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Adrian Steel

Adrian Steel owns Wilkins Chimney Sweep North Hants. He is married to Hayley and lives in Basingstoke, Hampshire


What made you buy a franchise business?

If I was going to start my own business I wanted to hit the ground running and the business model that Wilkins Chimney Sweep offered has allowed me to do just that. If I’d started on my own this wouldn’t have been possible. By buying into the franchise I have been able to learn a new trade and start up in totally new industry to me.


What made you buy a Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise?

Firstly I really liked the model that Peter and Louise were offering and after our first meeting I realised that they were both hard working and honest people. This combination really appealed to me as I know they are striving to build the Wilkins brand, which can only benefit my business. Even though I looked at other franchise operations I didn’t get the same feeling from any of the others.


Also, the Wilkins model is based on repeat bookings from customers and has a very low debt level which, in the current financial climate, really appealed to me.


A big bonus for me was the fact that Peter and Louise’s territory is neighbouring my own and I knew that as they’re already very established in their territory I would benefit from spin-off work immediately. It also means that if I need help I know they’re close by!

John Baldacchino

John Baldacchino owns the West Cheshire franchise.

What did you do before you bought your franchise?

I’d had 20 years of hospitality industry experience working for brands such as Hilton, TGI Fridays, Starbucks, Punch taverns and Marston’s. At Starbucks I was the first store manager in the UK opening the market in 1998. My last job before I bought my franchise was managing self-employed pub operators in an innovative new pub agreement that supported the local pub.


What made you buy a Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise?

I’d previously worked for large global organisations and knew I wanted to be able to take control of the direction of my own business; I’d been looking for the right business opportunity for some years and, having previously managed multiple self-employed operators, understood the benefits that a strong franchise model could offer.


After investigating a number of franchise opportunities and then meeting Louise and Peter, I quickly realised that I was very interested in the opportunity Wilkins were offering. I’d found a franchise business that delivered a quality service within a close geography, in a sustainable market.


Wilkins Chimney Sweep offered me what I was looking for, that other franchises just couldn’t.

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Redundancy brings uncertainty - but it can also bring great opportunity. Our operations manager Richard Bryan was asked by the British Franchise Association to talk about his own experiences of being made redundant, to starting his own franchise, to then becoming employed by the franchisor, via a prestigious business award win. Watch his story below.

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