"My only regret is not joining Well Polished sooner"
Redundancy led Linda Dobson on to the road to becoming her boss but since launching her Well Polished franchise earlier this year, she hasn't looked back.
It was seeing a story in The Franchise Magazine that prompted Linda Dobson to decide to take a new career direction after her employer of 30 years made her job as mortgage consultant redundant.
"I already knew a little bit about franchises and really liked what I read about Well Polished, so I called the company's founder Sandra Venables and arranged a meeting to find out more," explains Linda. "It is fantastic being my own boss and I am finding life less stressful now. Being able to choose my own hours means I can now balance my work and family life how I want to," enthuses Linda. "As a result, I can now pick up my daughter from school every day and go and see her dancing and appearing in plays."
Linda launched her Well Polished franchise - which covers the Slough area - in January and has been busy building her client base which, in turn, has led her to taking on more cleaners to cope with demand.
"I am looking forward to expanding my Well Polished territory and eventually taking on a manager to help me run it," says Linda. "The way the business is growing, this shouldn't be too long off. In fact, I am so busy now my husband Alan has even started helping me. At the moment I am enjoying concentrating on the upcoming wave of spring cleans and the new enquiries that are coming in."
Established in 2004, Well Polished is a management domestic cleaning introductions agency franchise and has territories available nationwide at £5,900 + VAT. The role of the franchise owners is to manage the cleaning contracts, find cleaners and liaise with the clients - no cleaning is involved.
Well Polished offers a variety of services from standard house cleans, bed making and laundry to one-off blitz cleans and since 2009, franchise owners have been able to provide an in-house, same day ironing service called Well Pressed.
All Well Polished franchise owners benefit from comprehensive initial training and ongoing support. "The training cannot be faulted. I completed a four-day training course, which covered everything from how to close a sale to estimating cleaning times," explains Linda. "The Well Polished website is a fantastic tool too as I often receive enquiries from the website and this was all set up by head office for me when I started my business."
"People often ask me why I didn't just start my own business. To be honest there is no way I could have done this without the support and training I have received. Also I wouldn't have known where to start in terms of marketing, finding clients and cleaners etc. The company image is really fresh looking and everything was included in the price, including all I needed to start my business. I received a huge start up pack at the end of my training and I was really excited to get started. I also like being part of national company it really gives us a professional image - the clients in my area have welcomed Well Polished with open arms.
"As well as the training I also receive ongoing support from head office, It is great to know the support is there if I need it and I love being part of the Well Polished network. In fact, another Well Polished franchise owner who doesn't live too far from me was very helpful when I started and was happy to share some of tips to help me run my business."
Linda is loving ever minute of her new career and has only one regret."I wish I had thought of becoming a Well Polished franchise owner sooner - life is so much easier," she laughs.
Interview by Fraser McKay