“Due to the changing nature of retail, and the ever-increasing presence of the internet, my redundancy wasn’t a shock, but nonetheless, still a daunting prospect after so many years,” he says. “Fortunately, I had time to look around at my options, during which time I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to work for a large organisation again.
“With this in mind, it led me to look at franchising, but I soon realised that it was important to find something that didn’t require specific trade qualifications like a plumber or electrician. However, having previously managed an electrical department instore, the opportunity to find out more about Ovenclean seemed an interesting one, as I had knowledge of many of the appliances that I’d be working with.
“The next step was to attend an open day at Kidderminster, which I found hugely helpful and informative. There was no hard sell – quite the contrary! I was even offered the opportunity to contact a random selection of existing franchisees to get their point of view before making any decisions. It was a very influential day for me – and after following up the offer to chat to franchisees, and seeing the favourable customer comments, I was convinced.”
Once Steven’s decision was made, he then spent a day at Head Office, followed by a 2-week practical induction with an experienced franchisee.
“It was really helpful,” says Steven. “By the end of the 2 weeks, I felt in a strong position to go out and start things for myself. It also helped to know my trainer was there to guide me after the launch, should I need it.
“Ovenclean were very supportive with my launch, which consisted of an excellent 6-week marketing campaign across different parts of my franchise region. This enabled a steady build-up of customers.
“To anyone considering franchising, I’d say the main benefits are the freedom it provides. I certainly wouldn’t return to the retail trade – it’s extremely satisfying to be your own boss and set the direction of your own business as you wish.
“My plan is to build up my customer base to the highest level I can achieve and offer the best possible service I can. Eventually, I hope to be able to sell the business as a thriving, going concern.”