David Innis has been with Dublcheck for over 6 years now, and he shares his experience of of how he started his business, and continues to grow it alongside juggling family life:
When people ask me what I do for a living I am proud to say I am my own boss and run a successful cleaning company. In February 2013 I decided to take the big leap from working in Sales which I had done all my working life and become a Dublcheck Franchisee in Birmingham.
To say I was a little naïve on what capital I would need to start to run a business is an understatement. My wife and I borrowed the funds to buy the franchise and we then went through the first year living off one income and I actively carried out all the cleaning to help build the capital to start to employ staff.
Being part of the franchise really helped me build foundations to running an efficient and compliant cleaning business. The head office support guided me on all areas of the business I was new to, including setting up new contracts and making sure the invoices were paid by our clients.
I remember in my first year going from a 32 inch waist to 28 inches from all the active cleaning and the long hours I was putting into our business to make it a success. I remember dreaming about cleaning toilets and I knew then it was time to start to expand with employing staff.
I am lucky my wife works in recruitment and was able to help give me advice on how important it is to employ good staff.
I am now proud to say I now employ 21 cleaners across 40 different contracts.
I am often asked the question why did I choose a cleaning franchise, I think being part of a big family and always being given cleaning chores at home made me a very domesticated person. I have always had passion for delivering an excellent service and I wanted to build a business which could be flexible around having a good work life balance.
As the business started to grow and I employed cleaners across the contract, I recognised we needed to ensure I did not take a wage from the business to help it remain financially steady. In turn this meant I went back to work full time and run the business alongside it.
My wife and I do not do things by halves we also decided we would also start a family and we had a beautiful son called Theodore born October 2014.
The business plan I always had in mind was to have my client base spread across many different contracts, I have always focussed on contracts which would not swamp the business but also if anything was to happen to a client i.e. go into administration it was not the situation of ‘all eggs in one basket’
I am proud to clean some of Birmingham most prestigious city centre offices and have found through reputation we have won business in various locations due to recommendations which always a great feeling.
The business has come with its challenges and I think my character and determination to want to succeed has been a big factor in not giving up.
I have found the Dublcheck team at head office a great network for advice and support when you just need reassurance you are doing ok.
In January 2017 I was in a position to work in the business full time, my wife increased her work to full time and Theodore was at nursery 4 days per week and we made the decision I would have Theodore 1 day per week to help with child care costs. Juggling a business from home and having a toddler can be interesting… But to have that day as ’daddy day’ means so much seeing Theodore grow up and be able to take him to music class and the many other activities my wife Hannah lines up for us on that day.
I feel very lucky to be able to have this work life balance, I know if I worked for a company this is a luxury which would not be so easy to arrange.
I have always been into my IT software and making sure I am looking at ways of supporting my business efficiently. One of the best ideas I implemented was a clocking in system for my cleaners it has helped massively with payroll accuracy but also as a lot of my cleaners are lone workers it is great to be able to check that my cleaners are on site and have also clocked out as a care of duty.
The business current turnover is £200k per annum and we are confident this will grow. The long term plan is that we would like to be in a position that both myself and my wife can work in the business, we have big goals as my wife does joke ‘I can not afford her’ but I believe it is important to have goals, then write them down and they become plans.