Should you buy a business? Ask a franchisee

28 Oct 22

After being made redundant during the 2008 global financial crisis, Colin Casswell decided to take control of his life and buy a V.I.P. Home Cleaning franchise. We caught up with Colin to ask his advice for those who are considering buying a business in 2022.

What made you consider buying a business?

After being made redundant, I had no trade experience. So I had to find something that was low risk, needed little industry experience and had a good entry price. A V.I.P. Home Cleaning franchise fitted all those.

How did it feel to make such a big change?

I had worked for companies since leaving school, so the fear of being my own boss and generating enough income from day one to feed my family and pay the bills was enormous.

How did you deal with that fear?

I started V.I.P. with a regular income. My fear was always having enough work, but being self-motivated made it easy to follow up and secure leads and generate my own clients.

What should others consider before buying a business?

Call existing franchise owners and ask them their stories. Would they do it again? What mistakes have they made? Can you be successful?

In terms of buying a home cleaning franchise, I think it’s perfect if it fits your cleaning skill levels, if you want to please others, if you’re good at time management, and if you like the fact that the initial roll-out is quite cheap and the overheads can be low.

My top 5 tips for getting started are:

  1. Realise that good things take time.
  2. Don’t neglect putting money into your superannuation.
  3. Get a bookkeeper.
  4. If you can, go for a test drive for at least three weeks with an existing franchise.
  5. Realise that cleaning isn’t easy for everyone and you have to find a way to run your business that works for you.

Do you have any advice on how to grow your business?

I got in with real estate agents quite quickly. Once you’ve found one that can commit to you being their sole cleaner, then it’s a great money maker.

To find new clients, it can be helpful to go on various community Facebook pages and offer your services (without spamming, of course).

Being good at what you do and not letting the service drop is also really important. I have lots of work through recommendations from existing clients.

Do you think 2022 is a good time to buy a business?

Any time is a good time, but people are time poor and starting to return to work, so they have homes they don’t want to clean at the weekend and don’t mind paying others to do it.

Interest rates are climbing, so you do have to factor in the initial costs (especially if you have to borrow the buy-in fee). But if you do your sums and work out what you need, then with the low overheads a V.I.P. franchise offers, it can work.

What’s been the best thing about buying a business?

I’m in control of my destiny. Yes, the cliches of being my own boss are true, but for me the reward of the effort I put in is enough.

Are you thinking about buying a business this year? Get started today.

Should you buy a business? Ask a franchisee