PVC Vendo Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster has been sold to a long-standing employee.
Richard Smithson (40) who has worked for former owner Nick Clifton for 19yrs, bought the business from him when he retired at the beginning of this year.
No changes are planned to the operation of the business that was founded in 1991. Richard will continue to employ two full-time members of staff, plus his own son Aaron (18), who has been working alongside him washing vehicles for the past three years.
Richard explains: “Having worked for Nick since 2004 I felt very comfortable with my decision to buy the business as I know our PVC Vendo territory is successful and profitable. Nick is still a great friend and mentor and I’ve got the daily advice and support of my franchisor behind me too, which gives me great peace of mind.”
He continued: “My goal is to expand and turn it into a proper family business. My son Aaron joined us during the pandemic when his school was closed, and has never looked back. He loves being out in the vans all day, meeting customers and washing their vehicles to our very high PVC Vendo standards. He’s only 18 so has a lot to learn, despite regularly asking me when he can become a partner, but that ambition is great to see and I’m hoping my daughter Jordan (20) will come and work with us soon, too to make it a real family affair.”
Richard and his team visit depots across Yorkshire, seven days a week, to wash commercial vehicles for clients who have anything from 7 to 70 vehicles to keep clean. They also provide an internal cab cleaning service, SaniClean, developed at the beginning of the pandemic to kill the Covid-19 virus.
PVC Vendo was bought by franchising experts Taylor Made Franchising in December 2018.
PVC Vendo is run almost entirely through an app developed by the franchisor, which tells the operative where and when their next appointment is and which vehicles to clean when they arrive. It then alerts the owner or depot manager when the job is done and automatically sends out the invoice.
Discussing owning a franchise Richard says: “One of the reasons I was comfortable buying the business was firstly because I knew it was successful and profitable but also because it is a franchise. It’s great that I’ve still got Nick to ask the odd question, but it’s also comforting to know that I can pick up the phone any time and the PVC Vendo franchise head office staff have my back. Yes, I pay a little each month in management fees but I’m paying for peace of mind and support, and that’s important to me.”
Operations Director at PVC Vendo, David Callister said: “We are so pleased that Richard decided to buy the business from Nick on his retirement. Having worked for Nick for 19 years Richard certainly knew what he was doing from a vehicle washing point of view, and we’ve been working with him to ensure he is just as confident with the paperwork and administrative duties as well. One of the huge benefits of a PVC Vendo franchise is that we deal with credit control at the head office, meaning franchisees don’t ever get involved in chasing clients for payment. Franchisees are paid, much like an employee, on a set day each month, and it is up to us at head office to collect payment from their clients, which we then pass on to them. This system saves them an enormous amount of administration time, during which they can wash even more vehicles.”
He continued: “We have many father-and-son teams working together at PVC Vendo and it is wonderful to see it working so well for Richard and Aaron too. We wish Richard the very best of luck and look forward to seeing the franchise prosper and grow over the coming years.”