Taking her business from good to a blooming success!

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Poppies Cleaning Service

In the UK
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Taking her business from good to a blooming success!

When a sudden reality check forced Carey Taylor to reconsider her future, business ownership provided her with a solution. However, whilst worrying about the challenges of going it alone, she realised that buying an existing business would give her a greater chance of success.

Poppies Cleaning Service Success Story

Three years after taking over Poppies Wilmslow, Adderley Edge and Macclesfield (WAM), it was this franchise that proved the benefits of becoming your own boss.

“The benefits of investing in a franchise would support me, whilst giving me a great stepping-stone to success. To help me even more, taking over an existing franchise territory gave me clients, cleaners and office staff – a foundation I could build upon and allow the business to bloom.”

Business ownership wasn’t always Carey’s chosen path. She studied law at the University of Manchester, graduated as a solicitor and moved down to London to practice commercial litigation. After six years, Carey felt the pull of home, moving back up north as the reality of a career in law simply wasn’t what she expected.

Carey started looking around for what she could do next. She approached her search with an open mind, with no preconceived ideas on what industry or sector she would choose. A local Poppies cleaning business was up for sale, which began to pique Carey’s interest.

“I decided to look into what the Poppies franchise involved. I’d come across the brand before and instantly recognised the business and what they do. I then considered how well suited I would be to manage a business like this and whether it was the right choice for me. I consulted heavily with my husband, Andrew, as this would have an impact on our lives, especially in the first few months. I had to be sure that I was ready to make that commitment.

“After many conversations with Andrew and meeting with the newly appointed franchisor, Chris Wootton, I was confident that I could take over the Poppies franchise and successfully grow it. I’m typically a visual person so, after visiting Chris’ franchise in Ormskirk for a short while to see the day-to-day operations in action, I had made my mind up. Poppies was the business for me.”

Established in 1980, Poppies was the UK’s first domestic cleaning franchise. Franchisees manage a team of dedicated cleaners who visit clients’ homes and provide a range of top-quality services, from basic housekeeping and laundry to party clear-ups, spring cleans and home-move assistance.

Integral to its best-in-class offering is the Poppies culture, the franchise proudly champions the wellbeing of its cleaners and believes in treating staff with respect and care and creating a fun, enjoyable working environment. Happy, loyal staff go above and beyond for clients and truly make the Poppies brand shine.

As part of her initial training, Carey spent more time with Chris in his franchise operation, shadowing him and learning the ropes. By June 2017, she was ready to take the reins of Poppies WAM. Carey had the added bonus of investing in an existing franchise business with a healthy client base. Throughout the first few months, she worked alongside existing employees and clients, ensuring that the gold-standard service that everyone had grown to love continued.

“The majority of clients were very understanding about the change in ownership – they were just pleased that our service continued seamlessly. Although the person running the business had changed, the workforce and our standards were the same. With existing clients happy, I could then concentrate on securing new contracts.

“I introduced a more extensive use of social media to my marketing activities and very quickly I started to see a steady stream of enquiries come in. I also joined various networking events so I could make some valuable connections with others in the business community. The sheer camaraderie was enough to give me faith and confidence to drive things forward.”

Alongside her new business acquaintances, Carey has her fellow franchisees that she can call on for support. With her fellow franchisees having anywhere between five to 40 years of experience with Poppies, they can offer a wide variety of solutions to common issues that arise with any business.

The entire Poppies network pride themselves on the brand’s knowledge and heritage. In fact, the first franchise was launched in 1984, and is still going strong! Today, 22 UK offices provide high-quality cleaning to over 6,000 homes on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis in line with clients’ individual needs. Generating an impressive combined turnover of more than £5million, the Poppies franchise offers an exciting opportunity for prospective business owners to capitalise on an industry worth £4.7billion.

After three years, Carey has well and truly found her stride. She has a team of 18 cleaners who service more than 100 clients – totalling over 800 hours every four weeks. Following a move to a more central location with a shopfront in Wilmslow, Carey’s franchise is blooming.

“I want to grow, grow, grow. I’m ramping up my recruitment for cleaners and placing more focus on attracting new clients. I want Poppies to be the go-to cleaning service in my area. I’m lucky in that the business already had a good reputation, but I want to take that up to excellent. I can do that by providing a gold-star service and by being an ethical employer. This is just the beginning.”

Carey’s love for business ownership has also had a positive impact on her personal life. As well as being a self-confessed ‘gym-bunny’, the benefits of being her own boss has allowed her to spend more time with her family and enjoy the finer things in life.

“With most of my family being within driving distance, having the flexibility with my schedule is amazing. I don’t have to be in the office every single day, as I’ve got a supervisor who can manage it when I’m not working. This allows me spend quality time with my parents and friends too. I’ve also recently taken up golf, which is another thing that wouldn’t have been possible when working in law.

“I never thought that I’d love being my own boss this much. Poppies presented itself at the perfect time and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

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