Two's company, Ovenclean proves a perfect family franchise

Husband and wife team Sarah and Andrew Parris have found the perfect work/life balance with Ovenclean, the UK's number one domestic oven cleaning franchise, and with seven successful years under their belt, they are among the longest serving franchise owners in the network

Andrew Parris was previously a manager with Pizza Express, working long hours with plenty of stress, but without the rewards he felt he deserved. As his wife Sarah explains: 'Andrew really wanted to become self-employed and run a business of his own, so when we spotted Ovenclean advertising in a national newspaper, we thought it looked like an interesting opportunity.'

On closer investigation, Ovenclean seemed ideal, enabling the couple to build a successful, profitable business, based from their home - an important consideration for their young family.

The business model is simple: it is easy to operate, with low investment requirement, provides opportunity for repeat, regular revenue and, as every household in the country owns an oven, it also offers a massive, virtually untapped, potential marketplace. Franchise owners operate from professionally liveried vans and so overheads are low. The powerful, yet eco-friendly Ovenclean product range, exclusive to franchise owners, effectively cleans ovens and hobs, Agas, ranges and barbecues, restoring them to pristine condition within a matter of hours.

'Business is really good,' Sarah confirms. 'We've had lots of support and help from the franchise management team at head office, and despite prevailing economic conditions, we're busier than ever. We've just taken on an employee to help us - he was previously an estate agent so it's a very different lifestyle for him, but he seems to be thoroughly enjoying it!'

Sarah's role is to handle bookings and manage the marketing of the business, while Andrew undertakes the oven cleaning, processing around five ovens a day.

The pair advertise their services in the local newspaper which keeps enquiries flowing in, although Sarah says that much of their work comes from regular customers as well as through word of mouth recommendation to family and friends. 'There is no typical customer,' she adds. 'Some are very house proud and require a regular service to keep their ovens clean, others simply get to a point where they can't face cleaning a really dirty oven...unsurprisingly Ovenclean franchise owners tend to be particularly snowed under in the run up to Christmas as well as other major holidays!

'Ovenclean has worked really well for us. Andrew is out and about, working at the sharp end of the business while I'm based at home looking after the administrative side. It's given us great flexibility and has allowed us to plan our time around the family. I can still walk the dog or cook the children's tea without any impact on the business - it's been a real success and the perfect family franchise!'

Reported by Megan Dunmore