“If you want success – Ovenclean is the brand to go with.”
Bernard Corrigan and Ian and Emily Balm all agree there has never been a better time to become Ovenclean franchise owners.
Ovenclean is the longest established and most successful domestic oven cleaning franchise in the UK, providing specialist oven cleaning services to a large marketplace, including domestic customers and commercial work such as schools, lettings agencies and hotels.
When former Sales Executive Bernard Corrigan was looking for a change in career, it was this fact that attracted him to join Ovenclean. Having spent most of his working life in pressured work environments, he was looking for an opportunity with proven demand that was simple to manage and would give him the flexibility he wanted.
"As soon as I came across Ovenclean, I knew that it was the right opportunity for me," he beams. "There isn't a lot of real competition out there and I could see it was a good idea. Knowing how much my partner hates cleaning our oven, I could see a real, tangible customer base for the business."
Ian and Emily Balm agree – just two years ago they were among thousands of visitors flocking to The National Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham, in search of a new career direction. Ian's job in the financial sector had been made redundant and Emily was on maternity leave expecting their first child.
Today their lives have been transformed. They run a successful thriving Ovenclean franchise, have the flexibility to build their growing business around their young son, and enjoy increasing financial rewards.
"We were very cautious," Emily confirms. "Before we went to see Ovenclean, we did a lot of research and looked at a few alternatives, but quite honestly nothing grabbed us like Ovenclean did. We definitely made the right decision, our launch proved to be a great success, keeping us busy for weeks ahead."
After an equally successful launch, demand has been steady for Bernard's business. Now approaching his first anniversary, his franchise is becoming more established and benefitting from repeat and referral customers. In fact, he has just rebooked over 50 per cent of customers whose ovens he cleaned last year.
"Knowing that you have done a good job and pleased your customers is a great feeling," he enthuses. "It really puts me on such a high when I receive referrals from customers that call me up because of the work I have done for their friend."
Emily agrees: "It is hard work, but it's lovely to see the results after cleaning a particularly challenging oven. The job satisfaction you get when the customer is delighted with your service and gives rave reviews is amazing."
Strength to strengthA recent national survey, commissioned by Ovenclean into awareness and attitudes towards professional domestic oven cleaning services, confirms that the marketplace is going from strength to strength. Results showed that 100 per cent of those who had experienced a professional oven clean, rated the service as excellent and said they would have it done again. The study confirmed Ovenclean as brand leader, with twice as many people recognising the brand compared to the next best known name.
The research also suggested that 22 per cent of people didn't even realise that they could get their ovens professionally cleaned, suggesting massive untapped market potential. The findings come as no surprise to Ovenclean's CEO, Tim Harris.
"These findings are consistent with feedback we receive all the time from Ovenclean franchise owners," he states. "Once people hear of the service and then try it, they respond positively to the concept."
The brand has also demonstrated its commitment to innovation with the creation of a new consumer targeted product range, as well as developing a new website, optimised for use on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. Both initiatives are aimed at growing the income for Ovenclean's network of franchise owners.
Fantastic supportBernard, Ian and Emily agree that this commitment to franchise development and support has been invaluable from their training, through their launch and beyond.
"It can be very scary making that leap from being employed to working for yourself, but Ovenclean's management and support team have made the transition so much easier," Bernard reflects.
"Knowing that you can always pick up the phone for advice or if you need a chat really helps, you never feel like you are in it alone. In the long term, I would like to expand by taking on an employee and extra territory but I know whatever I choose, Ovenclean will be behind me every step of the way."
"Ovenclean's support has been fantastic," Ian concurs. "In due course, Emily and I plan to secure a second territory and put another vehicle on the road, and I know when the time comes we can look to the management team for continued help and support. In the meantime, we're delighted with the way our business is going and enjoy working together to continue building a secure future for our family."
Emily elaborates: "The business model is absolutely ideal for us, as the flexible working hours allow us to spend time as a family with our young son. In short – it's great!"
More free timeBeing self-employed, has had a similar benefit for Bernard too, finding that he has much more free time to enjoy the finer things in life, such as spending time with his partner and indulging in his hobby of riding.
"Before, it was all work, work, work!" he reflects. "Now I have time to spend with my family. I've even been able to volunteer at the Paralympics, something I would never have been able to do if I was an employee.
"What's more, the business is becoming a real family affair, my daughter helps with social media and my partner is always there to bat ideas off. It's definitely brought us all closer as a family!
"If you are thinking of joining Ovenclean, now's the time, my only regret is that I didn't join years ago. If you want an oven cleaning business, Ovenclean is the brand to go with!"
Melissa Davies-Lawrence reports
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