A professional approach: Q&A with Keen to Clean
Keen to Clean’s managing director Brijesh Purohit talks about professional performance.
- What’s your approach to running a high quality service business? We feel that taking a holistic approach is necessary, allowing individuals to go about their tasks in the ways that suit them whilst also having predefined protocols for any contingencies. There is no such thing as Ôtoo much planningÕ. Ultimately, though, as a service based industry we have to place our focus squarely on the benefits we can offer our customers. All formal business procedures should be in place with a definable positive impact on the way we interact with or provide for our customers.
- What professional/business skills do you expect of an incoming franchisee?
Typically we place more emphasis on identifying people with potential than skills, as we feel the latter can be taught. The ability to be organised, self-motivated and efficient is integral, however it is also important franchisees be willing to learn and follow the system. At the end of the day hard workers are what this industry needs.
Managerial experience and bookkeeping never go astray, of course, and we aim to make sure those lacking in more traditional business skills are taught them as soon as possible.
- WhatÕs a typical day for a franchisee?
Schedules usually start around 8:30am. Cleaning varies depending on the day, client, and franchise type, but will typically finish around 5pm. During the day, typically between jobs, franchisees will undertake a marketing exercise [often leaflet drops in the vicinity of a cleaning job that day].
Hard copy invoices are then processed and filed and all sales and transactions are logged into Quickbooks. Booking details for the next day will be received early evening and franchisees will organise their schedules for the next day. Then itÕs leisure time.
- How do franchisees source new clients? Inquiries are handled and booked by the head office team who allocate the jobs with a focus on minimal travel time and equivalent income for each of the franchisees. Although the head office runs most major marketing campaigns all franchisees are obliged to undertake marketing training and to market within their franchise region.
- What admin support is provided? The franchisees are offered support in nearly every element. Job bookings and most advertising initiatives are handled by head office; this allows franchisees to focus on providing a service, and on their accounts. The accounting manager provides bookkeeping support for franchisees and periodic training sessions. The manager helps franchisees develop and maintain sensible business plans.
- How computerised is the network?
All bookings are organised and dispersed via email. Operators are required to own laptops and smart phones capable of receiving and sending emails. Invoicing is officially logged via accounting software Quickbooks, but hard copy receipts are still provided in all bookings.
To further the technological interactivity of our system we are also implementing a new intranet system that will allow operators to view bookings and alter their schedule in real time.
- What about mentoring for new franchisees?
Mentoring forms the cornerstone of all new franchises. The managers of the head office are all former cleaners and developed the cleaning protocols of the company, offering mentoring in every aspect of cleaning practice. Accounting mentors and experts periodically run training and refresher courses on keeping books and advancements in software like Quickbooks.
Business mentors, lawyers and franchise advisors are present for many group meetings offering professional advice and coaching.