50 years makes for strong foundations and rich experience

The franchise industry, while refusing to stand still, welcomes new faces, practices and ideas on a daily basis. And it is for these reasons that it is becoming less common for franchises to have the opportunity to celebrate tenures exceeding the typical franchise agreement of five years. But like all businesses, franchise brands benefit from strong foundations and well-established franchisees. In fact, it’s believed that in 2021 alone, a staggering 9 out of 10 start-ups failed1, indicating that it is certainly no mean feat for businesses that celebrate such significant milestones today. This year, domestic cleaning franchise, Poppies, is celebrating across its network of dedicated and expert franchisees, with three franchise anniversaries totalling a combined 50 years.

Poppies gives driven and innovative entrepreneurs from all walks of life opportunities to become valuable contributors and to help move the franchise forward. The new franchisees of Poppies Peak District, Dominic and Simona Ainsworth, are no exception, as they took over the franchise at the beginning of the year in advance of its 25th anniversary. Now, driven by giving the franchise a “deep clean” of its own, Poppies Peak District is in good hands as the couple balances raising their son and helping enrol important new processes and technology into the franchise for the benefit of the whole Poppies network.

“Taking over Poppies Peak District was an opportunity we couldn’t miss out on,” explained Dominic. “Having taken over in January, Simona and I decided it was the perfect time to make our mark and really hit the ground running as we enter the next 25 years! Simona runs the day-to-day operations, stepping up from her previous role with Poppies as a cleaner. Meanwhile, I’m working to implement the new online platforms that will help boost the efficiency of the whole business, not just our franchise territory. Poppies has given us the tools to make our franchise our own. And in terms of being a franchisee, it’s fantastic to have such brilliant support that really feels like a family – it’s helped massively throughout the resale process and establishing ourselves.”

Like many industries, the cleaning sector was not exempt from having to navigate the difficulties of the pandemic. Now, as Nicola Marinan celebrates her fifth anniversary with Poppies Durham, she is working towards returning to pre-COVID capacity of delivering upwards of 1,600 cleaning hours. Inspired by development, she reflects proudly on making it through such a difficult period as well as forward in anticipation of further growth and streamlining her franchise even more.

“I was completely new to the cleaning industry when I took over Poppies Durham, but the support since day one has been exceptional,” said Nicola. “It’s because of this that I’m in a good position to ultimately exceed pre-pandemic figures across the board. I’m so proud to be a part of such a close network, knowing I’m not on my own and that there’s always someone there to help. This is especially useful now, as the brand is currently seeing some incredibly exciting developments that’ll not only future-proof us but make it easy for new franchisees to get up to speed.

“Aside from the business operations, Poppies has enabled me to stay close to my family while controlling my professional life. I can still do things like school drop offs. You don’t realise how important those things are until you can’t do it, and I’m glad I haven’t had to sacrifice my personal, family life to be successful.”

After being made redundant from her career in finance, Paula Sidwells decided it was time for a change and to take control of her professional life. Joining Poppies Mercia as General Manager and quickly transitioning to franchisee when the opportunity arose six months later, Paula has seen the value of a supportive franchisor in an industry that is constantly evolving. Now, with the support of an expert team, led by Paula’s General Manager, Tracey Payne, Poppies Mercia is busier than ever.

“I’m incredibly proud to be celebrating such a significant milestone. Over 20 years, the support within Poppies has always been exceptional. I’ve seen so much development within the industry, and the demand has never been higher, so much so that we’ve recruited two more staff very recently. It’s an honour to provide our service to busy families. Having the cleaning taken care of isn’t just useful to some people – it’s essential. We always say we’re the 4th emergency service!” said Paula.

“It’s delightful to be celebrating such amazing achievements across the UK with our franchisees,” explained Chris Wootton, Managing Director. “Emerging from the pandemic couldn’t have been possible without the work from our dedicated and passionate team. Through collective support, we’re primed to make the next combined 50 years even more fruitful than the last!”

Celebrating 40 years of success in 2020, Poppies is a brand with a rich heritage and business values based on honesty and integrity. Today, the network of franchisees are building their own local businesses, creating over 500 jobs and delivering high-quality cleaning to 6,000+ homes every week UK-wide. For more information about Poppies, visit www.poppies-franchise.co.uk 

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