Cater for a range of customers

As a Hydro-Dynamix franchisee Eric Lloyd has been able to take control of his future and his earning potential by delivering a range of cleaning services to a wide spectrum of clients

Keen to escape his 'dead end' office job and take control of his destiny, Eric Lloyd (pictured opposite) decided to invest in the Hydro-Dynamix franchise. Four years on, Eric's investment is paying off with his business experiencing year-on-year growth.

'Before I worked in the office I was self-employed and owned a professional photography studio, which I sold on when the surrounding area was redeveloped,' reflects Eric. 'So to walk into a work environment with no clear career path was disheartening. I longed to be my own boss and make decisions again, but I did not want to start a business from scratch so I looked at franchising. As photography had evolved and become digitalised I decided to venture into a new industry and cleaning was my first choice.'

As one of the few cleaning companies on the market to service both commercial and domestic clients, truck mount cleaning franchise Hydro-Dynamix appealed to Eric because it caters for a range of customers and offers a variety of cleaning services. 'The cleaning services range from carpet, upholstery and hard floor cleaning to exterior pressure washing and graffiti removal,' enthuses Eric. 'Hydro-Dynamix also offers specialist services such as leather cleaning, which creates a great opportunity for add-ons. Full flood and fire restoration services are also part of the package and include drying, dry steam cleaning, validated hygiene cleaning, fire and smoke damage cleaning, offsite cleaning/storage, asbestos testing, pack out service, mould abatement, PAT testing and leak detection.

'The other factors that made the opportunity appealing were financial. I liked the thought of paying a management service fee that was not a percentage of my turnover and being in control of my earning potential rather than having a set salary. After a discussion with head office and a talk with the existing franchisees, I felt reassured that I was making the right decision to invest in the Hydro-Dynamix opportunity so I launched my Shropshire-based franchise.

'The training programme covers a technology induction, the business plan, marketing, the job at hand and advice on what aspects of the business to spend money on, while in terms of support Hydro-Dynamix finds national account work for all of the franchisees and someone is always on the other end of the phone to answer queries. The benefit of being part of a nationwide franchisee network is that if a commercial job comes up and it is too big for you to do alone you can contact another franchisee for help and work on it together.'

In 2008 Hydro-Dynamix joined forces with two other companies within the sector and created the company Damage Mitigation (DAM-mit) to provide franchisees with another source of work and income. DAM-mit offers a revolutionary concept in flood and fire restoration with franchisees working alongside loss adjusters and insurance companies to provide a full restoration and repair service to the damaged properties.

With a variety of cleaning opportunities, every day is different for Eric. 'My work varies from cleaning patios and driveways to upholstery,' he says. 'The best thing about using the truck mount system is that no cleaning job is too big or too small - I am able to clean anything from offices and pubs to large houses, bungalows and flats providing there is room to park the truck mount system outside!

'Business has been building well. Sometimes a week will pass without me taking a break! However, I am prepared to sacrifice 'me' time now if it means I can reap the rewards later. My long-term aim is to build up the business so that I have a long track record of profitability. This means that when the time comes for me to retire, I will be able to sell the business and realise my investment. The fact that a lot of my work now comes from repeat business or referrals shows that my business has developed a good reputation over the last four years.'

Reported by Jess Sturman