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When doing less is better for business
For cleaning professional and National Carpet Cleaners Association member, Marcus Davis, the secret to a successful contracting business in a very challenging and competitive market, is to focus on what the customer wants and craft a solution that looks the part and does the job.
That term 'professional' is another keyword in Marcus's marketing: given he runs The Professional Cleaning Co, it's all about 'doing what it says on the van'.
Tunbridge Wells is the base of operation for this small, family-run business. Prochem technology and solutions fuel it. Marcus has recently taken delivery of a brand new Sapphire 370SS truck mounted extractor, which Prochem's Chessington technician team installed into his new Renault Traffic.
The Sapphire 370SS delivers maximum performance in half the space. Its new and innovative design employs trusted components combined with ingenious use of space and heat exchange technology to simplify operation and maintenance and ensure the longest service life at lower cost.
And with only 16? console width, the 370SS fits into smaller vans.
For Marcus, growing business has all been about scaling things back a bit.
"I've reduced the service offer, so that means no more jet washing or tenancy cleans," he tells us. "Our focus is on doing the most profitable work better than anyone else and being cleverer about it.
"For example, I was using a VW Crafter van before. It was great in that I could cram into it the tech and solutions I needed for a multiple service offer, but was then massively set back by the fact I couldn't park on the street half the time because of its size."
Marcus's revision of what he does comes 10 years after he started in cleaning, working for his neighbour.
"I was working in sales and marketing in London and on being made redundant stopped and had a rethink," he says.
"So, I started working for my neighbour who was running this business. Four years later I bought it off him. Then I realised I needed to know more about cleaning if I was to be better than the other businesses I was competing with."
Marcus put himself on Prochem courses. He has attended all of them and his certificates are all uploaded to his web site.
"Training brought me confidence, not least the confidence to slow down, to take matters in hand and be considered about what I was doing," he says.
"Whereas once upon a time we were just throwing Prochem Power Burst at everything, now I have the knowledge to blend solutions and marry them to technique."
The Professional Cleaning Co carries out carpet and upholstery cleaning and 90% of its business is residential.
"This is a relatively well-to-do catchment area," says Marcus," but consequently there is a lot of competition for this business. I previously employed people, now I am a one-man band and have much more control over service.
"I'm registered with the NCCA, Woolsafe and Checkatrade and the web site does a good job of getting over my business ethos. I don't do social media - I don't like its culture."
Marcus only buys Prochem.
"I still use Power Burst - it's a terrific product - and I also rate Fab Clean, which is wonderful on upholstery, Fibresafe Gold, Crystal Green and all of the spotters," he says.
And the new Sapphire? "One hundred and fifty hours on the clock and it hasn't missed a beat!"
28th March 2019