A Highly Respected Brand Within The Washroom Sector And An Award-winning Franchisor, Swisher Aims To Make Its Name Synonymous With Washrooms. Marilyn Keen, Director, Answer Our Questions

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Q: Tell us about your market sector and where the Swisher brand sits within that sector. A: Swisher provides a unique, weekly washroom sanitation service and products to commercial and public building washrooms. No other company in the UK provides a similar service. This growing market sector is worth about 3 million per annum. Swisher is a member of both the British Toilet Association and the British Institute of Cleaning Science. We also have regular coverage about the service in cleaning and user magazines. Swisher is a specialist service with no competition for its core service. Q: You have developed very strong brand recognition - is your brand one of the foremost in the sector? A: Swisher is a highly respected brand within the washroom sector, with an excellent reputation for quality and customer care. We place Swisher stickers on every washroom fixture that we clean and sanitise. Our products and dispensers are branded, as are our Swisher vans and Swisher Service Technicians' uniform. We are extremely high profile and most people have visited a washroom serviced by Swisher and seen our stickers, probably without realising that Swisher is a franchise. Q: What is distinctive about the Swisher services provided to clients? A: We are the only company to actually clean and sanitise the fixtures within a washroom. We provide a weekly service returning the washroom fixtures to their previous pristine condition. We apply a germicidal spray which inhibits and controls the growth of specified germs until the next weekly service. We also provide additional washroom services and products so even the provision of products is a provision of service as we visit the customer on a weekly basis. Q: What kind of franchise package is offered to franchisees? A: The franchise fee for a Swisher franchise is 30,000 plus VAT. We award a territory of approximately 500,000 population that tends to have between 10,000 and 15,000 potential customers within it. Subject to status, the franchise banks will lend up to 70 per cent of the total required, which means that a new franchisee needs to invest between 20,000 and 25,000 of their personal funds in order to start a Swisher franchise. Q: Are you looking to select management people with a business-building objective? A: The majority of our franchisees tend to have been either successful businessmen who have sold their previous business, or senior managers or directors from PLCs, banks, etc., who have helped to make their employers wealthy and now want to build a substantial business for themselves. However, really we are looking for people who are totally focused on building their own successful business, whatever their background, provided of course that they are able to manage both business and staff and are personable. Q: Generally speaking, are franchisees successfully developing their businesses? A: Swisher franchisees continue to develop their businesses. Some franchisees in the network have turnovers in excess of 300,000 and are achieving net profits in excess of 30 per cent. Swisher customers are across the spectrum and new customers include Cowes Yacht Haven, Jubilee Sailing Trust Ltd (on-board the ship, The Lord Nelson), Dunfermline Golf Club, as well as thousands of customers from offices, factories, shops, nursing homes, leisure centres, hospitals, restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, etc. Q: Have there been any recent or planned new developments within the Swisher organisation? A: We are presently introducing a new concept in the way we provide both products and services, as well as the introduction of new products and services which will greatly add to franchisees' bottom line. These innovations are very exciting and we believe that the network will grab hold of them and successfully use them to enhance their profitability. Q: Have you had some successful franchisees capitalise on the increasing value of their business through re-sale? A: We have a small, but ongoing re-sale focus at Swisher. This is a benefit for all concerned. The outgoing franchisee should make a profit on the monies invested into his franchise, having grown his business, which is reflected in the re-sale value. The incoming franchisee is buying an established business with an existing customer base. And the franchisor gets new blood into the network benefiting customers and the network. Existing territories presently on offer include York, Canterbury and Nottingham. Q: What percentage of the UK is now covered by Swisher services and what potential remains for further development? A: We have presently awarded just over a third of our existing territories and we have 114 territories in all within the UK. However, we are able to provide a service for our multi-site and national customers in most areas of the UK. Q: What kind of support structure do you offer your franchisees? A: We probably have the highest support ratio in franchising. It is presently 1.7 corporate staff to every Swisher franchisee. New franchisees receive management, service and sales training over a two to three week period. Their Service Manager and Sales Executive are also trained by us. We have ongoing sales and service training, quality control and customer training, as well as regular workshops, focus groups, conferences and newsletters. Q: Has Swisher won many awards? A: We are very excited to be celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. We are a top of the market, quality franchise and our franchisees and their staff reflect this ethos. Without customers, there would be no service and therefore support of the customers is absolutely essential by way of quality control and customer care. Because of our high standards, we have won numerous awards, including the 'HSBC Award for Enterprise', runner-up in the 'Daily Express Brand Builder Award', 'Top Recruitment Team' at the National Marketing Awards, runner-up in the 'Best Advert' at the National Marketing Awards and we have been finalists in the 'Franchisor of the Year Awards', six times in the last eight years, including 2007. The British Toilet Association also awarded Swisher its 'Innovation Prize' for services and products. We are proud of this record and we continue to maintain these high standards. Q: How would you sum up your next five-year goal plan? A: We are looking to the future. Our aim is to be in every commercial UK washroom, making the name of Swisher synonymous with washrooms. We are enhancing the range of services and products that are available to our customers. There is just so much potential within this sector and, of course, no competition for our core service, so the sky really is the limit. We just need good franchisees within our network to work with us and together to achieve these aims.

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Swisher Hygiene Franchise Corp.
6849 Fairview Rd.
Charlotte, NC

Phone: (704)364-7707
Toll Free: (800)444-4138
Fax: (800)444-4565

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