Rob Chisolm has just joined the Cleanhome family and will soon be launching his South Oxfordshire branch. We caught up with him to find out more about his background and why he decided to start his own domestic cleaning business.
What’s your business background?
My background is in the service industry. For seven years I built up from scratch a courier company which provided Decathlon Stores with an in-store delivery and build service for large stocked items like treadmills and table tennis tables. This was quite successful and I built it up to service all of their Southern stores. As things progressed further, I was offered all of the UK deliveries for these bigger items when they first launched their website.
However, I soon realised after running things through a really busy Christmas period that things were happening behind the scenes and they were tendering the work out for the bigger courier companies with the wider networks which could offer a much cheaper and less personalised service which I was never going to be able to compete with cost-wise. So overnight and without any warning, all the deliveries started drying up and it started to become impossible to offer the service. I kept going for as long as I could but it was becoming harder and harder to make a living and I found myself working longer hours most weekends just to make ends meet.
Then through a contact at Decathlon, I found out about an opportunity at the local deep sea container port. I was offered a position as a terminal operative at DP World London Gateway where I was trained to drive the heavy plant and container lashing. This was a great experience but due to the shift patterns and having to work most weekends, my social life began to suffer as well my health.
Then I met my girlfriend Clare who lived in Oxford and the lack of free time was becoming more of an issue so I eventually moved to Oxford and started working as a driver and labourer for a scaffold company. Although it was a very physically demanding job there was not much else to it. It was always going to be a stop gap until I found something that would give me the chance to build something again from scratch and have the ability to grow professionally and succeed. This was when my girlfriend asked me if I had thought about franchising. We looked at all the different options available but we kept coming back to Cleanhome. The more research we did the more appealing it became as we have always been looking for a trusted and reliable cleaner in our area and found it very difficult to find one. We thought that others had the same problem so there clearly was a demand for the service in the area.
What made you want to start your own business?
I really enjoyed the challenge of setting up my courier business from scratch, the excitement of the challenges that I had to overcome and the pride in creating and growing my own business and the rewards it provided.
I really like the idea of being in business for myself but this time, not by myself.
How has your Cleanhome experience been so far?
My experience has been very positive so far, the level of detail and understanding of the domestic cleaning market is clear to see and the in-depth training and support really gives you the confidence and the ability to build a sustainable business under the Cleanhome brand.
What are you looking forward to the most about running your own business?
The ability to control my own destiny and find a work/life balance, I like the challenges that come with it and the pride you get from building something you can call your own.
Do you feel that running your own Cleanhome franchise will help you improve your work/life balance?
It was definitely the reason I first looked into franchising. My main priority was that I would be able to improve my work life balance. I wanted to have the flexibility to control my own schedule and make time for the things I really enjoy doing. I know it won’t be easy at first but with a bit of hard work it will definitely be possible in the future.