn a good living income while working no more than 25 hours a week. This provides time to spend away from the business with my wife, playing golf... the business has given me the lifestyle I was looking for.'

Reported by Paul Winfield