'I give myself a pay rise every month'

A monthly pay rise, nice holidays and flexibility are the perks franchise owner Moira Whittaker is enjoying through operating her Well Polished franchise

One year on, Well Polished franchise owner Moira Whittaker is already reaping the rewards of becoming her own boss. With her business turning over an average of £3,000 a month, Moira is able to enjoy five star foreign holidays with her husband and a monthly pay rise.

'Before I joined Well Polished I was a Planning Manager,' recalls Moira (pictured right). 'I was very stressed and worn out so decided to hand in my notice and take a well earned break. 18 months and a house move later, I was refreshed and eager to get back into work. My husband suggested I investigate franchising. I spotted an advert for Well Polished by chance and decided to ask for more information.'

Established in 2004, Well Polished is a management domestic cleaning introductions agency franchise. The role of the franchise owner is to act as the professional face of the business and find householders suitable cleaners within their territory. Once cleaners have been found, the franchise owner's job is to manage the contracts in order to ensure the customers receive a quality clean time after time. Well Polished's domestic cleaning services cover standard house cleans, laundry services and bed making to waiting in for deliveries and house sitting. All of which, can be booked for two or more hours a week or as a one off service.

After a meeting with Well Polished Director Sandra Venables, Moira knew Well Polished was the right investment for her. 'I loved the idea of working for myself from the comfort of my own home to start with,' enthuses Moira. 'I also liked the fact that I would not have to endure the stress of handling money and chasing payments as clients pay monthly in advance by standing order. This would mean I would have more time to focus on developing the business within my designated territory.

'I started my business with the North Merseyside territory in March last year and by December had expanded my territory with the purchase of the West Lancashire area. To date I have 28 cleaners on my books and take on three to four new clients a week. My achievements within my first year of trading have been recognised by the franchisor when I was presented with the Well Polished Franchisee of the Year award at the franchise convention earlier this year.

'Initially I was put on a four-day training course, where I was taught the computer system and other skills required to run the business. Then for three weeks, Sandra came out with me and helped canvass my territory. As for support, if I need any help Sandra is only a phone call away and she is more than happy to visit me. The franchise network also arranges regular franchise owner meetings where we can share ideas and discuss any problems we may have.'

Moira enjoys running her own business and loves the fact she can work hours to suit her lifestyle and her clients. She says: 'As my own boss if I want to meet a friend for lunch or get my hair done during the week I can, as I know I can catch up with my work later on. The extra income has really helped and means when I go away with my husband we are now able to afford to stay in five star hotels - last year we visited Greece and Corfu. Later this year, my husband and I plan to go on a cruise around the Caribbean - a trip we would not have been able to afford before.

'Another benefit of operating the franchise is being able to give myself a pay rise every month as the business continues to grow. Eventually I would like to move to a commercial office and take on a part-time member of staff to take care of the administration, so that I have more time to dedicate to marketing my business.

'Business is going well despite the current economic climate and I think this is because more people are feeling the credit pinch and so are either going back out to work or working extra hours to maintain their lifestyles. So when they come home they do not want to do the household chores.'

Interview by Jess Sturman