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Longevity is the Key to Chem-Dry of Strathearn’s 21 Successful Years


Given the current economic climate, setting up your own successful franchise business could prove a big challenge and frightening proposition. In 1989, that’s exactly what Crieff based entrepreneurs Simon Wake and Shelagh Wake of Chem-Dry of Strathearn set out to achieve. People tend to stumble upon franchising and Simon was no exception, whilst employed by the oil industry as a mechanical engineer, he considered a lifestyle change, wanting to spend more time at home and work for himself. Simon then responded to an advert placed in the national media promoting franchising as a business concept and the rest is history.

Shelagh Wake, Proprietor of Chem-Dry of Strathearn, comments “In 1989, having decided we wanted to start our own business, Simon and I felt that a Chem-Dry franchise could be the business model that would inspire us. Simon’s dedication helped put the building blocks in place and the business hasn’t looked back since.
It provides me with immense satisfaction to be celebrating 20 year’s of running our successful franchise business. The Chem-Dry of Strathearn business bears no resemblance to the business we first started in our back bedroom in 1989, how times have changed”.

The longevity of the Chem-Dry of Strathearn business has been built with a long-term vision in mind. With 20 years outstanding service and constantly assessing the long-term needs of their customer base has proved the catalyst for operating a highly successful domestic carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning and disaster restoration franchise. Chem-Dry of Strathearn proves to be a best practice example of a well managed franchise and after 20 year’s within the Chem-Dry network, Shelagh, Simon and the team can be proud of the franchise business they have built.

Mark Galsworthy, Head of Chem-Dry Franchising, comments “After over 20 year’s within the Chem-Dry network, the Strathearn team continues to be a shining example and great role models for other aspiring franchises. They exemplify what franchising and Chem-Dry is all about working tirelessly hard for their business, delivering excellent customer service and continually striving for improvement. They are always willing to mentor new franchisees”.

Shelagh continues “Franchising is a long term business solution, not just a short term business fix. Simon’s vision 20 years ago helped us build a sustainable franchise business. If anybody is thinking about running their own franchise business as we did back in 1989, I would give them the following piece of advice: Join as many business networks as time allows and make numerous contacts within the commercial sector”.

Chem-Dry of Strathearn is an independently owned family based business, operating since 1989 by Shelagh and Simon Wake. Sadly Simon passed away 18 months ago due to a critical illness. The current team at Chem-Dry of Strathearn have all been together since 2001 with 4 employees (Jim, Kevin, Emma & Lee) having been in service for 14, 12 and 9 years respectively with Lee joining us last October. Today the domestic and office carpet cleaning, Steam Carpet Cleaning, upholstery cleaning and disaster restoration businesses are managed by Jim Todd and have evolved to their current size through the provision of exceptional service to their domestic and commercial customers within the Tayside region.



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