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10 Questions with... Peter Vezey of Vezey Consultants...

Q4If money was no object, what car would you buy?

For everyday use I would buy a bright yellow Corvette (I go to Le Mans each year to watch them in the 24-hour race). For weekends it would be a Lamborghini.

Q5How would you improve the cleaning industry?

Each month we ask a cleaning industry professional the Tomorrow’s Cleaning 10 Questions. This month, we chatted to PR guru, Peter Vezey, of Vezey Consultants...

Q1What was your first job? I started as a trainee and ‘gofer’ at Saatchi.

Having failed as a graphic artist, because I couldn’t draw people, I took to my other subject – English - and moved into PR.

Q2How did you get into the cleaning industry?

To get into PR I had to take any challenge. My first PR job was working on Kimberly- Clark’s tampon range – I always got editorial coverage because the female journalists were more embarrassed discussing their subject than I was. Later I was promoted to handle Kimberly-Clark toilet tissue and then I was elevated to Kimberly-Clark Kleenex facial tissue and hand towels. I set up and ran the Golden Service Awards for 18 years, including making it an international event.

Q3Who, in any other industry do you most admire?

I admire Mark Dixon, the founder of Regus offices. He had such foresight and ability, he is what you see – no airs and graces, down to earth and I enjoyed working for him.

I would boot out the cut-price cleaning cowboys and raise standards and prices accordingly. I would also pay staff a decent wage and thus minimise churn.

Q6What did you want to be when you were little?

Originally, I wanted a sports car dealership, then I wanted to be a pirate radio ship DJ, an artist, a rally driver, a TV chat show host and the winner of the top awards in my career – the latter I have achieved twice, the rest I failed to get anywhere near.

Q7What do you do to unwind? To unwind after a stressful morning, I put the

phones onto answer phone and take my TVR for a burn around the lanes for half an hour – its exhilarating and you cannot think about business when you are expecting a deer to jump into the road at any minute. At the end of the day a couple of pints helps and, at night, I listen to endless blues or You-Tube concert clips – Walter Trout, Gary Moore, Eric Clapton and Dorothy Moore.

Q8If you could have a dinner party with any three people, dead or alive, with one other

person cooking and the other person providing the music, who would they be and why? For my special dinner party, to cook I would ask Jamie Oliver, because he would join in with the banter. My kind of music (blues) is either too loud or melanch-oly to have as background music for dinner so probably the Misty Blue album by Dorothy Moore would be best. Guests

would be Eric Clapton, Joanna Lumley and Vincent Van Gogh, but if he couldn’t make it I would ask Eddie Jordan of F1 fame.

Q9What, do you think, is the future of the cleaning industry?

The future of the cleaning industry will be lots more of what we are currently experiencing. Cleaning is its own worst enemy and must clean up its act, raise its profile and promote it as a profession not a Cinderella business. We need is a couple of national networks of quality independent contractors to tender for national accounts with truly local contractors, not an office 150 miles away with an area manager who occasionally drops in.

Martin Kent, of ESP asks...

Q10 What value do you put against service when comparing with price? The relationship between service and price is simple – you get what you pay for. Pay peanuts and get monkeys, over promise for the price and it ends in tears. Good reputations take time to build and they can be lost in seconds. Make your customer feel wanted. Each customer, regardless of size should be made to feel the most important and the one you are constantly thinking about. This costs next to nothing but pays huge dividends. Here endeth the lesson.

Check out next month’s issue to see what Peter asked our next industry professional...

The future of our cleaning industry | TOMORROW’S CLEANING | 45 REGULAR

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