Duncan Chandler talks to us about his Ovenclean business after just eighteen months since the launch
Just eighteen months after the launch of his Ovenclean franchise, former financial manager Duncan Chandler has reached the point where he has so much work that business expansion is inevitable. He says taking on an employee and an extra vehicle is a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’, and he is thrilled with the way his business has taken off.
"I’m constantly busy and will soon be struggling to handle any more new work," he explains. "I recently hit the £5,000 mark for monthly income, and although I’m delighted with that, if I’m to continue to grow, there’s really only one way forward!"
Duncan has turned his life around in the two years since he was made redundant for the second time. At fifty he didn’t fancy having to move back to London to find a job and had completely lost faith in the idea that employment meant security. He therefore decided this was the perfect opportunity to invest in the right business opportunity and become self-employed.
"I had the advantage of four months at home with full pay," Duncan says. "So I used my time to consider my options carefully, look around at alternative possibilities and do plenty of research. When I discovered Ovenclean, I was immediately impressed. The franchise looked like great value, I could see the potential marketplace and understand how the business model worked. Better still, when I contacted them, Ovenclean were friendly and informative, and invited me to visit their Head Office to meet the team."
Duncan then arranged to go out on the road with an established Ovenclean franchisee for the day, to see at first-hand how the business operated.
"I was more than happy with everything," he says. "I felt I’d given myself the very best chance of success by investing in Ovenclean and so far I’ve been proved right!"
Duncan booked 70 oven clean appointments over his launch weekend and has become even busier as time has gone on. Currently he has over a thousand regular, repeat order customers on his database, encompassing residential domestic customers as well as landlords for student lets at the local university.
"Word of mouth is a very important part of gaining new business," he explains. "The vast majority of my new enquiries come through satisfied customers; once people see the fantastic results, they just can’t believe how good their ovens look - invariably, they book the next clean on the spot and tell all their friends!"
These days Duncan is also a trainer for Ovenclean, being shadowed for a fortnight by new franchisees learning the ropes. He helps them during the early days and continues to provide support for as long as it’s needed.
"I’m really enjoying being an Ovenclean franchisee," he concludes. "There’s plenty of work, I easily earn what I did before as a financial manager and I get huge satisfaction from what I do. My life now is infinitely less stressed – I have more control and flexibility. It’s very different from being a small cog in a large organisation; previously I was demoralised and constantly looking over my shoulder to see where the axe might fall next. Now I run my own show, feel more secure than I did in employment and so much happier about my future!"
Ovenclean is the longest established and most successful domestic oven cleaning franchise in the UK, providing specialist oven cleaning services to a large, virtually untapped marketplace, including not only domestic customers, but also commercial work such as schools, lettings agencies and hotels. Franchisees operate from professionally liveried vans and so benefit from low overheads and high flexibility. The top quality, powerful yet eco-friendly Ovenclean product range, exclusive to franchisees, effectively cleans ovens and hobs, Agas, ranges and barbecues, restoring them to pristine condition within a matter of a few hours.
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