Build a substantial business in a thriving industry

With one of the longest average working weeks in the world, the UK's 21st century lifestyle is minimising the amount of personal time we have available. The domestic cleaning industry has flourished as people seek to free their non-working time from household tasks and FastKlean is seeking to supply a high quality service to this burgeoning market nationwide

Take a thriving industry providing an essential service (domestic cleaning), combine with minimal overheads (a home office and no staff, vehicle or equipment costs) and a state-of-the-art management software system that helps to comprehensively manage the business... and you have the FastKlean franchise.

Established as a domestic cleaning agency in London in 2001, FastKlean removes the hassle of trying to find experienced, professional and hard-working cleaners, typically for two-income households, single parents, the elderly or infirm or groups in shared accommodation. Demand for the FastKlean service has grown rapidly and the company has a team of 180 cleaners working a mixture of part and full time, plus five office staff managing the day to day operation of the business and ensuring that client satisfaction remains top priority.

The business was created by Antoaneta Tsocheva who, after moving to the UK from Bulgaria, saw an opportunity to create a business which met the growing demand for cleaning services and make it easier for people to find jobs in domestic cleaning. 'As the working environment changes, many people are striving to achieve success and enjoying higher salaries as a result,' says Antoaneta. 'However the working day has increased in line with those salaries and we have become a 'cash rich, time poor' society. With leisure time at a premium, more and more people are choosing to pay someone else to help with domestic tasks such as cleaning and ironing. But once people have made the decision to employ a cleaner, where do they go to find someone reliable and trustworthy?

'FastKlean recruits and interviews quality, trustworthy people to make sure they are suitable before we put them on our books, including checking their references, carrying out a police check and, in the case of non-nationals, ensuring their visa allows them to work in the UK. This level of professionalism ensures our customers are comfortable to stay with us long term.'

Bringing work in is essential for an agency business to thrive and FastKlean has built an effective three pronged approach to marketing to establish itself as a popular provider of domestic cleaning services across London. 'Leafletting is the staple method of bringing in business in the domestic cleaning industry and we have a range of leaflets designed to produce a very good response,' says Antoaneta.

'Also, we have established an attractive shop-fronted office (pictured above) which gives the business powerful visibility, with clients regularly calling in to the shop to find out about the range of FastKlean services and to discuss their particular requirements. Finally, FastKlean has developed its web strategy since our website first went live in 2001 and we maintain very strong Google rankings which give us a huge competitive advantage in the domestic cleaning industry. We are now looking to transfer our ability to successfully bring in business and provide excellent service to other regions of the UK by granting franchises.'

FastKlean engaged the services of professional franchise consultancy Franchise Development Services to assist in the creation of a strong franchise package designed to maximise the franchisee's opportunity for success. 'FastKlean offers a substantial business opportunity without employing cleaning staff, vehicles or equipment, which is attractive for people looking to minimise their investment early on,' says FDS Franchise Consultant Paul Hague. 'FastKlean's proprietary software is amazing and is unique in the industry in assisting the business to run very smoothly. This will allow franchisees to concentrate on building a substantial business.'

With the assistance of Franchise Development Services, FastKlean has developed a turnkey package including business manuals, pre-launch training and opening support, full access to and training in the use of FastKlean's proprietary business and accounting software and a range of proven marketing materials. 'To help our franchisees develop and grow we will provide ongoing support,' says Antoaneta, 'including ongoing training, a helpline facility, website management and development, marketing initiatives, coaching and mentoring and regular support team visits to the franchisee's territory.'

FastKlean is seeking ambitious individuals who are committed to building a substantial business. 'Franchisees do not need cleaning experience as they will benefit from our full training and support,' says Antoaneta. 'However, we are looking for people that have the energy and motivation to create a strong client base in a short period of time. You must also have an interest and affinity with the services we provide.'

Reported by Stuart Anderson