Family first for Ovenclean couple

For John and Alison Cattermole, Ovenclean has proved to be their dream franchise, allowing them to build a strong, profitable business with the flexibility to work around the needs of their young son.

John and Alison Cattermole previously worked together at a pub, which was owned by John’s family and, when his family decided to leave the business four years ago, the couple found themselves at a career crossroads.

“We really wanted to do something for ourselves and recognised that a franchise would provide us with the support we needed, as well as the independent lifestyle we were looking for,” Alison explains. “When we came across Ovenclean, we could both see the real potential offered by the franchise. In fact, it seemed such a good idea, we didn’t even bother to look at anything else!”

Family is clearly important to both John and Alison, and the ‘family’ culture of Ovenclean remains one of the aspects of the franchise Alison values most.

“Ovenclean gives you all the support you need to succeed, while encouraging you to take responsibility for your own business,” she says. “It is hard work to start with and you’ve got to be prepared to keep at it to build a good database of regular customers and to maintain a regular flow of work, but it’s definitely worth it!”

Although initially both went out cleaning ovens, these days Alison holds the fort at home, handling invoicing, bookings and marketing, while John is out with customers.

“What Ovenclean has given us is a stable business, with sufficient income to allow me to stay at home with our son and the flexibility for John to have plenty of time with us too,” Alison says. “In the future we will perhaps look into gearing up with two or three vans and a team of employees, but for the time being, we’re very happy with a tidy income, a great lifestyle and an excellent rapport with our steadily growing customer base.”

Business is continuing to go well despite the prevailing economic climate. Today John and Alison have over 1,000 regular customers on their database, who they retain with their excellent service, and who invariably recommend them to family and friends.

The bottom line for them both is that they thoroughly enjoy their business and feel well regarded and highly valued.

“Our customers range from busy professionals with no time for household chores, to the elderly or people who have been ill and are unable to clean their own ovens,” she explains. “In all circumstances, we are very much appreciated – that’s why, once we’ve gained a customer, we tend to retain them and get recommended to their friends and family.”

Would they make the same decision again? “Definitely,” concludes Alison. “Ovenclean is not your standard 9-5 business and you can’t afford to rest on your laurels even when things are going well, but it’s family friendly, it’s fun and it’s also financially rewarding. We enjoyed fantastic support from the start, not only from the franchisor, but also from our neighbouring franchise owner. Now I provide database support and training to new starters and get real satisfaction from helping set new Ovenclean franchise owners on the road to success.”

Ovenclean is the longest established and one of the most successful domestic oven cleaning franchises in the UK, providing specialist oven cleaning services to a large, virtually untapped market of domestic customers as well as schools and lettings agencies. The powerful yet 100 per cent caustic-free Ovenclean system effectively cleans ovens and hobs, ranges and barbecues, restoring them to pristine condition within a few hours.

Written by Megan Dunmore