'Customer Service is my first concern'

Taking over a Safeclean territory and driving it to set new records is setting Paul Lewis on the road to business success...for the second time

A fantastic first month's trading saw Paul Lewis, one of the newest additions to the Safeclean network, hitting the highest turnover for his territory since 2008. Having purchased his Colchester territory as a going concern from its previous franchise owner he is already showing signs of running a very successful franchise.

Paul is not new to success. He started The London Loo Company in 2003 and sold it earlier this year turning over in excess of £800,000 annually. However, despite his previous business Paul is still learning from his Safeclean franchise. "This is a new challenge for me," he reflects. "You've got to be able to do a bit of everything - present yourself, develop selling skills and, of course, know about upholstery."

Safeclean is a well-established, nationwide, furnishing-care franchise used and recommended by leading retailers and furniture manufacturers. Services include cleaning of carpets, upholstery and stain removal and protection. It has been operating for over 38 years and has always been at the forefront of the industry. Its the UK's leading carpet and upholstery cleaning company and now cleans carpets and soft furnishings with a unique organic system that outperforms conventional methods.

Paul first became interested in the cleaning sector after hearing that domestic cleaning, although demanding, is a very profitable area. He researched businesses for sale and spent a day out on the job with the previous Colchester franchise owner. Convinced by the Safeclean business model, Paul was particularly impressed by the level of support Safeclean offers franchise owners. "The backup for Safeclean is unbelievably good," he remarks. "The training is second to none and there's someone guiding you all the way."

Safeclean's national clients include Guardsman™ - the world leader in furniture protection policies. There are a variety of streams of business for Safeclean franchise owners utilising this connection, including direct mailing campaigns using the Guardsman database, which are designed and set up by head office, and the Guardsman callout work. Paul has also found building relationships with retailers to be very helpful. Even with these continual streams of business, Paul points out that you can't rest on your laurels: "Business doesn't just come to you - you've got to go out and get it."

Paul has also been paying close attention to his customer service, which is a cornerstone of the Safeclean business model. "Customer satisfaction is my first concern," he says. "I treat it as if it's my own furniture."

In a Safeclean franchise around 80 per cent of business will be based upon repeat custom after three years, so Paul is setting himself up for success for years to come. "In five years time I want to have hired two or three technicians and built a nice business that'll take care of itself for a couple of weeks while I go and sun myself in Florida!"

With a start as good as this one, he is well on his way to achieving this goal! Paul is so pleased with how his Safeclean franchise is working out that he has already recommended Safeclean to his cousin, who has contacted head office to book a discovery day.

Reported by Safeclean Franchise Manager Paul Fennell