The Watts’ family power towards a bright future with Ovenclean.
Mike and Janeane Watts’ Ovenclean franchise in Cardiff has gone from strength to strength since the couple started their business four years ago. In fact, it has been so successful that they have now taken on a second territory adjoining their original area.
Over the years, the business has become a real family affair – first involving Mike’s wife Janeane and subsequently, his sons Byron and Daniel. “It wasn’t my intention to build a family business as such,” Mike says, “but I’m so glad that we’re all working together with shared goals and a shared commitment to the future – we love it!”
Now with two Ovenclean vans servicing both territories, Mike says he is even considering taking on a third van.
Ovenclean Chief Executive Julian Minwalla comments: “Business is going extremely well for Mike and Janeane, following a sustained leaflet campaign prior to them taking on their second territory in July. Thanks to Mike and Janeane, Ovenclean already has a tremendous local reputation for providing fantastic service, and customers further afield are delighted that they can also now book to have their ovens cleaned by the UK’s number one domestic oven cleaning brand!”
Before joining Ovenclean, Mike had a small shop in his village. When it closed he looked after the newsagent side of another store for a while. However, he missed having his own business and started to look around for something entirely different.
“We spotted the Ovenclean franchise opportunity and thought it sounded interesting,” explains Janeane. “Before taking things further, we undertook our own survey to find out how many people would be interested in using a domestic oven cleaning service. The overwhelming majority of people we asked – from family and friends, to neighbours and work colleagues – gave a positive response, which encouraged us to visit the company’s head office to find out more.”
After their visit, Mike and Janeane felt convinced that this was the right franchise for them and launched in June 2005. The business took off quickly and after eighteen months had become sufficiently successful for Janeane to reduce her working hours at the Abbey Bank and join the business par t-time to handle administration and help with new sales calls. Shortly afterwards the couple’s younger son, Daniel started to work for them too, providing extra back up for Mike.
“Today we have around 2,700 regular customers,” says Janeane. “With two vans on the road we are busy six hours a day, five days a week. Currently, we are booked up to three weeks ahead, which is great for us, but isn’t good for new customers who usually want their ovens done as soon as possible. Therefore, a few months ago we decided to take on our elder son, Byron, full-time.”
Mike describes his Ovenclean investment as ‘the best decision I’ve ever made’, and says that the satisfaction he gains from providing top quality cleaning services is immense. “The look on a new customer’s face is something to behold!” he grins. “People have heard about the results we achieve, but are invariably amazed when they see how we can transform their oven back into looking virtually brand new – no matter how dirty it was when we first arrived!”
Janeane adds: “Year on year our Ovenclean business has grown. Although there was a short ‘blip’ when the credit crunch first kicked in things have picked up in leaps and bounds. Since then, now that we have a bigger area than ever to go at, we are looking extremely positively to the future.”