Big business and the big 40

Having just celebrated its 40th birthday, Poppies cleaning franchise is already established as one of the most well-known and prestigious names in both the franchise and cleaning industries.

Big business and the big 40

Big business and the big 40

Having just celebrated its
40th birthday, Poppies cleaning franchise is already established as
one of the most well-known and prestigious names in both the franchise and
cleaning industries. Whilst busy helping his existing franchisees to navigate
the challenges of recent months, franchisor, Chris Wootton, has also been
preparing for the next chapter in Poppies’ exciting journey: positioning the
brand’s management franchise status front and centre for new investors.

I’ve been a part of Poppies for the last 24 years. As most people now know, as well as being franchisor – a role I’ve proudly held since 2018 – I also own my own Poppies franchise. And have done since 1996! Even back in the nineties, when I joined the network, I knew that I wanted to build a big business. One that would change my life. And there’s no question that dream has been realised over the last quarter of a century. But one thing I’ve noticed since taking on my role as franchisor, is that despite the size and scale of many of the franchises in the Poppies network, a cleaning franchise isn’t really seen as a vehicle to a big business. It was baffling to me, becoming a perception I’m now determined to change. And I’ve got over 20 prime examples to help me do just that!

As a network, we have a combined turnover of £5.2millon. Now, you don’t need to be a maths’ whiz to realise that means we have franchises turning over anything from £250k to over £550k. We employ close to 500 staff in fulfilling, well rewarded jobs and provide cleaning services to over 6000 homes every month. Of course, there are plenty of opportunities out there for people who are looking to build a little, part-time, family friendly, flexi-business. A run-from-home style outfit that works around the kids and provides a little extra income for rainy days. But I know, from experience, that our model is something quite special and unique. We’re a collective of business owners who wanted more, saw what Poppies could offer, and took it!

I’m passionate about empowering prospective business owners to see past the nature of the service itself – which seems to conjure an unfounded, often self-limiting connotation – and really appreciate the significant scope for growth and return on investment that the domestic cleaning market offers.

Aside from the fact that the UK market is worth around £5billion, in the last five years alone, demand for domestic cleaning services has increased by 25%*. This upward trend isn’t going away. In actual fact, we’re one of the few industries which has continued to thrive through recessions, economic uncertainties and changing family dynamics over the last four decades. In today’s modern world our clients include seniors, dual income families and Generation Y and we bring distinct but equally valuable services to each. And so, amidst the undeniable turmoil we’ve all experienced over the last weeks and months, I’ve been making sure that we’re in a position to shout about what you can achieve as part of our franchise. We’re already beginning to see an increase in demand for our services when restrictions are lifted and I truly believe that, as a result of the recent crisis, we’re going see a surge of interest in being your own boss and securing your financial future.

On top of all that, Poppies turned 40 this April. What a milestone, for any business! I’m so proud of our heritage and I know it’s something that appeals to many when they’re looking for a robust and resilient business to invest in. We’ve certainly evolved over the years and the systems and technologies we now utilise would make our founder’s head spin! It’s actually another thing that I know surprises people about a cleaning franchise. But innovation and investment in digital solutions and bespoke, in-house technology enables our franchisees to build scalable, profitable businesses. As you would expect from any well-established, forwarding thinking management opportunity.

So, even though we couldn’t all be together to celebrate in quite the way I had originally intended, we all raised a virtual glass and popped a cork or two. Our big, shiny, ruby-red birthday bash will take place a little later in the year now. And, as far as I can see, that means some new Poppies franchisees – those who are as excited about our ‘big business’ mentality as we are – will be able to join us for the fun!

Chris Wootton
Chris Wootton