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How the company began

Local cleaning firm aim to make booking a local trusted  cleaner in Essex a simple and painless experience where customers needs and requirements are catered for and a cleaning package tailored exactly for their needs.

 Founder Glyn Shemwell went from supplying disco lights and mirror balls to providing trusted local professional cleaners when he couldn’t find a local cleaner in Southend for his father..

He had recently been made redundant after 17 years working and managing the same company so Glyn decided that he wasn’t going to be put in that position again…. his only answer was to work for himself.  After extensive research and looking at a number of businesses businesses Glyn founded we clean any home.  His plan was very simple, he wanted to offer first class customer service and supply experienced local cleaners that had been checked and vetted to the right homes.

With this cleaning-essex was born.  They recruited, checked, vetted local self employed cleaners in the Southend area and went about marketing their cleaning services whilst offering back up support to the cleaners and clients focusing on supplying great customer service.

Why did you set up

Mainly because of my Dad as he was struggling to manage and clean his home so I decided I would find him a local cleaner.  I spent a day on line and emailed about 5 companies and struggled to get a response from any of them, I then called them but still didn’t have much luck.

When they did respond they seemed to try and make it difficult to use them, payments seemed complicated, some were rude and some wanted to sign me up for 3 months.  I came from a background where the customer was King or Queen so I found it very strange that the people I was talking to didn’t really seem to care about my requirements and were put out by the fact I asked a few questions.

So why cleaning?

To be honest I had no luck with my dad’s cleaning at all so this was definitely a major part of my decision.  Having researched the market further I realised that it was a huge industry yet many cleaning companies showed no interest in moving with the times and good customer service seemed to be a dirty word. (please forgive the pun)

The recurring nature of regular weekly cleans really appealed to me.  I was certain that if you could supply top local cleaners, take the grief away from payments and not sign customers into lengthy contracts.  Combine that with great customer service and tailor the clean to your clients needs you could build a solid and enjoyable business.

I wanted to provide customers and cleaners alike with a professional and friendly service where everyone was happy.


Was it hard to set up?

We launched 5 years ago as a cleaning agency offering a modern online business using old fashioned marketing techniques that still work to this day. At first it was a real roller coaster.  I only had £500 start up capital which meant that I couldn’t start the business in the way I would have liked and every decision was a major one as there was no money in the bank.  For the first year I lost money, didn’t draw a salary and forgot what it was like to go out.

I guess most new businesses go through the same experiences but your life is pretty much put on hold.  I worked 7 days a week and long long hours but it was enjoyable.  When you see your own business start to grow its a great feeling and I was meeting clients who I really liked and our cleaners were becoming friends.

Recruiting good quality cleaners presented a problem.  In truth a bigger problem than I had expected as I had assumed everyone would have the same desire as me.  This has been a huge learning curve and it took time for me to sort it out.

How is the business doing now?

2016 has been very good year so far, although like all business owners I would like it to be growing quicker.  A lack of starting capital at the beginning did hold us back at first but we are now moving forward the way we would like to.  We have over 150 clients and about 25 cleaners which we hope to double by the end of the year, we have moved into commercial cleaning as well and added services.  We are very excited about launching a new website this year that will fully automate the whole booking process although we wont be automating things completely.  We are still very focussed on customer care and are only ever a phone call or email away from our clients.

What’s your plans for the near future?

We want to grow, expand our cleaning coverage to all over the Uk and become the go to cleaner in any area.  I really want to make booking a cleaner a great customer experience for our clients and make our website and booking system an enjoyable process.  I want to make working for we clean a happy place to be where our cleaners come to work happy.  I care about our cleaners and realise they are the most important part of our business and what makes the whole company tick.  We already pay our cleaners over the living wage but I want to increase this in the next 6 – 12 months.  Any cleaning business is only as good as the cleaners who do the work.  Reliability and retention of cleaners is the most important feature of a cleaning business so by paying good wages is crucial to achieving this.

Do you keep an eye on the competition and how do you hope to be better than them?

In a word, yes.   I do keep an eye on our competitors and am constantly looking at ways we can improve our services.

We plan to speed up our system for our clients and automate the process.  I wan’t a modern company but also a company that never forgets the customers and will always strive to offer first class customer service.

Our clients will be able to book, schedule and pay on line but they will still have their dedicated cleaning manager (in many cases me) who they can call anytime if they want to speak to someone which I think makes us different than most cleaning companies operating today.

And as I said previously our cleaners are the core of our business.  By recruiting professional, trusted and friendly housekeepers and then holding on to them I can only see good things for our future.

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

I would love to be the leading online and offline cleaning companies in the UK covering a large part of the Country and I am working hard to achieve this.

The last 5 years have been a great experience and I have learned so much in this time.  I think we are now ready to move it on to the next level and this is what I will be trying to do throughout 2017.  I would also like to franchise our company out to potential entrepreneurs who have the same passion for our business as we do.

We have many great clients and wonderful cleaners and the thought of expanding this further really excites me.

Watch this space


February 2020
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