If you’re thinking of running your own business, it’s a good idea to find a market with as few competitors as possible. Often, joining a niche sector can be lucrative, so how about starting a chimney sweep business? If you’re looking for home maintenance franchise opportunities in this area, it might be worth researching Wilkins’ franchise options.
Established in 1895, Wilkins Chimney Sweep is one of the oldest businesses of its kind in the UK today. It offers a wide variety of different services, from nest and blockage removal to CCTV surveys - and, of course, chimney sweeping.
Does Wilkins franchise?
Yes! The Wilkins franchise team is looking for savvy investors to take its business to new heights. Wilkins prides itself on its collaborative and flexible model, which can support would-be entrepreneurs who would like to build a profitable business in a niche sector.
History of Wilkins
The Wilkins Chimney Sweep brand traces its roots all the way back to 1895. It began life as a ‘one man and a bicycle’ operation in Newbury, West Berkshire.
Over the past 125 years, the business was handed down through generations of the same family until entrepreneur Peter Harris bought it and became its new owner in 1998. Peter’s background in retail and financial services gave him the vision and skills needed to develop the business and help it expand nationwide.
Peter and his wife Louise decided to use the franchise system to grow the business, launching the new model in 2010. Now, it has a network of 10 franchisees across the UK.
Did you know? Wilkins Chimney Sweep was established over 125 years ago in 1895.
Among homeowners, the popularity of open fires and wood burners is increasing, alongside growing awareness about the risks of not maintaining them properly. As a result, the Wilkins franchise team have been able to expand the business over time, catering for the increasing demand for its services.
Despite being based around a traditional task, the franchise has been able to incorporate new technologies into its business model in recent years. These changes have allowed it to modernise its approach and provide a more effective service.
Today, the business is looking for the next Wilkins franchise investors to launch their own local chimney sweeping service.
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Starting a Wilkins franchise unit
Wilkins can offer plenty of benefits to investors who choose to join the network. It has a comprehensive training scheme, so you don’t need any previous chimney sweeping experience to get started. In fact, none of the existing franchisees in the network had ever swept a chimney before they made their franchise investment.
You don’t even need any prior business management experience to become a Wilkins franchise investor. Instead, you should have the willingness and dedication to learn the skills you’ll need for this technical job, as well as a passion for making your chimney sweeping franchise successful.
Once you’re up and running as a Wilkins franchisee, the franchise team will monitor your sweeping and customer service skills on an ongoing basis to make sure standards don’t slip. The team is always on hand to provide advice and help you keep your unit operating efficiently.
What’s more, franchisees can reassure their customers about the standard of the service they receive. Wilkins is the only chimney sweeping company in the UK which organises regular assessments of its workforce by someone outside of the organisation.
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Becoming a Wilkins franchisee:
If you think the Wilkins franchise opportunity could be right for you, the first step to take is to get in touch with the brand. Request more information about the investment opening on its Point Franchise profile page or head to the company’s website and complete its online form to order a prospectus.
Then, you can find out even more about the opportunity by taking part in one of its regular discovery days. If you attend, you’ll have the chance to meet the team behind the Wilkins franchise brand and ask any questions you may have.
How much you need to invest:
To become a Wilkins franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum investment of £5,500, but the total set-up cost is likely to come in at around £13,100.
If you can’t afford to make the investment from your own funds, you may be able to secure a business loan of up to 70 percent of your total expenditure.
What you get for your investment:
All Wilkins franchisees are allocated an exclusive local territory, as well as high-quality tools and a branded uniform. The franchise also gives investors an extensive operations manual and a software booking system.
The franchise package also includes a training scheme, with two weeks of on-the-job chimney sweep coaching working for real customers. Then, you’ll get the chance to benefit from a week of classroom-based learning covering a range of different topics, from operations to accounting.
By the end of the training programme, you should be able to earn accreditation from the Ladder Association, which demonstrates you understand the safe use of ladders and their placement.
As part of the Wilkins franchise pack, all investors can also rely on guidance with marketing. The franchisor will help you promote your new business by creating a website and vehicle signage for your van.
Then, on an ongoing basis, you’ll be able to access support through both face-to-face and telephone meetings, as well as regional gatherings. Plus, there are additional training opportunities available for franchisees who want to further their skills.
Running your own business with a franchise
The Wilkins franchise system offers investors a fantastic opportunity to break into a niche sector and learn specialist skills to develop a pool of loyal customers. As a franchisee, you can set up a profitable business with the backing of a brand with over 125 years of industry experience.
But if Wilkins isn’t quite right for you, there are plenty more high-quality investment options out there. Use the main menu to find alternative franchise openings across a wide selection of different industries, regions and financial brackets.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©