Bright and Beautiful: Fife firm cleans up during Covid

December 30, 2020

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.

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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.

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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

Households gripped by hygiene bug help business to clean up

December 15, 2020

A housekeeping business is cleaning up as the coronavirus pandemic sparks unprecedented demand.

Cleaning entrepreneur Alison Chilvers launched Bright & Beautiful Ipswich a year ago and has expanded into Woodbridge as demand for her firm’s services soar.

She now employs nine housekeepers and has seen her revenue rise by 137% since January. The team cleans 300 homes around Suffolk.

The additional funding has enabled her to expand into Woodbridge and develop and grow her business.

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“We have experienced an unprecedented demand for our professional cleaning services during the pandemic and we attribute this to our high standards for hygiene and trusted teams, all of whom are fully employed and trained,” said Ms Chilvers.

“We have also introduced enhanced safety procedures, using eco-friendly and sanitisation products, including a fogging machine to provide extra protection and reassurance to our clients.

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“As more people work from home, the need for a reliable and managed cleaning service has never been so important. We are helping busy professionals and parents focus on their work and spend time with their loved ones without having to worry about the cleaning and ironing. Our clients trust us to look after their homes and in return we give them the hotel finish they deserve, she said.

She was “hugely proud” of what the business has achieved, she said.

Related: Bright & Beautiful Franchise

“I am equally committed to creating more employment opportunities for local men and women, providing them with a great working environment, and to delivering a premium service that always serves its promises to the local communities,” she added.

Her business is part of a larger franchise network, with 67 franchisees operating across the UK.

The Bright & Beautiful franchise business was bought by US home services giant in 2017.

By Sarah Chambers

Source: Ipswich Star

Oven cleaning business sees new employment enquiries soar during pandemic

December 10, 2020

A successful oven cleaning firm in North Somerset with franchises across the UK has seen enquiries soar during the pandemic – as people look to start their own business.

OvenGleamers, which is run by husband and wife team Catherine and Graham Rogers, say they have received more than 1,000 enquiries about people taking up franchises.

The pair, who set up the company a decade ago as ‘one-man-in-a-van’ now have 17 franchisees around the UK.

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The duo, who coordinate cleaning schedules for individuals and franchisees from their headquarters in Pill, said huge numbers of people had contacted them about setting up a franchise business.

“What we have seen is a lot of interest in our franchise opportunities. In fact right now we have just over 1,000 enquiries about an OvenGleamers franchise which is fantastic,” said Catherine.

“It is understandable though because oven cleaning as a business is a fun, straight forward business to have when you do it right and we have those systems in place because Graham has been there and done it and still does.”

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Despite many businesses struggling during 2020 due to the pandemic, OvenGleamers has continued to expand in the last 12 months.

It has hired two new members of staff for the head office and adding franchisees including three new ones in Torbay, St Albans and Kidderminster.

Catherine and Graham said although it had been an “incredibly challenging year” for everyone in business, OvenGleamers had been “prepared” for most of the restrictions – and had not seen any drop in customer numbers.

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“We could have been hugely impacted by the varying restrictions but we’ve always ensured our teams work to the very highest standards in terms of hygiene, health and safety so we were already prepared for most of the precautions,” said Catherine.

Graham added: “We can’t believe it has been a decade since we took the plunge and really went for it with the franchising concept.

“It was a steep learning curve because you are moving from the simpler model of direct customer service with your local round to trying to scale that personal passion, drive and quality but we’ve got a fantastic team out there in homes right across the country now.”

By Heather Pickstock

Source: Bristol Post

Molly Maid recognised for award-winning franchisee support

November 17, 2020

The Best Franchise Awards recognises exceptional UK franchisors as rated by their franchisees and Molly Maid have once again received the prestigious 5-star rating.

The 2020 awards will be one for the record books considering the significant efforts leading franchisors like Molly Maid have delivered to franchisees to help them overcome the impacts of the coronavirus. Franchisees are asked to anonymously rate their satisfaction in key areas of the support they are provided such as; training, culture and relationships and leadership.

Molly Maid’s comments
With hundreds of franchisors all shouting about how good their training and support is, standing out from the crowd with this high rating is something that we are really proud of.

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We are equally as proud of the direct feedback from franchisees about the support they received during the current pandemic. Their feedback highlighted how closely they felt supported during these unprecedented times. Firstly how we helped to protect their business with our guidance on how to secure funding through Government schemes, then providing our processes to help them in the reassurance to their staff and customers through the development of our HomeSafe procedures.

Our HomeSafe processes enabled our franchisees to be some of the first businesses back following lockdown, allowing us to safely continue operating regardless of the restrictions in place and is why we have already returned to over 85 per cent of our pre-COVID sales levels.

We have captured just some of the feedback provided by our franchisees which helps to show how we achieved such a high rating.

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One of the reasons I chose Molly Maid was the incredible support they give to the franchisees. I have not been disappointed.”

The advice during the COVID pandemic has been detailed, measured and accurate. It reflects Government policy but was also understanding and encouraging. It set me apart from other businesses who did not have this support and allowed me to resume service confidently and with a competitive edge through the new systems developed.”

Without their continuous support and understanding of the situation, my business would not have continued. Their constant updates gave me a full understanding of expectations to staff and to the business. Their support was above and beyond their duty.”

I would have no hesitation in recommending a Molly Maid franchise to a prospective franchisee, who was in the correct position to grow and develop the business. I would not recommend it to someone who thought it was an easy option, because as with all businesses it requires dedication and hard work to achieve the results.”

Related: Molly Maid Franchise

I hope the above feedback helps to paint a picture of why Molly Maid provides the perfect platform to launch your own business, gain really close support along the way, and become part of the market leaders within the ever growing domestic cleaning sector where cleanliness and healthy homes are a priority for everybody.

Source: Franchise World

‘I want to create 1,000 millionaires’: Founder of Fantastic Services on creating an army of franchisees and diversifying from cleaning

October 8, 2020

The boss of Fantastic Services has bold ambitions to a create 1,000 millionaire franchisees in the next decade.

Rune Sovndahl, chief executive and co-founder of the home services firm says there are currently six franchisees on the platform who have achieved £1million in turnover, specialising in general cleaning, removals and carpet cleaning.

This means they are well on their way to creating their own fortune, after expenses and costs are deducted.

The business was founded 12 years ago after Rune ran into difficulties finding someone to clean his carpet.

‘I looked online and I couldn’t really get an online booking. You had to make a phone call and it was really frustrating.’

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He met Anton Skarlatov not long after his online attempt went awry. Anton ran a cleaning business and promised to help him with his dilemma.

From this spawned a business idea to create a one-stop shop for all home services and led to a partnership that is successfully running today more than a decade on.

Rune explains: ‘I think it took us about one week or less from talking to each other to set it all up. I said “let me try and build you a website”.’

Launching in the financial crisis, the idea was to create a website which would bring all services together that the average person would need but couldn’t access immediately.

As well as cleaning, it now offers gardening, tradesmen, locksmiths, pest control and waste disposal, among a range of other services.

Rune explains: ‘Back then, the cleaning industry had no real structure and everything was cash in hand.’

It was his experience as group search engine optimisation manager at Lastminute that he drew on in building the Fantastic Services website and it wasn’t long after that he left the online travel and leisure retailer to start out with his business partner.

The partnership worked, not because Rune and Anton thought the same but because both men were able to bring something different to the table.

Rune explains: ‘I was able to draw on my skill set to build the website. Anton had the connections.

‘One of my principles is “do what you’re good at” and let others do what you’re not good at. Synergy is always better. If both of you come from a same background you’ll make both of you redundant.’

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‘We started with just £3,000 each’

The business has benefited from the funds they were able to generate themselves.

Rune says: ‘We made some rules about investing profits into building technology as we were up against some guys with really good marketing budgets.

‘We had no choice but to deliver a better service. Anyone can spend £40million on marketing but not everyone can make a business out of it. He adds that it was this philosophy that led to the name “Fantastic Services” and the franchise model.’

Rune says it’s the investment in technology that sets his business apart from similar businesses. ‘The comparison sites are one of the reasons I got so frustrated. You get three people calling you and none turn up.

Anyone can spend £40million on marketing but not everyone can make a business out of it

Rune Sovndahl co-founder and CEO of Fantastic Services

‘With Fantastic Services have real time availability and you can see what the price is upfront.

‘You make a booking based on your postcode. But everywhere else you make a request.’

Rune admits he wasn’t always a fan of the franchise model, but he’s found a way to make it work.

‘I think the reason is that there are so many out there that just give you a package and training. They don’t do joint marketing efforts.

‘We know there are levels of franchising. It’s very hard to get things working if you’re a single worker to owning four to five plumbing cars. I’m a fan of the Fantastic model but skeptical over the franchising model which just sells a training framework.

A basic Fantastic Services franchise starts at £1,900. But if you want more, such as rights to purchase an area franchise, which allows you to ‘own’ postcodes and sell your own smaller franchise you have to investment of at least £15,000.

The franchise with Fantastic Services will not include the vehicles or professional equipment – if you start a business with it you have to provide your own.

Related: Fantastic Services Franchise

The initial investment figure can increase if you want to cover larger areas. Franchisees will also pay Fantastic Services a percentage from their profits but this all depends on the services that they are getting from them.

Rune adds: ‘We sell our franchisees teamwork. For the £15,000 payment they get marketing, complete software systems, training, operations support and even coaching on business management. You can sell that on. Whereas if you’re just on a network you’re just getting leads.’

The 1,000 millionaire mission

More than a decade on, Rune is now on a mission to create 1,000 franchisees on the platform that can turn over £1million within in the Fantastic Services family.

Rune explains that it will take a certain personality to achieve this within the business: ‘They are good at organising staff, winning contracts and recruitments and chasing opportunities when they are there.’

Different people have been impacted in very different ways by coronavirus and lockdown, but one common thread across the UK has been the desire to launch side hustles.

Rune Sovndahl co-founder and CEO of Fantastic Services

He assures that this opportunity is for anyone – even if they don’t have a university degree.

He says: ‘After we’d been running for two years, I was chatting to some of our cleaners. I asked “what made you become a cleaner?”

‘They said they didn’t have other opportunities because they didn’t go to university and didn’t speak other languages.

‘But I believe it doesn’t matter what your background is, where you were educated and who your parents are. I don’t think you need to go to university to become a millionaire.’

Twelve years on, Fantastic Services enjoys a turnover of just under £40million and services an average of 15,000 clients each month. But when asked, about its profits Rune refuses to divulge the figures, saying its market sensitive information.

Rune’s post-Covid growth plans include buying more small businesses and expanding the company’s portfolio to become the Uber of home services.

More interest during Covid-19

He appears unperturbed about the financial impact of coronavirus. When you consider Fantastic Services beginnings you can understand why he’s not concerned as he’s used to achieving a lot with very little.

Fantastic Services was bootstrapped from the beginning. Rune explains: ‘With about £6,000 we started in 2008 during the biggest recession. We’re quite excited about going in a recession now.’

He points out that anyone with money can go bust, adding: ‘One of our competitors was Google backed and spent $50million and then went away.’

The business started with four franchisees but now boasts over 530 franchisees and has over 2,000 professionals operating globally under the brand name with a presence in Australia and the US.

There were plans to expand further geographically but that was scuppered by Covid-19.

But this has allowed Fantastic Services to deal with the demand for franchises in the UK.

According to a survey they conducted themselves, more than 3.5million Britons have opened up a side hustle since the beginning of lockdown.

The company surveyed 2,000 UK adults – seven per cent of which said they had found a way to create an alternative income stream.

The trend, they found, is particularly prominent among millennials aged 24-34 with one in six (16 per cent) claiming to have started a side-hustle.

Rune says: ‘Different people have been impacted in very different ways by coronavirus and lockdown, but one common thread across the UK has been the desire to launch side hustles.

‘There are lots of potential reasons for this, and contrary to popular belief, a recession can actually be a great time to start a business.

‘At Fantastic Services, we’ve also seen a spike in entrepreneurial people wanting to open franchises with us rather than starting a new business completely on their own.

‘This makes sense in that new franchisees get the benefits of running their own business, while being protected from a lot of costs and uncertainty.’


Source: This is Money

Filta remains resilient in the face of coronavirus impact

September 16, 2020

Commercial kitchen services provider Filta Group has revealed its unaudited interim results for the 6 months ended 30 June 2020.

During these 6 months, the supplier generated revenue of £8.3m, a reduction of 32% compared to the same period last year, where turnover was £12.2m. This year’s total was substantially impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns and social distancing restrictions.

The firm made an operating loss of £664k in these 6 months too, 207% down on the £614k profit from the same period in 2019. However, gross margin remained the same, at 41%.

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Nevertheless, Filta reduced overhead costs in Q2 by 23% in response to impact of Covid-19.

In fact the company had a strong Q1 followed by reduction in trading due to the lockdown and then good month on month growth in May, June, and July.

Filta clinched six new franchise sales in the period. Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020, the group has been focused on supporting its franchisees and customers by reducing franchise fees and working with customers to prepare for re-openings in Q3.

Cost reductions were reportedly achieved through the lockdown period by making use of government schemes, wage cuts and reduced discretionary spending.

Plus the company launched its FiltaShield sanitisation service in May and recently secured an exclusive licensing agreement with NHS Trust owned support services group, NTH Solutions.

Filta is also reporting encouraging progress in North America and Europe, as continued interest from potential franchisees is said to have resulted in four new H2 franchise sales and a healthy pipeline.

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Jason Sayers, CEO of Filta, commented: “While the Covid-19 pandemic had a material impact during the first half, our results demonstrate the resilience of our businesses and the fundamental strength of Filta. I am extremely proud of the way that Filta staff have stepped up to challenges we faced in each of our markets, and I thank all our employees and franchisees who have worked tirelessly to support our customers throughout these challenging times.

“We entered the year with good momentum, but with the pandemic causing lower demand for our services and widespread closures across our customer base from mid-March, we quickly adapted, placing emphasis on supporting our employees, franchisees and customers and protecting the long-term health of our business.

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“Despite the disruption, we remained committed to operational excellence whilst developing new and creative ways of working; all of which will ensure that the company-owned activities in the UK, in particular, remain ideally positioned for future success. The strength of our North American business model has been evidenced by the continued profitable trading that we have enjoyed throughout the Covid-19 affected period.

“With customer demand now coming back, we can focus on leveraging our solid capabilities to drive revenues back up. We are well-prepared for the resumption of trading by our ongoing end customers and believe that there will be growth opportunities as businesses have to become more innovative and efficient.

“Moreover, with the appointment of a new and industry experienced MD in the UK to drive the business forward, we are confident that we are well placed to achieve strong revenue growth.”


Source: Catering Insight

Rare business opportunity to take on your own oven valeting business in South Notts

September 2, 2020

A rare opportunity has arisen to take on a successful oven cleaning business in the Nottingham South area following the retirement of its previous owner.

It offers the ideal prospect for those facing uncertain employment prospects, looking to defer their retirement, or simply searching for a change of career.

Ovenu Nottingham South combines a tried and tested product with a respected brand – together with the added reassurance of a comprehensive training programme and ongoing business support.

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Rik Hellewell, the founder and managing director of the Ovenu franchise, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to invest in an established franchise with a thriving and loyal customer base.

“Our franchise package is built on more than 25 years of experience and contains everything needed to operate a profitable business.

“An Ovenu franchise is designed to set people up for success compared to the very real challenges of establishing a start-up business in what are uncertain times.

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“It provides a valuable learning experience in how to run and grow a business. For others it is the ideal opportunity to take control of their lives and find that perfect work-life balance.”

The market-leading domestic oven cleaning franchise – which operates more than 100 franchises across the UK – was named a ‘Rising Star’ of the UK’s franchise sector by industry bible Elite Franchise earlier this year.

Ovenu stood out from many similar companies in the sector for the outstanding knowledge, help, support, and practical guidance available to franchisees

Related: Ovenu Franchise

It was also praised for its realistic and straightforward fee structure along with its client management system for generating significant leads.

Added Rik: “Ovenu Nottingham South is already well established in the area and the retirement of its previous owner provides an excellent opportunity for someone to further build on that hard-earned reputation and success.”

Source: WB Wire

Ecocleen Cleaning Million Of Square Feet Of Schools A Day

August 3, 2020

Ecocleen, a commercial contract cleaning provider, has been servicing 10 million square feet of schools daily to aid the reopening of education facilities across the United Kingdom, according to a press release.

With specialist cleaning expertise and local account management, the company adapted its offering to meet individual school needs and expectations during this unprecedented period. This adaption ensures education facilities remain a safe and hygienic environment for students, teachers and parents.

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The return to school has been controversial and unpopular with many parents and staff, who are concerned about the safety and practicalities of children returning to the classroom. Ecocleen has helped to provide certainty and reassurance by ensuring schools are fully and properly prepared when children return. Since schools started reopening in the U.K. in June, Ecocleen has adjusted its cleaning specifications and introduced daily cleaning throughout school hours, focusing on main contact points to help limit the risk of cross contamination.

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“The effects of COVID-19 have been paramount, and it’s had a huge impact on the education sector in particular. We’re proud to have helped students, teachers and parents return to some sense of normalcy by providing them with what they need to safeguard their school,” says Jean-Henri Beukes, managing director at Ecocleen. “Schools are not experts in cleaning — they are there to educate, as well as look after their teachers and students. We’re on hand to understand the unique needs of cleaning schools, colleges and nurseries, and help them feel safe as education facilities continue reopening.”

Related: Ecocleen Franchise

As a national service provider with regional franchise ownership, Ecocleen has provided schools with a local cleaning solution backed by nationwide standards, systems and support. This means the education community has benefited from shared specialist knowledge, advanced cleaning techniques and technological innovation. The team has also been available to provide advice and best practices to ensure schools and their staff completely understand infection control procedures and the importance of routine cleaning to reduce the spread of infection.

Source: Clean Link

Oven cleaning business Ovenu Cheshunt celebrates return to full order book with maximum five star reviews

July 27, 2020

The owner of Ovenu Cheshunt is celebrating after achieving a clean sweep of more than 100 five-star customer reviews weeks after reopening the oven cleaning business.

Paul Bernard, who took over the franchise in March 2019 after spending 20 years working in managerial positions in the motor trade, received the maximum rating from every client posting feedback on respected review platform TRUSTist.

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The coronavirus outbreak led to the temporary closure of the business, just as Paul was seeking to expand by adding extra vans and subcontractors. However, since reopening, he’s been delighted at the positive response of his clients and a swift return to a full order book.

He said: “I spent the downtime preparing to reopen and ensuring I had the right safety procedures in place to keep both myself and my clients safe and I’m really pleased that, since reopening, things have ramped back up so quickly.”

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“The phone has been ringing non-stop, with both new and existing clients and bookings are exceeding the lead up to Christmas which is always one of our busiest periods.

“I pride myself on delivering the highest standards, so I’m thrilled to have received the highest possible five-star reviews from every one of my clients posting on TRUSTist.”

Related: Ovenu Franchise

Rik Hellewell, founder and managing director of the Ovenu franchise, said: “Paul has already shown he is a hardworking and successful Ovenu franchisee and I am delighted he has been rewarded with these maximum reviews.

“It is so important that clients rebook and recommend Ovenu services in order to grow the business, so I look forward to seeing his continued achievements and expansion over the coming months and years.”

Ovenu Cheshunt serves homes and businesses across Cheshunt, Waltham Cross, Potters Bar and surrounding areas.

By Paul Bernard

Source: BDaily

Ecocleen Names New Commercial Director

July 14, 2020

Ecocleen, a commercial contract cleaning provider, has appointed Mark McMullen as its commercial director, announces the company in a press release.

The former operations director of Sodexo UK, McMullen joins the company with over 20 years’ experience in developing and delivering plans to drive profitable growth and business transformation.

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With McMullen’s wide-ranging experience across several sectors including managed facility services, retail, hospitality and wholesale, he brings strength in B2B and B2C environments where collaborating with clients and being committed to customers are the key to success.

In his role as operations director at Sodexo UK, McMullen was instrumental in the turnaround of a more than £100 million business and successfully winning MOD’s first super-contract under Project HESTIA worth £200 million.

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“I am thrilled to be joining the Ecocleen team and look forward to building on the exceptional leadership of Henry Beukes and Jean-Henri Beukes, says McMullen.

Related: Ecocleen Franchise

“Ecocleen colleagues and partners can be very proud of their achievements in supporting clients and customers, in particular during the recent pandemic, and I feel privileged to be one of the team. In the years ahead, we will work together to create an even greater organization, supporting more customers and clients by continuing to embrace new technology, playing our part in tackling climate change, enforcing high standards and ensuring Ecocleen is the UK’s number one choice for employees, clients and franchise partners.”

Source: Clean Link