Starting a new business - need some market research

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25 Jul 2013 10:36 by Suzyandsteve Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Hello. I am after some views please.

My wife and I are looking at starting a professional oven cleaning business here in Spain, we have the funds to buy a professional looking van fitted with gas dip tank etc etc. We are not going to be turning up with a box of oven brite and soaking bits in your bath!.

We will visit the home, after placing protective coverings to your surfaces, we will strip down your oven, place all the innards into our special dip tank which cleans all the carbon off. Whilst this is happening we scrub and clean the inside, strip the door down and clean and replace oven bulb if required. When this is all done, we put the whole thing back together and clean up all the mess. The oven will look like new. No caustic chemicals are used and the oven smells lovely. It takes between 1 to 2 hours from start to finish. We can also clean the hobs, extractors, microwaves and BBQ's

We have asked friends whether they would use this service and the response has been very positive - but of course that's friends , so I would like to ask people I don't know so I can gauge perhaps a truer picture. Your honest opinion would be great, also any ideas on marketing or whether we should offer any special offers

So here goes -:

1. Do you think there will be a demand for this service?

2. Would 45 / 55 euros be a reasonable fee to charge to clean the oven

Do you have any further suggestions?

Steve and Sue





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25 Jul 2013 12:56 by ojosazul88 Star rating. 171 posts Send private message

In a word "NO",  and in times of austerity i cannot see this as a priority or even a necessity. For all the arguments you may have for the positives of this idea i see more negatives. Now, you havent said what your target market is, large commercial ovens or domestic home ovens? Possibly the commercial sector has a need for this but you would need substantial experience of Spanish and contract law and many other aspects of business in Spain. That leaves the domestic home user, unless the oven is old or broken most people will clean as they use it with the numerous cleaning products that can be bought from supermarkets, yes you may extend the life of the oven by a nice professional clean but "why fix what isnt broke", is this a problem i hear people talking about?, NO. The other point is, once i pay my 50 odd euros to you to have my oven "look like new", then what, after a few uses it will be back to square one, dirty, so im going to pay you another 50 euros? Good luck with this.

 





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25 Jul 2013 14:32 by claire T Star rating in Torremendo, Orihuela. 689 posts Send private message

EOS Supporter

Hi Suzy and Steve - I have to agree that you would find it hard to make money with this idea.  You might get some business from people who buy a house which is in a really bad state, but they would probably either clean it themselves or buy another one - you can get second hand cookers for under 100€ very easily here.  Or they would pay someone to gut the whole house.

It is hard to make money in Spain.  There are so many people who are willing to work illegally, and thus reduce their costs, that anyone who wants to set up a legal business will struggle.  You would need to pay to be self employed (around 275€ per month minimum) whether you are earning or not, plus all the associated costs of your van etc.

Good luck though in whatever you do!



_______________________
Claire



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25 Jul 2013 17:11 by Roly2 Star rating in Almeria. 651 posts Send private message

Sorry to be negative but you would not find any takers amongst the Spanish families either.   Indeed, most don't even use the oven for big chunks of the year with the result they stay like new for ages!!!!   I understand where you are coming from - I used an oven cleaning franchise when in the UK - but really, I would say listen to the comments you have already received.





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25 Jul 2013 18:05 by tamaraessex Star rating in Colmenar, Malaga. 508 posts Send private message

tamaraessex´s avatar
There's a lady who does this in our area (the Axarquía region,east of Málaga) and she makes a good living so I am less negative than the others. I gather she charges about €35 but I don't think she strips it down and soaks the parts, I think she just scrubs it in situ (though I'mnot 100% sure). She gets about 90% of her business through the Facebook group covering that area, and people on there speak very hily of her work.

I think it's something people would have done when they move in, plus many people have a second home as a holiday let, so would use it for that. Certainly this woman works solely for the expats and does 3 or 4 a day.

_______________________

 Blog about settling into a village house in the Axarquía. http://www.eyeonspain.com/blogs/tamara.aspx




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25 Jul 2013 18:58 by ojosazul88 Star rating. 171 posts Send private message

"plus many people have a second home as a holiday let, so would use it for that.'

Totally disagree, in the main coastal tourist areas you can find cleaners advertising two a penny, 6-8 Euros per hour, they would clean the entire house plus the oven for this!,
why would anyone pay someone 50 Euros just to clean an oven?
As I said, its a hobby business, not a real business, a business only aiming at expats in these economic times just makes things harder too. Its obvious from the few comments here that this is a non starter, sometimes it better to admit you got it wrong than stubbornly pursue an idea and lose thousands.



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25 Jul 2013 19:46 by tamaraessex Star rating in Colmenar, Malaga. 508 posts Send private message

tamaraessex´s avatar
The woman doing it in our area is not covering the coast, but approx 20km inland. She is successful enough that her business sponsors a local animal charity. This example does not mean that ALL similar businesses will be a success ..... but it DOES show that Suzy & Steve are not necessarily as mad as the rest of you think.

_______________________

 Blog about settling into a village house in the Axarquía. http://www.eyeonspain.com/blogs/tamara.aspx




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25 Jul 2013 20:32 by bobaol Star rating. 2257 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

You don't say what area but you would need the market research first.  In this area there is a company already doing this and I think they charge €50 an oven.  I have no idea how much business they get but they have been in business for several years so it must be working.  As said before, it would have to be an expat area as the Spanish very rarely use their ovens, most of the food is cooked on top of the stove, not in it.

I must admit, most of the cleaning stuff you get from the supermarkets definitely does not do what it says on the tin.  We have a so-called self cleaning oven but, at 500C for 3hrs 15mins would probably cost a lot.  I usually end up with the old Brillo pad which, I am sure, doesn't do the oven much good.  It may be something I would use once every couple of years but haven't done it yet.  (we got rid of our last one because it was useless so have only had this one for about a year).

I do know that, on another chat site (yes, there are several others out there) people have requested this service so it may be a goer.

Best of luck (wouldn't like to do it in the middle of summer, though).

 

 





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25 Jul 2013 20:32 by bobaol Star rating. 2257 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

You don't say what area but you would need the market research first.  In this area there is a company already doing this and I think they charge €50 an oven.  I have no idea how much business they get but they have been in business for several years so it must be working.  As said before, it would have to be an expat area as the Spanish very rarely use their ovens, most of the food is cooked on top of the stove, not in it.

I must admit, most of the cleaning stuff you get from the supermarkets definitely does not do what it says on the tin.  We have a so-called self cleaning oven but, at 500C for 3hrs 15mins would probably cost a lot.  I usually end up with the old Brillo pad which, I am sure, doesn't do the oven much good.  It may be something I would use once every couple of years but haven't done it yet.  (we got rid of our last one because it was useless so have only had this one for about a year).

I do know that, on another chat site (yes, there are several others out there) people have requested this service so it may be a goer.

Best of luck (wouldn't like to do it in the middle of summer, though).

 

 





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25 Jul 2013 22:46 by ojosazul88 Star rating. 171 posts Send private message

"the woman doing it in our area is not covering the coast, but approx 20km inland. She is successful enough that her business sponsors a local animal charity."

Is this woman a legally registered business paying social security and taxes?, To sponsor a charity is not a gauge of success!, As I said you will always find a few customers for most businesses but to buy a van, equipment, pay social etc etc for this business idea is I believe a bad decision.



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25 Jul 2013 23:04 by tamaraessex Star rating in Colmenar, Malaga. 508 posts Send private message

tamaraessex´s avatar
Look, I'm just trying to answer the original question, not get into a row with you. It is OK to have different experiences and different opinions, you know! I didn't say that sponsoring a charity was a guage of success. But advertising and sponsorship are not usually something someone does if they are "under the radar", and giving a percentage of EVERY oven-clean-fee is not usually something someone does if their business if losing money. I haven't met her, I can't tell you her social security registration details, I'm just reporting on the large number of people on our particular local FB forum who ask for this service and are referred to this woman because she does a good job at a fee people are prepared to pay. This is intended to be useful info for the original poster, not advice or anything. Jeez you wonder why anyone ever bothers trying to be helpful on this forum some days.

_______________________

 Blog about settling into a village house in the Axarquía. http://www.eyeonspain.com/blogs/tamara.aspx




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25 Jul 2013 23:34 by Steveandsuzy Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

Hello again, wow looks like I have unintentionally opened a can of worms. That was not my intention

For those of you that have taken the time to post replies, thank you. You thoughts are ... interesting

To clarify some points raised, we live in a small village just outside Torrevieja, There is a BIG expat community here and close by and lots of British people who rent out their holiday homes

Lets get one thing straight, we dont for one minute think this business will make us millionaires - our forecast is to start out as a fully legal and insured business (yes paying 315 euros per month including the accountants fees) with the aim of 4 oven cleans per week and see how we progress from there.

The person who mentioned commercial businesses - that is something we will look into as we expand and grow - its the domestic market we are looking at

We have not factored in any business from the Spanish people - because frankly we also dont think the market is there - it is with expats and maybe other nationalities

This service is very popular in the UK - our friend owns a franchise and she is very busy but pays a lot to the franchise company - the work is hard, but she admits if she had the time again she would do it without a franchise

No one likes to clean ovens - as I said its hard work and dirty, shop products and brillo pads just dont do the job - so hopefully there is a niche in the market, thats what I am trying to find out

There is money in Spain  I have plenty of friends who live here and would not give a second thought to spending 80 - 120 euros on a game of golf, and yes there are people who will clean their ovens themselves, Thats fair enough

We want to be completely 100% above board and professional and charge a fair price for a fair service. If someone wants to pay half the price to someone who is not legit then again thats their choice - but they wont get a good job in my opinion

Thank you for your thoughts once again - Please dont bicker, it really doesnt help tht much. Please feel free to give your opinion and if that differs fro another poster then so be it

Steve & Sue





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25 Jul 2013 23:35 by baz1946 Star rating. 2177 posts Send private message

Sounds like a hard business to start up to me, something i wouldn't go into because you are set on doing things by the hour, when you sell something you can sell thousands in a hour. 

You say to do the clean satisfactory takes about 1 / 2 hours, but factor in some travelling time and my guess is one job could be about 3 hours long,  many people wont want you at the house much before about 9am, the first clean is finished then about 12 midday, so if...IF you have to drive to the next job you finish this one about 3pm, and so on, and this is if everything goes to plan, travelling to and from any job can be very time consuming and many start up business's dont factor this in, but time and wasted time is big lost money when your self employed, if you do one clean a day at 50€ could you survive on that amount?, and thats the least you will have to do to make a weeks wages.

Could you use you car for a while instead of paying out for a van just in case it dont work out, then you should know after a few weeks if this is right for you.

In the begining should you like it or not, you must cut down on costs in every way possible, that way should the downside come it might not hit you so hard.

For sure the only positive way you will know if this will work  out is to try it, to many people go through life with the master plan they never put together and live life wondering " What if "

What ever you decide to do i wish you luck.





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26 Jul 2013 10:50 by Roly2 Star rating in Almeria. 651 posts Send private message

Would also just like to defend the idea of the business.  It is quite a big franchise in the UK and I understand a good business opportunity for start ups.   I would not like to dismiss it on the basis of the idea - just wanted to make that clear.





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26 Jul 2013 14:21 by ojosazul88 Star rating. 171 posts Send private message

"It is quite a big franchise in the UK and I understand a good business opportunity for start ups."

What works in UK doesn't necessarily work in Spain, target market of the UK oven clean franchises in UK is very different to Spain.




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26 Jul 2013 15:17 by Roly2 Star rating in Almeria. 651 posts Send private message

I agree - and I did express reservations - but it seems like some people are rubbishing the whole idea as a business, and I just wanted to say it has been a very viable business plan in the UK and I believe in the USA.





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26 Jul 2013 15:46 by baz1946 Star rating. 2177 posts Send private message

I wouldn't base any busness on the fact that you see folk splashing out 80 / 120€ on a round of golf, or 100€ on a meal, some people got top sky, broadband, smoke and drink like a fish and wear 2.99€ tee shirts from Primark and second hand shops, with hand me downs for the kids. 





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26 Jul 2013 16:24 by bobaol Star rating. 2257 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar
And by market research, you should also check out the competition. In the area mentioned, there are 2 companies already doing this. I spoke to a neighbour who does cleaning and she told me one them specialises in oven cleaning for those who rent out their properties. As a cleaner, she will do basic oven cleaning but she reckons the state some holidaymakers leave them they have to call in the professionals. I've seen one van with oven cleaning advertised but there is also another one with their card pinned up on our notice board.
This would seem to suggest the service is required but you would need to do some checking if there is a need for another one.



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26 Jul 2013 16:55 by Steveandsuzy Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

Hello again and thank you for all your thoughts.

I would just like to clarify that the business plan is not based on people playing golf or eating out. My service (if I ever get started) is based on more than that. I also except that many people will not require my services - again that is to be expected. I am also aware that what woks in Britain may not work in Spain - Hence my reason for posting on here in the first place

I would like to know more about the "competition" - I have not been able to find any companies that advertise in any of the local newspapers or radio or the internet - If anyone can shed some light on these that would be useful especially as quesada is very near to me.

Thanks again for all your feedback

 

 





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26 Jul 2013 17:44 by baz1946 Star rating. 2177 posts Send private message

Perhaps the reason that you cant find anyone doing it around you is that some have tried and not got on very well.





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