A Fife cleaning and laundry firm has targeted expansion into Edinburgh after Covid-19 and the stamp duty holiday significantly boosted turnover.
The move comes after consistent growth for Bright and Beautiful over the past five years for business owner Gill Schofield, which has seen the company relocate twice in Dunfermline.
The current unit has a fully equipped laundry room, an ironing area, kitchen and staff restroom.
The growth plans include growing the headcount at the company and follows investment in new equipment and the vehicle fleet.
The business has seen a “surge in demand” during the pandemic with more people working from home, while house buyers and sellers taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday had also seen calls for one-off cleans increase.
The firm was founded in 2015 with a headcount of two, but currently employs 13 including a senior team leader, six housekeepers and three team leaders.
The move into Edinburgh will see a further three jobs created by April, with a target of securing 60 clients to match the Dunfermline operation.
Bright and Beautiful currently completes more than 325 home cleans each month.
Ms Schofield said the expansion into the capital brings its own challenges.
“There’s obviously a lot more competition there because it’s a city and we have also found a number of potential employees don’t have a driving licence.
“This is largely because the public transport system is so good in Edinburgh, but as we have our own vehicles, a driving licence is essential,” she said.
Ms Schofield said Bright and Beautiful, which is part of a franchise run by Neighbourly UK, was able to respond quickly to the pandemic and re-open after lockdown.
She said: “My background is in human resources and I’m quite methodical, so I was attracted to opening a franchise because it meant I was not learning the business from scratch.
“When the pandemic came, the franchise model also meant the firm had access to a significant level of resource which allowed us to get effective protocols in place and ensure we are covid compliant.”
The company has seen steady growth over the past five years, with a strong performance in year two followed by around 8% per annum.
Related: Bright & Beautiful Franchise
Ms Schofield said: “This year we have still managed to hit our targets.
“Coronavirus restrictions meant we locked down on March 23 and didn’t go back to work until the end of June, but even though we had a total wipe out of income through that period, we still hit our targets, even though they were ambitious to start with.”
The firm said communication had been key during the lockdown period and had invested in additional products which allowed the firm to “hit the ground running” when the firm was able to re-open.
Ms Schofield said reliability, company policies and procedures combined with consistently high quality service contributed to the firm’s expansion.
She said: “We do advertise online and this attracts customers, but a lot of new business comes from word-of-mouth referrals from existing clients.”
Although the firm specialises in domestic customers, it had also seen increased interest from commercial clients as well as growing demand for its laundry services.
By Jim Millar
Source: The Courier