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Why start a Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise?
Key advantages at a glance
Fulfil your ambition to run your own successful business and be your own boss
Low investment cost, low overheads and the flexibility to set your own hours
Positive cash flow from an early stage and repeat business brings recurring income
Unrivalled, award-winning training with ‘live’ customers on real chimneys (you can expect to sweep or be involved in sweeping around 80 chimneys during training)
Be part of the UK’s largest team of independent chimney sweeps operating under one brand
Guidance on how to launch, run and grow a successful business, delivered by ex-franchisees – who better to support you than those who have been where you are?
Start as an owner-operator, scale up when you’re ready to add a second van and take on staff, growing a valuable asset with strong resale value
Brand power, heritage and reputation that’s second to none in sweeping
The option to add on a secondary brand, Wilkins PowerClean, to enjoy strong year-round demand and really make your business soar
Virtually every UK property, whether residential or commercial, has at least one chimney or woodburner flue, driveway, path or patio.
And when it comes to chimney sweeping, we’re talking about an essential service, both practically and legally. Sweeping helps prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning from blocked flues, as shown by:
Insurance companies increasingly requesting evidence that a chimney has been professionally swept as a condition of home insurance
The Fire Service recommending that open fire chimneys, oil and gas flues should be swept at least annually; coal fires at least twice a year; and woodburners every three months when in use
New carbon monoxide alarm legislation for landlords leading to increased awareness of the requirements for annual sweeping. Tenants are responsible for having this done but landlords need evidence to ensure that their property is protected, the tenants are safeguarded and that they are insurance policy compliant
Chimney usage is on the rise too: over 175,000 woodburners are sold annually in the UK according to the Stove Industry Alliance, alongside oil-fired boilers and an increasing number of biomass appliances.
Demand is high, and it’s only getting higher!
What does it take to succeed?
None of our franchisees had experience at chimney sweeping before joining us (and most didn’t have any business experience!) – but they had the desire to learn a technical trade and, equally as importantly, to learn to run a successful business. One of our most successful was actually afraid of heights before he started his business!
We offer award-winning training and support on the technical aspects of sweeping as well as on marketing, admin and growing your business.
That’s why your personality is far more important than what’s on your CV. This is very much a people business, perfect for those who are friendly, enjoy providing a great local service, and have the ambition to be their own boss.
Our business style is open, collaborative, innovative, flexible and helpful. If you’re looking to be part of a close-knit network of business owners sharing their successes, challenges and experiences, then we’d love to explore the Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise opportunity with you.
You can hear from some of our current franchisees and learn more about their backgrounds on our case studies page.
As a Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchisee, your business will provide a wide range of services to your local communities, including:
Chimney and flue sweeping
Fitting bird and rain protection to chimneys (cages, caps and cowls)
Maintenance, such as removing birds nests and blockages
Wider consultancy and advice from CCTV surveys, advice on the efficient use of woodburners, carbon monoxide alarms and associated sales
Path, patio and driveway cleaning
Most other providers in this sector - your potential competitors - are owner-operators who cannot match our recognised brand, heritage and reputation for excellence: Wilkins Chimney Sweep is the UK’s largest group of sweeps operating under the same brand, and your business will instantly benefit from that stature and reputation.
You can become renowned in your local area for providing clean, reliable and professional services. Just check out our franchisees’ Trustpilot reviews!
A franchise offers you the opportunity to run your own business and reap the rewards of your own hard work. You run your franchise using our brand, systems and proven business model, and with our ongoing support every step of the way, from operational training to administrative guidance.
In short: we’ve made the mistakes along the way in growing our business, so we can help you avoid them when growing yours!
It’s important to remember that there’s a system to follow in franchising; people who want complete autonomy over every decision don’t usually make good franchisees. The franchise agreement and operations manuals set out the rights and obligations of both franchisee and franchisor, to provide a productive and mutually satisfying relationship.
Franchising is statistically a lower-risk way to start your own business, with a higher success rate than going it alone according to annual research carried out into the sector.
We recommend that anyone considering investing in a Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise undertakes the British Franchise Association’s Prospective Franchisee Certificate, a free, video-based online course which tells you all about the franchise business model, available at bfa.trainme.tv.
The bfa is the guardian of franchising standards in the UK, and grants membership to companies like ours only after a rigorous accreditation has been passed.
This process examines everything from our financial stability to our legal agreement and the support we offer franchisees. Wilkins Chimney Sweep is an Associate Member of the bfa.
We’re proud of our standards, and proud to be recognised as one of the country’s elite franchisors by the bfa.