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Nigel Lawrence, Safeclean

“The Safeclean franchise based in Central and North Birmingham was initially my father’s before I gave up my job to work with him and eventually took over the business.

“Before joining the Safeclean network, I was working long hours and travelling up and down the country. I really didn’t enjoy that working lifestyle and wanted to be in control of my own business, earning money for myself. I also wanted to be rewarded by its success and growth, not someone else!

“You have to be prepared to work hard, be determined and to set yourself realistic goals to achieve. But what makes it all worth while is to bring an old dirty carpet or suite back to life and present it back to the customer and see their reaction – it is always a great sense of achievement. As well as the number of referrals and recommendations I get from satisfied customers, it makes the hard work all worth while.

“In the early days of running the business, the support from head office was the most important part. To know someone was there on the other end of the telephone was very reassuring. As you get more experienced though, you tend to use head office less and less.

“Franchising is a great way to start running your own business as it gives you the security and knowledge that you need when you first start up. Safeclean is a well established franchise in the UK, which provides franchise owners with brand recognition and a strong customer base.”