As the UK gradually returns to the ‘new normal’ following a year of unprecedented challenges, Poppies is optimistic about the future of the domestic cleaning sector. The cleaning franchise recorded a 170% increase in client demand across its network of 22 franchisees since the end of March when COVID rules began to ease.
Compared to the ‘old normal’, the franchisees have collectively doubled the number of new enquiries for their professional cleaning services and attribute this to their strict hygiene protocols and trusted cleaners, all of whom are fully employed and trained. With a renewed confidence, customers are now returning to book regular and one-off deep cleans to make up for the time when they didn’t have any help with the housework.
Nicola Marinan of Poppies Durham is one franchisee who has seen a surge in demand for her services in recent weeks and is delighted to see her business growing again, “In just two weeks, we signed up more than 17 new clients and doubled the number of cleaning quotations, many of which have resulted in conversions. We are now in a strong position to start recruiting and adding to our team of 25, who are delivering more than 444 home cleans every month in and around Durham. We are optimistic about the future and look forward to keeping our customers safe and healthy.”
The cleaning boom has also helped Nigel Bayliss of Poppies Sheffield to grow and expand his franchise even further, “As more people continue to work from home or take advantage of the extended stamp duty holiday, the need for a reliable and managed cleaning service has never been so important. We have seen our sales boosted, not only with our regular clients who have become increasingly busy with no time for housework, but with pre and post-sales cleans too.
“The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for so many businesses but for us, this unexpected boost has seen us busier than ever – we gained 16 new clients in one week alone and this trend has continued on for three consecutive weeks with no sign of slowing. Fortunately, we had anticipated this rush and employed more staff before 1st April, but we will soon be in the position of needing to take on more.”
Chris Wootton has been a Poppies franchisee since 1996 before taking over as franchisor in 2018, so has seen some huge changes in both the cleaning industry and UK economy over the years. “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are now scrutinising their environment like never before with homeowners placing greater emphasis on the importance of clean surroundings. While we expect challenges in the next 18 months, the domestic cleaning sector is likely to recover more easily than some other business sectors. As we have seen for ourselves, the market has become much more buoyant in recent weeks as we see life returning to normal.
“We have experienced similar challenges to the rest of the franchising industry over the past year and, luckily, thanks to the resilience of the franchise network and the dedicated work of their cleaners and understanding from their clients, Poppies has continued to flourish. As a franchisor, we have continually supported our franchisees, developing strategies to help everyone manage the new way of working – one example being a ‘Clean and Sanitise’ two-step programme, which we introduced last May to ensure clients’ homes were serviced to the highest standard.
“2021 will be a promising year for Poppies and we will be welcoming several new franchisees to the UK network, coupled with a national roll out of both our staff and client apps. Our franchisees have shown how they can adapt, survive and thrive during these unprecedented times and we will continue to play a key role in boosting local economies by creating employment opportunities and providing a service to the heart of our communities.”
Poppies is a national network of 22 franchisees building their own local businesses, creating more than 500 jobs and delivering high-quality cleaning to over 6,000 homes on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis in line with clients’ individual needs.
For more information on Poppies, visit https://poppies.co.uk/franchising/