Following record sales figures in 2020 and a huge increase in demand for sweeping services during the COVID pandemic, Wilkins Chimney Sweep has welcomed a new franchisee to the group and multiple franchisees have purchased new territories to expand their businesses, taking advantage of the buoyant marketplace.
New starter Dave Neville has purchased Wilkins Chimney Sweep Stevenage, using the company’s ‘No Money Down Offer’. Dave was introduced to the business by younger brother Andy who bought his chimney sweeping franchise, Wilkins Chimney Sweep Cambridge and East Beds, in June 2017.
Explaining why he decided to buy a Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise Dave said,
‘I’ve watched my brother run his Wilkins franchise successfully over the past four years and, as a Handyman by trade myself, I’ve even helped him out on a few occasions. I was initially attracted to the work and the fact that I know the company and people who run it, are decent. When I heard about the ‘No Money Down’ offer it seemed the perfect opportunity to start my own business and I don’t have to start paying the money back until September 2022, which is great. Currently I work for myself and some days, there’s no one to ask advice from, which can be hard. A big selling point for me is the support I’m going to get from the franchisor and the network, I know it’s going to make a big difference and I can’t wait to get started.’
Operations Manager Lisa Kimber said,
‘We are delighted to welcome Dave to the franchise using our ‘No Money Down’ offer. It’s always good to have a referral from a family member, as it shows great trust in our brand. He is beginning his training in May and will be out on the road, with our full support a few weeks after that.’
Following a WorkBuzz Franchise Satisfaction Survey in 2020, Wilkin’s franchisees anonymously scored the franchise 100% for ‘work life balance’ and ‘head office support’.
A few existing franchisees are also expanding their territories.
Mark Yeomans, owner of Wilkins Chimney Sweep Halesowen is taking on South Midlands with a member of staff.
Nick Menage owner of Wilkins Chimney Sweep North Oxfordshire and South Warwickshire is expanding his business by adding on the West Oxfordshire territory. He is looking for a new member of staff and would welcome all enquiries.
Adrian Steel, is taking his total number of territories up to seven, adding on Wilkins Chimney Sweep Reading, Sutton Coldfield and Solihull, and Coventry. Adrian already employs three members of staff and is currently recruiting for a fourth to join the team in the new Reading operation.
‘Not only were our figures coming out of 2020 great, but my business was also up 26% during the pandemic, so expanding was an easy decision to make. I had already bought territories as far South as I wanted to go, so going North seemed a logical step with the new Midlands territories. I have staff to cover those areas but am looking for a new member of the team in Reading.
Franchise Manager Lisa Kimber said,
‘Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchisees have been performing out of their boots recently, and these expansions are as a direct result of all their hard work. We will be celebrating our 10th anniversary as a franchise this year and we’re proud to have supported so many people to own their own successful businesses.’
‘We are actively recruiting new franchisees, as our training season draws to a close quite soon. We would love to hear from anyone who would like to run their own successful business, which as you can see, has the possibility to be expanded into a multi territory franchise over time. Wilkin’s franchisees receive first class training on how to sweep chimneys and how to run the business. Franchisees also benefit from our highly experienced head office team, which includes a former chimney sweep and the rest of the franchisee network. If finances are a problem, we are currently offering a time limited ‘No Money Down’ option or, if you would prefer to borrow from a bank, we are pre-approved by NatWest.’
David Callister, Operations Director of Taylor Made Franchising who own Wilkins Chimney Sweep said,
‘While many businesses struggled during the pandemic, Wilkins Chimney Sweep thrived. With people working from home, they not only used their fires more often, but they were also physically at home to let us in to carry out a sweep, something they may previously have struggled to do. Although none of us knows what the ‘new normal’ will look like, we don’t foresee any major changes to our levels of service going forwards. Increased levels of working from home look set to be part of the new future workplace and once a client has had their chimney swept once, they’re unlikely to miss it again, understanding the importance of it being swept from a safety perspective.’