The Answer is in the Kitchen!
Professional oven cleaning is no longer a luxury, with increasing numbers of households refusing to do without it. Julian Minwalla, Chief Executive of Ovenclean, reflects on the sector.
So often the most successful ideas are the simplest. Only when some bright spark makes a fortune from a common sense new product or service do we all realise that it was blindingly obvious all along that this was exactly what everyone needed and wonder why someone else hasn't thought of it sooner!
The domestic oven cleaning marketplace is rather like this. Few of our franchise owners actually started out looking to make money from cleaning ovens, but all of them recognised the terrific opportunity when they came across it. Think about it: everyone has an oven, every oven has to be cleaned regularly and just about anyone you ask says that they hate cleaning ovens. Add to that increasingly busy lives, where both partners usually work and free time is precious; an ageing population in need of support to cope with physically demanding chores and a growing rental market with a regular churn of tenants moving in and out and you begin to see just how enormous the market potential for domestic oven cleaning really is.
As a 'man and a van' operation - and although we have some very successful female franchise owners, most are male - the franchise also has the advantage of low overheads, low operating costs and the flexibility to dictate your own working hours. The beauty of the business model is its simplicity: it is easy to learn, straightforward to manage and once customers have experienced the astonishing results of a professional oven clean they never look back, using the service regularly and usually recommending it to all their friends!
For some, this relatively stress-free existence is perfect. However, for others, a good living and the satisfaction that comes from providing an excellent and much appreciated service is just the beginning. Although happy to start off providing a hands-on service, they cannot see themselves cleaning ovens forever and look to build a management franchise, with a fleet of vehicles and a team of well trained staff. The domestic oven cleaning marketplace lends itself well to such ambitious souls and the Ovenclean network includes a number of multi-vehicle operations. Of course, there is more responsibility and further investment involved, but with the support of a dedicated business development team, franchise owners can make a great deal of money, not to mention build a valuable asset that can be sold on - or passed on to younger family members - when they decide to retire.
Recent experience also tells us that this is an area which is pretty recession proof too. The breadth of the marketplace and relative affordability of a professional oven clean seems to make this a small luxury that customers don't want to do without - even when things get tough. However it's important not to be complacent, so at Ovenclean we are always looking for different ways to support our franchise owners in finding new customers and have enjoyed considerable success penetrating markets outside our traditional domestic domain - in short, anywhere where there's an oven to clean!
So, if you're looking for a franchise that's easy to learn and straightforward to operate, with massive market potential for regular customers and the flexibility to build into a multi-van operation, take a look in the kitchen - the answer may be right there!