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Chemex Franchise

Chemex franchisee in front of van

Be part of an industry-leading and award-winning franchise, achieving a turnover of £300,000 in one year!

Chemex is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and supplier of innovative cleaning and hygiene control systems. With a 35-year history in franchising, we have the solution to support your desired lifestyle, earnings and business aspirations.

We are a well-established and award-winning franchise operating across 73 territories in the UK and 6 locations internationally but more importantly with a desire to continue that growth.

We are fully accredited members of the British Franchise Association and have developed a time proven business model that has won British Franchise Association Franchisor of The Year twice.

As one of UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of innovative cleaning and hygiene control systems, we are the experts at what we do, supplying market-leading, multipurpose and highly concentrated products. We offer a unique and unmatched service, separating our franchisees from the competition in a growing £7 billion market. 

What does being a Chemex Franchisee look like? Grow your income

From an investment of £23,500, you can achieve a turnover of £300,000 through a single van operation with a royalty level of just 6% - that’s one of the lowest in the business! With a multiple van operation, you can achieve even more. Your business growth is up to you.

By creating a repeat order business to business franchise, you can generate your required income from as few as 40 customer but much more importantly we keep our customers for far longer than the industry average by providing the Chemex service and our industry leading range of environmentally friendly products. Operating through a low-cost van based structure our franchise base supplies market-leading products at value for money prices.

With a large and exclusive territory you can build a business where you protect the reputation of your customers and in doing so create your own reputation for service and excellence which in years to come will provide referrals and further business opportunity.

You don’t have to be an expert. Our successful franchisees have come from all backgrounds including farming, mining and hotel management with some having enjoyed 20 years of more in the business.

Chemex icons

How we do it

Along with our multipurpose and super concentrated products that achieve exceptional cleaning results at value for money prices, we provide our customers with a unique and unmatched local service from our network of franchisees, backed up with the reassurance of national support.

Why Chemex

Our products will always be in demand! Based on the simple fact that all businesses are driven by legislation and reputation to use cleaning, hygiene or infection control products throughout the year we know that our marketplace will still be here in another 35 years.

Unlike other van-based operations, your customers are your own. There are no 24-hour callouts, no minimum product orders and no forced supply to national accounts at poor margins.

You are in control of your daily and weekly schedule but much more importantly you control which customers you want to deal with. You run all aspects of your business and through your own personality deploy the Chemex service with people who want to deal with you.

How we support our franchisees

As a Chemex Franchise owner, you will get industry leading training and support which includes:

  • Sales and marketing support - through our marketing and sales expertise we hand hold our partners through the crucial early months of business development.
  • Technical support - supported by our experts in chemistry and microbiology we provide technical back up and support.
  • Business critical equipment – this includes a tablet, PC, software, tools and uniform
  • Financial guidance – we’ll help you find a suitable finance. Working with our partner we have access to specialist franchise finance agreements.
  • Field-based support - to help you acquire new customers and identify new opportunities
  • Expert training that includes hands on, interactive sessions - we understand that one style of learning does not suit everyone and that’s why we have invested time in tailoring our training programme to ensure that we help you build the knowledge you need quickly.

Chemex Franchisee selling products to customer

What our franchisees say

Here Stephen Crinks, an existing Chemex franchisee explains what it’s like to run a Chemex franchise:

“When buying a Chemex Franchise you are taking up an opportunity to grow a business based upon your own self-employed efforts but with the additional benefit of the support provided by a well-established Franchisor as well as that of the existing Franchise network.

Chemex products are not luxury items but necessities, needing to be replenished on a regular basis. Everyone needs what we sell in order to keep their own businesses running successfully but unlike the majority of our competitors we provide a unique level of service and support.

Ongoing, the Chemex Franchisor provides training and support across the network in varying degrees based upon individual Franchisee needs to help you grow a successful and profitable business.

Running a Chemex Franchised business is hard work, always challenging, but immensely rewarding. No two days are ever the same. You have the satisfaction of helping your customers run their own businesses to the highest standard, being compliant with ever changing legislation as well as getting to know them and their needs and establishing working relationships that last for many years.

Franchising has been good to us and we would recommend it to anybody. We could not have achieved what we have as an independent business and a nice bonus is that many of our customers are now good friends too.”

Next steps

If you think that Chemex would be the right route for you, simply fill out the contact form and we will send you a Franchise information pack. We then arrange for a one to one telephone chat followed by an invite for you to find out more at one of our Discovery days held at our Head Office in Oldbury near Birmingham.

Chemex Franchise owner in his van with range of products

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At a Glance

Established:Over 30 years

Min total investment:

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UK presence:
Franchises throughout UK

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Franchisee Case Studies

Chemex  Franchisee

Chemex franchisee passes three decades with latest renewal!

With the average span of time spent in a franchise across the industry being 8.5 years, Chemex International will be celebrating one franchisee’s journey of a lifetime through three decades from the late Eighties to his contract renewal this month.Charles Williams has been a Chemex franchisee since 1989, and has no intention to stop any time soon! Learn more about Charles franchising journey with Chemex here...

Franchisor Interview

30 years of successful franchising: Interview with Chemex franchisor Michael Graham


Franchisors name: Michael Graham
Name of franchise: Chemex

Tell us a bit about yourself including when and why you joined Chemex and your past employment within or outside of franchising

30 years ago I joined Safeclean when Desmond Cook (BFA Chairman) sold the business to Guardsman. Using sea sponges to clean carpets as our USP! Unique as that was, our warranty business with DFS/SCS etc gave us lead generation helping a network grow well.

Promotion to the US followed and I ran the North American Division helping create Furniture Pro. On return to the UK I then enjoyed ownership in Pitman Training Group before eventually joining Chemex some 6 years ago.

When was Chemex established? And what were the factors for deciding to go down the franchise route?

Its 30 years young and the parent company was a chemical manufacturer. The strategy was a simple desire to expand beyond being a regional supplier. Franchising offered a way of achieving that aim.

What have been the company’s biggest achievements/successes to date so far?

"We supply some fantastic operations like Ocado and some great people, Heston Blumenthal being one. However, what I have always loved about franchising is the fact that it gives individuals the chance to control their own futures."

Threats of redundancy, tiresome bosses, poor work practices can take the spark out of people. Over the years I’d like to think that we have reignited that flame in many people helping them enjoy life again.

What challenges have you had to overcome?

If you run your own business, challenges are opportunities to improve. Looking at the huge market opportunity out there we have had to do a root and branch review of the business to ensure that we are well positioned for the next decade of growth. Introducing technology in various formats, revamping order systems, realigning the supply chain and much more. Ironically this led to Chemex winning the Innovation award from the BFA.

What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?

KISS – We all know what it means but it’s how you religiously practice it that is important. Our franchisees can access all sorts of marketing detail BUT we are confident that if you stand in front of enough prospects you can grow a sizable business so why not walk through the door and say, “Hi my name is Mike, I supply cleaning and hygiene products and I’m building my business in this area can I show you what I do”. Very low cost, direct marketing information generated, appointments generated and sales generated. For the more reserved we also deploy telemarketing for appointment generation but we are firm believers that marketing and sales are merely points on a circle of sales activity.

What differentiates Chemex from the competition?

We supply coloured water, janitorial products, basic cleaning items that every company in the UK today uses. This means the market is huge and as a result you have various forms of competition all of which claim this advantage or that unique aspect.

"At Chemex what we know to be true is that service is King. We don’t mean delivering on time or pulling out the stops if a customer needs bleach we are talking about understanding the business we supply."

From how a brigade cleans down to the way a dishwasher temperature check works, the importance of COSSHE, which product will save money, new legislation, regulatory needs in fact everything that can be of value to the customer. Our central operation functions to research, create and provide franchisees with this detail in easy to use/apply formats…that’s why our franchisees can supply businesses for 20+ years!

What qualities do you look for in a franchisee? What makes a successful franchisee?

Good communicator, open personality simple as that. Yes they have to be resilient and have energy but the first two qualities are what we look for

What changes have you seen in your industry over recent years? And how have you adapted to them?

Increased legislation: The fact is hardly a day passes without news items highlighting food hygiene issues, care home quality, NHS shortfalls or recalls on products. This is the end phase of a seed change in the UK where legislation and regulation policed through regulatory bodies are enforced. These laws and requirements are ever changing guidelines that can confuse and catch out operators and we love them. Our speciality is understanding and interpreting these to ensure that our customers are protected and safe.

What does the future hold for Chemex?

Another 30 years…if I explain that we supply necessities which every company in the UK can buy, legislation and regulation drives increased use of what we supply, the customer uses it and pours it down the drain meaning that the product is reordered, frequently. If we provide the service, we promise that means we have customers who buy from us for many years then who would want to change such a simple business?

What expansion plans have you got nationally and internationally?

As I write we have signed the Master Franchise rights for Australia. However, our UK aspirations are simple, 60 maybe 70 UK based operations.

To find out more about the Chemex franchise opportunity click here



Chemex International announce Managing Director elected as Full Board member of the BFA!

Chemex International are delighted to announce that Michael Graham, Managing Director, has been elected as a Full Board Member of the British Franchise Association.

More news from Chemex