- Start Up Cost:
- Franchise Type:
- Sector Type:
- Investment Type:
- Cleaning Services
- B2B, B2C
Safeclean boasts a UK-wide network of 50 franchisees coupled with 50 years of creating successful businesses. We are a leading carpet and upholstery cleaning and care company in the UK, operating in both domestic and commercial sectors.
Our parent company, Guardsman, is a global business that provides furniture protection plans to over 2 million households across the UK. With over 100 years of experience in furniture protection, care and repair, Guardsman works in partnership with many leading furniture retailers such Furniture Village, DFS and Laura Ashley. Our Safeclean franchisees provide the spot and stain removal for those plans whilst also operating their own cleaning operation.
Safeclean is one of the longest established franchises in the UK, having operated for over 50 years, and are a proud member of the bfa.
Our vast experience and expertise have enabled us to become one of the most highly adept companies at cleaning and stain removal. As a result, we are able to offer bespoke cleaning services to carpets, upholstery, curtains, mattresses, rugs and hard flooring. Our services include:
– Overall cleaning
– Stain removal
– Protection treatments
– Allergy treatments
– Deodorisation and sanitisation services
We provide 2-3 weeks of training at head office before letting you out on the road, but once you’re on the road, you’ll get ongoing, on-the-job training whilst having support and mentoring from both head office and your network of franchisees.
The training will cover the practical elements needed, including carpet and fabric cleaning, but you’ll also get training and support for business development and building your marketing strategy. You’ll also spend the day out on the road with a fellow franchisee to learn the ropes.
A day in the life of a Safeclean franchisee can be very varied. You’ll be working on a wide variety of jobs in different surroundings, with the opportunity to meet lots of different people.
Depending on whether you’re running your Safeclean business as a management franchise or as a sole trader, your tasks will be a combination of the physical upholstery care, taking and making sales calls and general business management/development. This makes for a varied diary that allows you to plan your business to fit in with your life.
Russ Vernon had over twenty years of experience in sales and marketing in the packaging and motor industries when he decided to become a Safeclean by Guardsman franchisee. He had previously worked at senior management and director level, but a desire to work for himself led him to consider franchising. He thought that running a franchise would suit him because it uses the expertise of others and is a cheaper way to start up a business.
Russ decided on a Safeclean franchise as it had few overheads, a proven record and good cash flow. He enlisted the help of his wife, Carol, who manages the administration and finance.
“The support from head office has really helped us to get the business established, and also keep going, as Safeclean offer ongoing training and support,” comments Russ. “The support is excellent and always available.”
Russ began running his Safeclean business in 2007 and says that the experience has been hectic, but enjoyable! After his first year he expanded rapidly, taking on new technicians to help with the demand for work. Despite Russ's immediate success, he sees even bigger things ahead.
His advice to potential franchisees? “Don't give up. Sometimes good things take a while to mature!”
Martin Davenport used to work in the IT industry, but he felt that his life had become too pressurised and began looking for an alternative. "I wanted a change, with a chance to control my own destiny," Martin said. "Franchising seemed to offer the best opportunity to achieve this."
After doing research on the internet and in franchising magazines, Martin decided on a Safeclean by Guardsman franchise. He explains: "Safeclean gave what I considered to be an honest opinion of what was involved, especially when compared to other initial enquiries - I believed they could deliver what they were promising if I followed their advice."
As one of the longest-established franchises in the UK, Safeclean by Guardsman has been operating for over 40 years, and was a founder member of the British Franchising Association – so has lots of experience and knowhow to help build a successful business.
Safeclean benefits from the link with Guardsman, who offer services and products dedicated to the protection, care and repair of fabric, leather and wood furnishings. Guardsman provides Protection Plans to furniture retailers and it is the Safeclean by Guardsman franchisees who exclusively provide the upholstery spot and stain removal service for those plans. This means that from day one Guardsman can guarantee a source of business.
Now with a firm business established, Martin couldn't be happier with his Safeclean franchise. "Ever since starting I’ve really enjoyed the Safeclean franchise; its hard work, but rewarding, and I get the opportunity to meet new people every day."
Since John joined Safeclean in 2001 he has grown his franchise into a thriving business. Coming from the building trade and being used to lots of physical work, John knew when considering a new career he wouldn’t be suited to an office job.
He needed a job that wasn’t reliant on good weather conditions so decided to investigate jobs that would allow him to still be hands-on, but have better working conditions whilst being his own boss. After some thought into franchising, he decided it was Safeclean that stood out from the crowd with their professionalism, support and product quality.
Now having run his business for over 10 years, when asked what gives him the greatest sense of achievement, John says: “It’s every time the phone rings because I know then I’m marketing my business well and reaching the right people.
“The physical cleaning itself is the easy part but making your cleaning services known to the general public isn’t as easy. I genuinely enjoy the physical work but it’s mostly about going to meet new customers and being welcomed warmly into their homes, this brings great job satisfaction.
“I know my successes have come from hard work and being committed to put the hours in, so if asked whether I would recommend franchising I would say ‘yes, it’s worthwhile’, but your business is what you make it and hard work pays off.
Looking towards the future, he adds: “My aspirations for this year are to continue to grow my business and continue to provide a high-quality clean.”
Celebrating forty years of franchising in 2010, Safeclean by Guardsman is proud to be one of the longest-standing franchises in the UK, with years of industry experience and knowledge including being a founder member of the bfa. While some have come and gone over the years, one franchisee has loved and thrived on the success of his Safeclean franchise so much, that he’s still there 30 years later!
Geraint Williams is one of Safeclean’s longest serving franchisees, having started his franchise on the 1st of May 1982. He invested in the franchise through the Safeclean founder, Desmond Cook.
“I wrote to the bfa for a list of franchises in my price range and Safeclean was one of them,” remembers Geraint. “I liked Safeclean immediately because I bonded so well with the owner. He was personable and interviewed me whilst he was working; it was that dedication to the business that initially inspired me.
“Once I started, I took to the business like a duck to water. To think now that I run a business of three cleaning technicians on the road, I am proud to have grown it to the business it is today, allowing me and my family to enjoy long periods of stability and to develop the sense that our future lies in our own hands.”
Geraint has seen many changes in the business in his time as a franchisee, with more for him to enjoy in the pipeline; 2013 sees the launch of new chemicals for the franchisees to use, in addition to continuation of the rebranding launched in 2012.
When asked about the best change that has come in his 30 years of owning a Safeclean franchise, Geraint says that it is the modernisation of the systems and constant innovation. “When I first started, we’d literally be cleaning on our hands and knees. I loved it at the time, and it was never as bad as people thought, but sooner or later, you’re going to wear your body out. Now the home cleaning system has been fully mechanised and the chemicals we use are the most effective they have ever been.”
As is evident from the length of his ownership of the franchise, it has provided long term security to Geraint and his family. “Over the years, many people have asked me whether I should set up on my own, but with the support from the franchise networks and the knowledge and experience the franchise team have, they have helped me build the business to where it is today. I really don’t think it would have been the same without them.”
Geraint’s success has gone from strength to strength and in celebrating his 30 years as a franchisee, Geraint picked up awards at Safeclean’s National Business Meeting 2013 – not only his long service, but also for his continued high levels of service.
As for the future, well Geraint only sees one thing: “To drive the business even further forward, increasing the customer base by constantly improving the service.”
Safeclean congratulates Geraint on his hard work and support to the franchise over the past year and hope he still enjoys and thrives on the Safeclean franchise over many more years to come!