Hit the ground running
Since becoming Belle Casa franchisees last April, Josephine and Hugh McLaughlin have taken Glasgow by storm. Hugh had the idea of having three Glasgow taxis wrapped in the Belle Casa colours, and the response has been overwhelming.
“We wanted to hit the ground running and we had the support from Belle Casa to take a different approach to advertising,” he says. “Belle Casa backed us all the way and we are delighted with the results so far.”
With Belle Casa now a full member of the British Franchise Association, Jenny Wilson, the company’s franchise director, believes a very bright future is ahead for the domestic cleaning company. She explains: “It is not our policy, or never will be, to have hundreds of franchisees in the country covering a small territory, as this will limit their earnings.
“If you look at the whole of the UK, there are only 85 postcode areas from which you can earn from. What makes us different is that when a new franchise joins us they have that entire postcode area, therefore the earnings they can achieve are much greater due to the size of the territory.” Of the franchise offered by Belle Casa, Chris Bevan, who runs Belle Casa High Wycombe, explains: “Its a brilliant system. I love the simplicity of the idea, without any fancy add-ons.”
Franchisees Andrew and Tracey Holding of Belle Casa Stevenage joined the company four years ago. Says Andrew: “For us, it was simply the right decision. We had a long meeting with Belle Casa and, in fairness to them, they told us the good and the weak side with regard to the franchise.
“We looked at other cleaning franchises, but nothing came anywhere close to what Belle Casa had to offer.”
Andrew says prospective franchisees should investigate the following before making any commitment:
Check out the size of territory. Can you earn
enough from it?
- Are there any penalty clauses in the contract that will keep you paying until the end of the term?
- Is the franchisor a member of the British Franchise Association? Has the company ever been a member?
- Find out when the franchisor became a limited company. Has it ever traded under another name?
- Check out any franchise money-back offers, which means that if you do not conform exactly to the contract the franchisor will not be obliged to pay you.
Barry Turpin, who owns and runs Belle Casa Cambridge, has now been with the company for seven years. “It’s such a great system,” he says. “It’s allowed me to spend a lot of time with my family and has enabled me to earn a great income. On average, I add 25-30 new clients each month.” Jenny Wilson adds: “Barry Turpin is king pin when it comes to turnover and he is one of the highest earners in the company. Barry concludes: “I am delighted that I took the decision to join Belle Casa - it took me out of the rat race and now I have a very comfortable lifestyle.”
Belle Casa conducted 31 franchisee interviews in 2011, and took on just 15 new partners. “We will continue only to have the best available people to slot into territories that we have,” says Jenny. “Belle Casa will only have 85 franchisees in the UK.” As well as offering large trading territories, Belle Casa also has a unique system that books all franchisee appointments on their behalf. Jenny says: “Our franchise partners are extremely pleased with this system. It saves them so much time and makes us look more professional. We don’t know of another domestic cleaning company that offers this unique service.”
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