Cleaning Up: Shifting Attitudes Towards Commercial Cleaning
Tidy Green Clean sees investment in staff and good communication reap dividends
We have all heard of the franchise business model, and we usually think of typically ‘USA’ brands such as McDonald’s, Domino’s or Starbucks. We tend to struggle to come up with other examples, and with good reason: there are 900 franchise brands operating in the UK and 44,200 of their franchisees are operating on the High Street.
However, other countries have proven that home-grown, non-High Street franchises are big business, and Tidy Green Clean – an Aberdeen-headquartered commercial cleaning company – has drawn upon one of its owner’s experience in New Zealand, as it announces the launch of the next innovative stage in its franchising model amidst exceptional financial results.
Established in 2016, Tidy Green Clean (TGC) has reported a turnover of £1.4 million during the first half of the current financial year – a 100% increase on the same period last year. Within those results, it has been reported that the company’s first master franchisee, servicing from Aberdeen city centre to Montrose, has increased annual turnover in the area by 275%.
With results like those, it quickly becomes clear that TGC is not the average cleaning business. Across the UK, the industry has a chequered reputation; the traditional commercial cleaning company is liable to work on an impersonal basis, with a high turnover of staff and little contact between the service provider and client.
In contrast, family-owned Tidy Green Clean has facilitated a step change via a robust strategy of investment in staff and effective use of the communication channels available at our 21st-century fingertips.
Co-founder and managing director, Andrew Alleway, has vast franchise experience in his native New Zealand. He understands that by establishing a genuine programme of training and support, an unwavering commitment to the living wage and the provision of highest-quality, environmentally friendly products and equipment are the factors that result in a 90% staff retention rate – something almost unheard of in the commercial cleaning industry.
Andrew says: “The impact of our incredibly low staff turnover cannot be underestimated. It’s highly unusual, undeniably the result of the environment we have created for our staff and leads us to the consistently outstanding service we offer our clients.
“A key factor is communication. We simply make sure we communicate – owners, franchisees and staff. We share feedback and information on a daily basis and we make sure that everyone has the literal and figurative tools which will allow them to do an amazing job. That’s what sets us apart and makes people want to work for us.”
September marked the first anniversary of TGC’s inaugural master franchisee, Grant Peterkin. Previously a senior manager in the hospitality sector, he understands the critical importance of optimum client service. To achieve that, he places a huge emphasis upon entrenched client relationships.
“There is no doubt that our customer service differentiates us, and that’s the direct result of the trust we place in our staff. Yes, it’s vital that we communicate with them regularly, and that we support them in a vast number of ways, but ultimately, we expect them to make a success of the job – and that attitude works time and time again.
“Over 60% of our staff have proactively increased their hours and work with us on a full-time basis. They’re investing their future in us and the benefits of that are clear in the excellent standards they achieve.”
This attitude has been further cemented by the launch of Tidy Green Clean’s local franchise model. Unique in the UK commercial cleaning sector, it allows those dedicated staff to transition into business owners. Just one year after joining on a staff basis, Anita Warpechowska (pictured right with Andrew) will run her Tidy Green Clean franchise within Aberdeen city centre, with another two franchisees starting in October.
Tidy Green Clean aims to franchise the entire business over time and Anita is the first in a long line of franchisees, as the company begins to revolutionise the attitude towards the commercial cleaning sector.
Co-founder and TGC operations director, David Moncur explains: “We see franchising as the future of the commercial cleaning industry and, in addition to local franchisees, we are looking for suitable master franchisees in the Central Belt at present to look after existing customers and drive new business. We would urge anyone interested to get in touch with us to discuss in more detail – this is such an exciting opportunity for the right candidates.”
Anita herself sums up the benefits of a franchise model: “As a Tidy Green Clean franchisee, there’s no doubt that the ownership I feel for my clients brings an extra dimension to my work. I have a direct impact on the workplaces within my franchise and it means a lot to me to be able to improve and then maintain standards for others.”
TGC uses a variety of eco-friendly products, all manufactured within the UK and 100% environmentally friendly. These are used for specific areas of cleaning ensuring they use the best products on the market that are fit for purpose.