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One year on... Sylvie Botquelen


invest at the outset, and, depending on your skill set, you could employ someone in business development or operations to drive forwards more quickly, whichever you were weaker at, or liked least!


A fresh start A


Sylvie Botquelen, owner of Betterclean Services in Brighton, talks about the last 12 months trading as a franchisee


former fi nancial controller, Sylvie Botquelen invested in a Betterclean Services franchise in 2012, it was a big step, leaving a senior


corporate role in London, selling up and relocating to start her business in sunny Brighton on the South Coast. Her skill set, positive attitude and determination meant she hit the ground running, starting active trading in January 2013.


How have you found the past year? The past year has been quite challenging,


Sylvie Botquelen mid-meeting


from a staffi ng perspective. There is never a dull moment in a Betterclean franchise, and, as the business has grown, I have needed to recruit and rely on the staff and systems. I have had to go through a huge learning process personally. After some issues I now have a good management team in place and foundations for the next stage! With regard to contracts over the past


year, these are steadily growing and heading in the right direction. I was hoping to be further ahead, but I didn’t allow for the staffi ng issues! If you had more to


What are the benefi ts of running a Betterclean franchise? I simply didn’t have the knowledge, experience or skills to run a commercial cleaning business. I couldn’t have done it without the Betterclean Services franchise. It’s nice to be part of a network and share in experiences, stresses and solutions! More recently, I have had several conversations with Dan [franchisor] to help with situations that have occurred with my franchise. He has shared solutions, which now implemented have made a huge diff erence. One was with cash fl ow, and the two solutions he presented have made such a diff erence. They don’t work with every client, but very much the majority; I wouldn’t get this being independent! Being part of the network has many benefi ts.


What has been your most memorable moment of the past year?


After some ups and downs, I am optimistic about the current management team. They are working well together so I am hoping we can now grow again.


The most memorable moment was winning a school tender, which by exceeding expectations has grown six fold since we started. This shows our approach, systems and processes work!


“I couldn’t have done it without Betterclean...”


What are you plans for next year? Substantial growth is the aim, now I have a great management team in place. We recorded a 60 per cent increase last year, so this year we are looking to replicate that, assuming we can keep up from a service delivery perspective. To be honest I would be happy with 50 per cent!


What would you do diff erently? It’s been a real learning process, recruiting and managing my staff . Some of it is down to luck, while some of it is down to systems and processes. What would I have done diff erently? More detailed reference checks.


www.bettercleanfranchise.co.uk July/August 2016 | BusinessFranchise.com | 37


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