Alex Vorwerg speaks about his decision to start up a franchise business on the side of his regular work so he can have more control over his working hours.
Although many parents are turning to self employment as a way of getting greater flexibility, it can be hard to take on the financial risk associated with running your own business. For that reason more and more people are choosing to build a business on the side of their regular work. One such person is Alex Vorwerg who is growing his housekeeping business on the side of his work in the motor trade, doing two days a week of regular employee work to give himself financial stability in the crucial early days.
He says it has always been an aspiration of his to own his own business. “You can put as much work as you want into a company, but you do not necessarily reap the rewards. Working for yourself you have more responsibility, but the effort you put in is what you get out,” he says.
Alex has worked in the motor trade for 12 years managing large teams for different employers so he knows the basics of running a business and customer service.
When he was contemplating setting up a business, he decided that franchising was the way to go. Again reducing risk was a big factor in his decision. Franchising not only provides a tried and tested business model, but also support, something which is important for people like Alex who have not run their own business before. “It’s a massive financial risk if you start you own business,” he says. “A franchise provides you with the framework you need, there are other franchisees to talk to and you have a model that is working already. It’s a bit of a comfort.”
Alex looked at a number of different franchises. He decided to focus on businesses that provided a necessary service rather than a luxury one. He felt housekeeping was a business which would always be around. Moreover, the increasing trend of both parents working meant that demand for it was likely to continue to grow as people look to conserve precious family time.
His wife [pictured with him] works at Bright & Beautiful’s head office and he knew it was an established business with a big emphasis on ethics, eco-friendly products and customer service.
Alex went on a discovery day and listened and spoke to other franchisees to understand a bit more about the business. He wanted to find out if it was something he could develop and grow before he made the decision to take on the franchise. He was fortunate to be able to pay the £18K franchise fee upfront.
Bright & Beautiful offers new starter training including everything from recruitment and growing the business to sales and using the CRM-based system to monitor staff and clients. It also provides ongoing support in the form of a franchise consultant and advice is available at the end of a phone any time. In addition Alex has access to other local Bright & Beautiful franchisees and they swap ideas and concerns as well as tips on how to grow the business.
Alex took over the Sandbach and Nantwich franchise in November. It was an already existing franchise and Alex took over responsibility for three employees. He has already grown that number to eight, including housekeepers and administrative staff. He says that so far recruiting and training new members of staff and ensuring they keep to Bright & Beautiful’s standards has been his hardest and most important challenge. “If you don’t have a team, you don’t have a business,” he says. He also inherited some clients from the previous franchisee and is looking to grow that number dramatically in 2019 through targeted leafleting, social media and word of mouth.
Alex and his wife have three sons, aged 17, seven and six. He is able to work from home at the moment, but is looking for an office. Running his own business means he is able to work around his family, breaking off to do school runs and give the children their dinner and then popping out in the evening to do quotes for clients. When he worked full time in the motor trade, the children went to after school clubs and had to get the bus to school very early in the morning. Alex says he is a lot happier having more time to spend with his children. “I was missing a lot of family time before,” he says. “I can manage my time much better now.”