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Chemex Franchise

Chemex collage of franchisee images

Over the last 30 years, Chemex has developed a reputation for supplying high grade cleaning and hygiene products to businesses throughout the UK. However, we are more than just simply a supplier of cleaning products – our franchisees are trusted advisors to thousands of businesses.

The Chemex brand is well known and respected in the market for offering quality products and for taking an innovative approach to hygiene and cleaning. Many products in our range meet the ever-increasing demand for environmentally friendly solutions.

Our franchisees benefit from:

  • Profitable business model
  • Six figure turnover from a single van
  • First class support systems
  • Growing demand for eco-friendly cleaning products

Grow your income

There is a huge requirement from businesses for greener cleaning solutions, and Chemex products are designed and formulated to take advantage of this growing market. Our business model enables you to capitalise on this demand to build a long-term, profitable business.

Your customers will always need cleaning and hygiene products. Over the years you will find that you acquire many loyal and regular customers who keep coming back to you time and again, providing you with a regular income.

Your future earnings will depend on whether you want to operate a single or multiple van business, but each franchisee operates in a clearly defined territory where we have identified significant business potential and you will have exclusive rights in your chosen area.

Chemex franchise owner with cleaning products outside his van

It's an expanding market

As a Chemex franchisee you will supply products and services that meet the needs of the many businesses throughout your territory that are searching for more environmentally friendly ways to operate and greener ways to carry out their cleaning. Whether this is by minimising their use of chemicals, reducing the amount of plastic waste they produce or by increasing their environmentally friendly credentials – Chemex franchisees can help.

Our customers include luxury hotels, exclusive restaurants, high street stores, the emergency services and care homes, to name but a few. These are all growing sectors and you will find your best customers in these markets. Your customers will turn to you for guidance and advice on all hygiene matters and you will become skilled at pinpointing the right solution for their needs, as well as identifying and implementing preventative measures.

Achieve your ambitions

Our franchisees come from many different backgrounds – some have been consumers of our products, some come from within our industry, while others have had successful careers elsewhere. However, what defines a Chemex franchisee is:

  • A willingness to devote time and energy to setting up and developing your business
  • A positive attitude to growing the Chemex brand name
  • An excellent commercial aptitude
  • An ability to communicate with all the many different types of customer that you will encounterChemex bfa and iso membership logos

Choosing to join Chemex is a life changing decision but in doing so you will join one of the most stable and successful franchise businesses, that offers real opportunities for growth, profitability and satisfaction from developing your own territory. You will need to dedicate your time and effort to developing the business, but the rewards will speak for themselves. You may even decide to employ staff and run more than one van – the opportunity is limited only by your imagination.

Investing in your future

To take advantage of the outstanding opportunities offered by becoming a Chemex franchisee, you will need to invest £23,500 plus working capital and your initial stock purchase.

This will give you access to all our systems, procedures and software, as well as an extensive 8-week training programme and ongoing access to our support systems and people. We also have great relationships with lenders who can advise on the best way to fund your new venture.

Chemex Franchisee selling products to customer

Helping you grow your franchise

Any business that is concerned with protecting their reputation is a potential Chemex customer and your Franchise Support Manager will work with you to help maximise the sales in your territory. One of the big advantages of joining Chemex is that your customers frequently need to re-order the products they buy from you, so you will have lots of regular clients and repeat business.

Our success as a franchise business has been recognised frequently by the British Franchise Association over the years and in 2014 we were honoured with a Franchisor of the Year award. Our network benefit from comprehensive training, support and systems from our Head Office team who will guide and support you to develop your business successfully.

How else do we support our franchisees?

  • Access to proven operational systems and software
  • Comprehensive tools and documentation on all operational, financial, sales and marketing aspects of running your franchise
  • Access to a library of sales collateral and marketing materials
  • Field-based support to help you acquire new customers and identify new opportunities
  • Ongoing support and training programmes

The Chemex experience

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.”

Chemex Franchise owner in his van with range of products

Interested and want to know more?

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At a Glance

Established:Over 30 years

Min total investment:

Min contribution:

Development type:

UK presence:
Franchises throughout UK

Development type:

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.

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