Make A Clean Sweep With A Wilkins Franchise.

08/03/2018 17:00 | Start a business

Wilkins chimney sweep franchise information

When it comes to sweeping chimneys, Wilkins know their stuff. After all, Tom Wilkins started the business way back in 1895 as a ‘one man and a bicycle’ operation.

Over the last 120 years, the business has been handed down through generations of the family, until Peter Harris became the owner in 1998. Peter’s background in retail and financial services meant that he had the vision and skills needed to evolve the business and help it grow.

Peter, and his wife, Louise, decided to expand their business through the franchising route and in 2010 the franchise was formed, and recruitment commenced. Now, ten franchisees across the country are enjoying the benefits that come from this excellent chimney sweep franchise opportunity.

And as the popularity of open fires and wood burners continues to rise, along with more awareness about the potential risks of using these without regular maintenance, the demand for chimney sweeping services in the UK has also increased. It’s a traditional service that has advanced with the use of modern technology and is now a business that offers a chance to make a profit in a growing sector.

What’s required?

If you think that starting a franchise in this niche sector is for you, then Wilkins will be happy to hear from you. You don’t need any previous chimney sweeping experience, in fact, none of the existing franchisees in the network had ever swept a chimney before they made their franchise investment.

Most of the franchisees didn’t even have prior business experience. But what they did have is a desire to learn the necessary skills required for this technical trade, as well as a passion for making their chimney sweep franchising a success.

Not only is Wilkins an excellent opportunity for prospective franchisees, but customers benefit from the unique service proposition too. All franchisees receive comprehensive chimney sweep training and then go on to have the standard of their sweeping skills monitored, and their customer service skills examined.

This level of observation reassures customers that Wilkins franchisees are the only chimney sweeps in the UK who are regularly assessed by someone beyond their professional association (if any).

Joining process

If you want more information about making a franchise investment with Wilkins, you can complete the online form to request a prospectus. If you’d like to find out even more about starting a franchise with this well-established and reputable company, you can attend one of the Discovery Days that are held regularly.

Attending one of these informal events will give you the opportunity to hear more, ask any questions that you have and meet the team.

Case study

When Mark Sullivan retired from the Police force, he knew that he wanted to run his own business, but found the idea of going it alone daunting. Along with his wife Justine, they decided that starting a franchise was the solution to their problems.

After giving it a lot of thought, Mark and Justin decided that a van-based franchise was the best fit for them. Having two young children, running a mobile franchise would give them the flexibility and freedom to achieve a healthy work/life balance.

When they came across the Wilkins chimney sweep franchise and met with Peter and Louise Harris, they knew that they had found ‘the one'. Not only did Mark and Justine build up a great relationship with the franchisors, the training that was offered was also of excellent quality.

Initially, Mark spent a week of practical training on the road with Peter; while Louise visited Justine for a week to teach her all the skills and knowledge needed to effectively operate the business model and manage the administration for the franchise. Finally, Mark spent another week visiting clients with Peter, but this time Mark did the dirty work with Peter talking him through it.

This comprehensive training allowed Mark and Justine to hit the ground running when they launched their new business. As well as the skills that the franchisors had shared, Mark believes that you need to be physically fit, be able to think outside the box, have excellent communication skills and a positive attitude, to succeed as a chimney sweep.

In the next 12 months, Mark and Justine plan to reach breakeven point and then continue to build a profitable and sustainable business with a loyal customer base. This is important - repeat business accounts for roughly 80% of the profit made.

Running a profitable business aside, Mark and Justine also feel an immense sense of pride and satisfaction in making their franchise work. They enjoy working hard at something that in return provides the flexibility of working locally and from home, giving them a much better home life. Mark now even gets to attend his children's school plays and parent's evenings which was challenging to do when he was a Police Officer.

Financial information

To become a Wilkins franchisee, you’ll need to make a total franchise investment of approximately £13,100. In return, you’ll receive the following as part of the comprehensive franchise package:

  • Exclusive local territory
  • Two-weeks on the job chimney sweep training
  • One-week of classroom-based business training
  • Accreditation from the Ladder Association
  • Quality tools and branded uniform
  • Marketing launch material including website and vehicle signage
  • Comprehensive operations manual
  • Face to face and telephony support with annual conferences, regional meetings and online training available.

Wilkins pride themselves on having developed an open, collaborative, innovative, flexible and helpful business model. So, if you’re ready to be part of a franchise that can offer all of this, then Wilkins chimney sweep franchise could be for you.

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