Franchisees at the leading oven cleaning franchise have been reassured by its founder that they can make more money in a recession – but only if their service is up to scratch.
Rik Hellewell, MD of Ovenu, cautions his franchisees not to use recession as an excuse for poor performance; rather, it should motivate them to make their business even more efficient.
“Many people are now closely watching every penny they spend and are being more selective about who they spend money with, so businesses need to make sure they’re on top of their game,” says Hellewell.
“Taking a step back and making an honest evaluation of the way you work can be difficult for any business, but it could also be the difference between survival and failure.
“The advice I have given all my franchisees is that they need to look at how they are operating and the service they are providing. Using the recession as a catalyst for improvement will lead to even more added benefits for the customer, and increased satisfaction can only mean increased bookings.”
Elliott Robinson from Solihull operates an Ovenu oven cleaning franchise in the West Midlands.
After hitting a slower trading period in August, Robinson took Hellewell’s advice and enrolled for extra training in customer service. He is now celebrating reaching his first year in business with a full order book.
“When fears first started to surface over a pending recession, I was worried that a squeeze on the purse strings may affect my number of bookings,” admits Robinson.
“But following the advice of the franchisor and established Ovenu network, I evaluated the way I was operating to ensure I was offering the highest levels of service for every one of my customers.
“The investment I made in extra training really gave me the boost I needed. I’m now rushed off my feet and getting great satisfaction from my job, as nothing makes me happier than a seeing a pleased customer.”
Rik’s top tips for surviving a recession:
- People are still spending, so go the extra mile to find out exactly what a client’s needs are. And once you have them on board, keep in touch regularly and keep assessing whether there’s anything else you can do ti satisfy their needs.
- Ensure your information and, particularly, your website is up to date. People are spending longer researching a potential purchase before making a decision.
- Use a multi-pronged approach to maximise opportunities to see your offering and make clear why you are different from the competition.
- And remember: the strongest marketing tool for any brand is word of mouth – and it’s free! A happy customer will lead to many more.
The environmentally-friendly Ovenu cleaning process involves dismantling key components of an oven, including the door, interior panels, fan and shelves and placing them into design-registered equipment that uses non-caustic products to clean the oven parts. The whole process takes around three hours and leaves the oven, hob and exterior in immaculate condition.
Rik Hellewell began Ovenu in 1993 and has transformed the business from a sole trader operation into a multi-continent franchise business. There are now 100 franchisees operating in the UK, servicing over 100,000 appliances a year.