Peter Edmonds, the owner of ServiceMaster Clean West Suffolk is passing the torch to his son Chris after 31 years of cleaning excellence.
Taking a step back from his business to retire, Peter is leaving ServiceMaster Clean West Suffolk in the capable hands of his son Chris, who has grown up with the business as a permanent fixture in both his young and adult life.
Chris’ parents started the ServiceMaster Clean West Suffolk business in Bury St Edmunds in 1991 when he was three years old. The business started small and grew alongside Chris, who has vivid memories of the brand and business throughout his childhood.
“I grew up with the signage and the vehicles and everything, I think I even had a little ServiceMaster sweatshirt as a kid,” he jokes.
As he got older, Chris then began to get involved in working for the business as well. Working as a ServiceMaster Clean technician during his summer holidays and in between his time studying at college and university. This was a big help to his parents as their business began to expand and they grew to take on a larger area and disaster restoration services: now known as ServiceMaster Restore. Then, as the business was changing its operation around 2016, Chris and his wife moved closer to the territory to help take over this area of the business.
Since then, Chris’ father has been semi-retired, running the business behind the scenes, but leaving the technician work to Chris. During this time, Chris had been involved in part in running the business and had first-hand knowledge of what was required to run a successful ServiceMaster Clean business. He says that taking up full ownership of the business has been a combination of the familiar and the new, but that he is happy to be able to take over from his dad, to allow him to retire fully. Chris says though he is familiar with technician work, it is interesting to be immersed fully in the work behind the scenes.
“There’s lots to take on board. We just moved over to the new system and got a nice new ServiceMaster email address as well. So, there are lots of changes. It’s a period of adjustment I guess. It hasn’t changed drastically. I was fairly free to do what I wanted to do before because we’d been slowly changing that balance over the years. The workload is bigger and I’m just catching up with all the changes. But once [the new systems] are all up and running, I’m sure it will be running smoothly.”
Throughout his entire career with ServiceMaster Clean, Chris has always found the most satisfaction in doing the physical cleaning work.
“It’s good to have customers walk into a room afterwards and say, ‘Oh wow’, when things come out better than they’d ever expected. Or if they were worried they might have to replace something, and then you give it a good professional clean and they’re good for another few years or however long. And where we’re based, driving around the Suffolk countryside is very nice and meeting people and their pets and that sort of thing is a nice aspect of the job as well.”
Chris has also been surprised by the support on the managerial end from the franchise network and head office, and his expectations for the level of support offered to him as a franchise owner were exceeded.
“It’s been nice knowing that, whether it’s with the accounts, health and safety, or pensions, there are people and systems in place to help you. More to a degree than I was aware of. So that’s been, that’s been really useful.”
Overall, Chris says that his goal now is to go above and beyond what customers expect by innovating their services and “to continue the good name and the great service that we’ve been giving, for decades, just update the techniques possibly slightly. And use modern technology to facilitate all that.”
If, like Chris, you would like to be supported by a professional and friendly team to grow your own successful business, get in touch with our franchise sales team today by filling out a contact form or by calling 0116 275 9005 to enquire about available territories near you.
Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer