Facts & figures
- UK construction output shrunk by 0.9% in September 2017, but remains at relatively high levels
- Contract cleaning in the UK is worth £5.6 billion
- The cleaning industry contributes £24 billion per annum to the UK economy
- There are 17,075 landscaping businesses in the UK
Businesses might include: plumbing, pest control, locksmiths, property restoration, lawn-care, gas and electricity inspections, fuel efficiency surveying, kitchen fitting, drain cleaning, specialist oven-cleaning and bin-cleaning, to name a select few.
In fact, the variety and the areas of specialism are seemingly endless.
As slow economic growth tightens households’ daily spending less money is being spent on new developments or extensions, however maintaining existing properties, and everyday home-care continues to be a priority.
Homes and buildings will always need basic maintenance, and there are also legal, and moral obligations to be met that require building maintenance service providers.
All public buildings and new builds must adhere to government-led health and safety directives and therefore will need ongoing maintenance.
Gas and electricity safety inspections, for example, need to be undertaken with regularity and can be conducted by a qualified franchisee.
In addition to this, companies and private home owners are now keen to save on costs, and become more environmentally friendly, by ensuring energy efficiency.
More and more companies will be requiring energy efficiency upgrades and looking for lighting products that produce less wattage and reduce utility bills.
And as gas and electricity prices rise home owners will look for ways to cut down spending, for example, they may want to install new windows, or improve their insulation.
Another new trend is for offices and commercial properties to provide working environments that enhance the emotional well-being of employees.
This has resulted in the rise of services such as pot plant maintenance or ‘interior plantscaping’.
There are also office maintenance experts who cover everything from bathroom sanitation, floor polishing, and office upholstery and window cleaning. There are even franchises that provide feel-good sweets and snacks.
‘Lifestyle maintenance’ is also helping the maintenance franchise sector grow. Busy people are happy to pay for services that will give them more free time at evenings and weekends. For example, oven-cleaning and wheelie-bin cleaning franchises are a relatively new phenomenon.
Garden and land maintenance are also a key part of this sector. For example, lawn-care businesses have enjoyed a meteoric success over the past decade.
There is a myriad of opportunities within this sector, and as these franchise businesses are most often van based, the initial outlay is less than other franchises that may require the hire of space.
However, there may also be high up-front tool and equipment costs, all dependent on the type of service being offered.
Because of economic insecurity as a result of Brexit the level of building and re-development has slowed.
Proposed developments have been put on hold and there is now less demand for new office space.
However, given that most of this industry’s trade comes from pre-existing buildings this should not be too much of a threat to established businesses, however, it may adversely affect new entrants to the sector.
The challenge most likely to affect this sector, is predicted drops in the UK’s immigrant population. The maintenance industry is heavily reliant on migrant workers and therefore any expansion could be held back by lack of suitably trained or willing workers.
Building and home maintenance is a busy industry with growing areas of specialism. Additionally, this sector provides opportunities to suit people with many different skill sets and experience.