A flying start to 2009 for Well Polished

Business remains strong for the domestic cleaning industry, with the Well Polished franchise now offering more services to complement its standard house cleans. One of the company's newest franchisee recruits, Euan Taylor, talks about how his business is already performing ahead of its target in just six months

Although the economic downturn has forced people to curb their spending habits, a report conducted by The Work Foundation suggests that paying for a domestic cleaner is no longer seen as a luxury but rather a necessary expense with one in three dual income households now employing domestic help so that they can spend more quality time with their families.

This growing popularity of hiring a domestic cleaner is demonstrated by the fact management domestic cleaning introductions agency franchise Well Polished beat its targets in 2008 and has continued to win a steady stream of business. Keen to capitalise on consumer demand, Well Polished is actively recruiting franchisees and is on the look out for an Irish Master franchisee. Well Polished has added new services to increase revenue and consumer interest, including laundry services, bed making, waiting in for deliveries and house sitting.

'We have got off to a flying start this year,' enthuses Well Polished Director Sandra Venables. 'We have been inundated with enquiries from new clients who want to get their homes in order now that Christmas is over. We have found that a lot of our custom is from people who have been forced back to work because of the credit crunch. Our service is competitively priced and highly professional, giving all of the customer-focused advantages of a large company-owned operation alongside the personal touches of a privately contracted cleaner.'

Well Polished franchisee Euan Taylor joined the network in July 2008. Within the first six months of trading he has already surpassed his projected targets and is making a substantial profit. He says: 'Business is going very well. I love being my own boss and having complete control over my future. Before I became a franchisee I worked as a Recruitment Consultant and was eager to leave the corporate rat race.

'I had always wanted to own a business but lacked the necessary skills and experience to start one up from scratch. I had heard that franchising had a higher success rate because you have access to a tried and tested business model and ongoing support, so I researched the different industry sectors. Cleaning appealed because it is relatively recession proof. I contacted Franchise Consultant Tony Urwin at Franchise Development Services North for advice. Tony recommended Well Polished and after an initial interview with Sandra and the existing franchisees I decided to invest.

'I loved the fact the business wasn't too big, so there was a real sense of family unity with everyone looking out for each other. Sandra was very personable and professional and when I contacted some of the existing franchisees they all had positive things to say. The fact I would not have to do any cleaning myself was ideal. My role is to match cleaners to householders and act as the professional face of the business.

'Before the launch of my franchise I was put on a two-week training course at head office, which comprised of theoretical and practical modules. While in terms of support it has been hands on and tailored to my needs so I never feel isolated.'