Guaranteed customer base

With 99.6% of customers happy to recommend their services, Safeclean franchise owners are thriving through a combination of national contract work and repeat referral business

The offer of a guaranteed base of customers has seen six new franchise owners join the Safeclean network so far this year. This growth is assured to continue through the company's association with Guardsman Furniture Solutions Group, the largest furniture protection supplier in the UK. Guardsman provides Safeclean with a portfolio of national contract work for its franchise network, which now numbers 67. Safeclean is now seeking to enhance this flow of work with a new head office based marketing campaign.

As a founding member of the British Franchise Association, Safeclean has been operating and improving its franchise model for over 37 years. This improvement has continued with the recent addition of a centralised marketing campaign, through which head office markets, on behalf of the franchise owner, its database of over 7,000 Guardsman customers. The Guardsman link also generates customers through the furniture retail and manufacturing sector, as well as through the Guardsman Home Services brand.

"Safeclean operates in the high end domestic market, which is very profitable but the customers demand high standards," says Franchise Manager Paul Fennell. "The franchise business model operates to a proven formula which involves no cold calling or aggressive telephone marketing. After three years up to 80 per cent of a franchise owner's business will be based around repeat custom and customer referrals. It is the strong Guardsman brand as well as this custom that gives the franchise such a high success rate."

The Safeclean business model offers a full range of services, from carpet, curtain and upholstery cleaning to stain protection and five year Guardsman Protection Plans. Over six million UK households have their furniture protected with Guardsman and Safeclean is the only company recommended to maintain these furnishings. "There is a healthy balance between national accounts and local, assisted self developed accounts," explains Paul. "This is why it is so important that we recruit motivated franchise owners that will take pride in their work."

Another improvement Safeclean has recently made is the introduction of a safe organic cleaning system, which has made a huge difference. Franchise owner Richard Vaal reports: "With more and more people becoming aware of organic products on the market, customers are actually ringing me because I offer cleaning using organic products."

Paul continues: "Our aim is to provide the best cleaning solution for all furnishings and carpets. Our franchise owners use the most effective machines on the market and we have made a conscious corporate decision to use the most eco-friendly solutions available. Our systems have rapid drying times, minimising the time furniture or carpets are out of action.

"A recent survey of 2,000 customers showed that 99.6 per cent of them were so happy with the service they would recommend Safeclean to their friends and family. This repeat referral rate is the bedrock of a Safeclean franchise and is the fundamental reason why we have been successfully franchising through thick and thin for over 37 years. We are keen to continue expanding - our ideal prospective franchise owners are hard working, focused and willing to follow our proven business model.

Reported by Stuart Anderson