British Cleaning Council member – the Domestic Cleaning Alliance (DCA) – is this year celebrating its fifth anniversary.
The DCA’s services and benefits – which include domestic cleaning training, advice on running a cleaning business, discounts on supplies, equipment and insurance plus peer-to-peer networking opportunities – was inspired by Stephen’s vast experience within the domestic cleaning sector.
Stephen said: “I started my cleaning business back in 2003 and found the UK domestic cleaning industry to be fragmented, unregulated, and with a ‘wild west’ culture that didn’t really benefit professional service providers or their customers.
“There were no shared standards regarding what a domestic cleaning service should actually be offering, what service levels to work to, or what the client could expect if anything went wrong. We also had highly professional, responsible service providers competing with unreliable and uninsured cash-in-hand operators.
“After more than a decade working in the industry and several years of research, I founded the DCA as I wanted to create a level playing field and set some industry benchmarks which were previously non-existent.
“For example, there is currently no law which says a cleaning business has to have any sort of insurance, but we insist all members prove to us upon application that they have a public liability policy in place. Further, once accepted as a member, their full company details are listed on our website for all to see – including the taxman.”
“No matter what the size of a cleaning business or how long it’s been trading, so long as it’s legal and insured, the owner can apply for membership.
“Five years on, we’re growing all the time, and I would like to thank the British Cleaning Council for its support since we joined them in 2015.”
Stan Atkins, Chair of the BCC, said: “Stephen has done an incredible job to shine a spotlight on an industry sector which was previously working in the shadows.
“Stephen’s commitment to ongoing professional development and raising standards within domestic cleaning should be also applauded in what is a rapidly growing and economically significant sector of the cleaning industry.”
Last year the BCC awarded the DCA a grant to host a special industry workshop which was aimed at supporting new domestic cleaning business owners who were looking to grow their businesses and improve their processes when it came to recruiting and retaining staff.
One of the participants, Randolf Kho from Solihull’s Clean Your World, said of the event: “As a new business owner you feel alone most of the time, but I recently joined the DCA and the information and support from the workshop was superb. I met many people who run businesses like mine, and the workshop has given me the confidence to expand my business.”
BCC Council member Delia Cannings, who helped Stephen deliver the workshop, added: “The workshop demonstrated that many people who start out on their own in the cleaning sector can need a great deal of support and guidance.
“There’s plenty of work out there, but often it is a lack of confidence that gets in the way of growth, and events like this one really helped the participants believe they were on the right track towards building a professional and profitable business.”
Stephen celebrated the DCA’s fifth birthday with a special BCC branded cake which was presented to BCC Chair Stan Atkins at a recent BCC members’ meeting.
For more information on the DCA, visit https://www.domesticcleaningalliance.co.uk/