Wilkins Chimney Sweep Limited
- Membership: Associate
- Sector: Cleaning Services
- Contact: Ms Louise Harris QFP
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tel: 03300885769
- Location: Hillside House, 1 Hillside Road, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0BH, United Kingdom
We’re a business with a great heritage. Established in 1895 in Newbury, Berkshire, Wilkins Chimney Sweep expanded with its first franchisees in 2011.
Franchisors, husband and wife, Peter and Louise Harris are now based in Hungerford in Berkshire with franchisees across the UK.
Peter is a member of the Steering Committee for the Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps (APICS), and his wife Louise, is an associate member representative on the British Franchise Association Board of Directors.
Franchisees run their own local businesses based in an exclusive territory. They offer a range of practical home-based services – chimney sweeping, bird protection and, during the quieter months, a patio and driveway pressure / jet washing service. We’re a van-based, full-time franchise that operates from home.
Starting as a single operator we expect our franchisees to develop to a second van in their third or fourth year. Our model ticks the boxes for a sustainable, growing, profitable business.
Our Franchisees work across the UK from Whitley Bay in the north to Worthing in the south, West Cheshire in the West and South Norfolk in the east! Not all areas lend themselves to the business and we work to establish the need during the planning phase BEFORE accepting franchisees.
We bring a maximum of six new franchisees into the business each year to ensure the best training and support is available during start up and beyond.
In 2016 our man from Tyneside North, Richard Bryan, won the bfa Microbusiness Franchisee of the Year Award amidst some very tough competition!
- Network Size: 15-20 units
- Franchise Type: Job
- Typical Start-up Cost: £13,100
- Minimum Personal Investment: £5,500
- Franchise Location: Home/Van-based
- Market: B2C
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Training is in three parts – how to run the business and how to deliver the sweeping service plus further training on PowerClean.
A week in the classroom on running the business sets up the business systems, administration and marketing processes; two weeks on the van at ‘live’ customer properties, including a day on working with ladders, ensures the franchisee is ready for the sweeping business from day one. The practical training is far more extensive than anything available in the market and allows franchisees to practice their skills of customer interaction whilst sweeping. When the franchisee is ready, training is provided on the delivery of the PowerClean service.
Daily Life of a Franchisee
Like most roles, no day is ever the same! A typical day is out ‘9-5’ sweeping or installing cowls. Back home (after a bath!) complete the day’s brief admin and make follow-up calls to customers if necessary.
Four days a week are sweeping, one is fitting cages, caps and cowls. There is about half a day of admin each week maximum – bookkeeping and banking – plus keeping on top of marketing. It’s a simple yet commercial model!