Terry Taggart, franchisee for Oven Wizards North Yorkshire, explains why the brand was the perfect fit for his goals, and a satisfying career.
What path did you take into franchising?
I had been employed since leaving school and never worked for myself. After 15 years with my last company, I felt I needed a change before I retire. I wanted something I could do myself without having to employ anyone else until I decided I wanted to grow the business.
Why the cleaning industry, and why an Oven Wizards franchise in particular? Did you have any initial reservations?
I looked into food, fitness and cleaning opportunities as I believed them to be three areas of good growth potential. Food and fitness meant in general having property and this was expensive. I looked closely at Domestic Cleaning as this was growing fast due to the commitments on people’s time. None of the local cleaning companies included oven cleaning, which prompted me to look in depth at oven cleaning companies. It also married up with my ambition to work as one man with a van.
I chose Oven Wizards after researching the main competitors. Having met Mark and John, business owners and directors of Oven Wizards, I felt that the bigger territories they were offering gave me potential, should I choose to grow the business beyond a single van. However the main reason was that I felt comfortable handing my money to them. Trust is something I require when working with anyone, and I felt I could trust both of them. Their outlook and plans for their own business impressed me and as such the decision was made.
I did have some reservations: would I get enough orders to make a good living? And I was going back to a physical job after being in management roles for many years. These were soon dispelled when I started to get bookings at a rate of two per day, and the physical side was not an issue as I keep myself quite fit.
What training did you receive from the franchisor, and what ongoing support do you receive?
I had my first training – the business development session – in my own home with John on day one, and both John and Mark on day two. This was on marketing, running your own business, profit and loss and other important business issues. I then had on-the-job training with a senior technician and an Oven Wizards franchise owner.
I carried out oven cleaning under supervision for nearly two weeks. The ongoing support is available from Mark and John, who are always available on the phone to help with all issues: practical issues, marketing, business development etc.
Mark and John also call on a regular basis to see how I am getting on. In addition we have a franchise owner forum online, which is very useful if you have any questions or success stories to share.
What are the greatest advantages?
The biggest advantages are that I can now manage my own time and as such family issues etc can be worked into my diary as and when required.
I particularly enjoy meeting different people every day that are always happy to see me; no bad customers as yet. I also get real satisfaction seeing the transformation of the ovens I clean.
Are you achieving what you expected to?
Since my launch in February 2014 I have carried out hundreds of cleans. I was averaging two bookings per day, but this is now growing to three: well above my original expectation.
What has worked well on the business development and operations sides of your business?
I have most of the things we covered in the business development session to attract business. I now understand what works for me in my area, so I tend to concentrate on about half a dozen things that work for me.