Thursday, 29 March 2007

Wheelie Bin Cleaning

There seem to be more and more companies offering Wheelie Bin Cleaning franchises. This is a business I just don't get. Why would anyone pay to have their wheelie bin cleaned? Unless you are pouring rubbish into it without using bin liners, it doesn't really get very dirty, does it? Ours certainly doesn't. And I don't know anyone who pays to have their bin cleaned (although I suppose they wouldn't necessarily share this information with me unprompted).

But even if some people do pay to have their wheelie bin cleaned, I can't see how you can make any money out of it. I've just googled "wheelie bin cleaning" and got a bunch of companies wanting to sell me a franchise (and it is interesting that their primary aim seems to be to sell me a franchise, not to actually clean my bin. I'm always suspicious of any franchise company whose website is all about selling franchises, not actually selling the service being offered.)

Most seem to be saying that you can clean 150 bins a day, that's one every 3 minutes in an 8-hr day. That seems quite a lot, surely even the fanciest cleaning machine is going to take 30-60 seconds to actually do the cleaning leaving you 2 - 2.5 minutes to get to the next location. Possible, I suppose.

Those people that do pay for their bins to be cleaned apparently do so once every four weeks. So to get 150 bins a day over a four week cycle you need 3,000 customers (150 x 5 day week x 4 weeks). That's fully 3% of your allocated territory of around 100,000 households (that was the territory size in one franchise I was looking at). That's quite a high penetration: if, say, a quarter of households actually want to pay for a clean, plus there are, say, 4 other competing companies in your area, that leaves you expecting about 6% as a steady-state, well-established figure. So getting to 3% right away is going to be tough.

Or, to put it another way, you'd have to sign up 11 new customers every working day for a year to get to your 3,000. Is that doable? Seems unlikely, unless they are all coming over the internet or some other automated system. If you are having to go door-to-door to sign them up yuo wouldn't have any time to do the cleaning, would you?

I just doesn't seem to add up to me. I'm not at all saying these franchises are scams (at least one of them is a BFA member), I just can't see how it works.

Any wheelie bin franchisees reading this? Can you really do 150 bins a day? And can you economically sign up that many customers to provide that volume of bins?

232 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Im not sure how the vac recovery works really but with 10 or 80 liters even being nasty and recycling the water wont get you doing many cleans, BUT it will be enough to get you started and building a round which is what matters at the start.
First cleans on any bins will use far more water than when you are regularly cleaning so it will get easier after the first visits - once youve got a round then you can go about upgrading stuff.
Good luck with business venture!

Mike

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Anonymous said...

Hi John. I know this post was almost 10 years ago but can you tell me what vehicle you use for the wheelie bin cleaning? I'm wanting to start up but have been quoted around 10k for a trailer system which is obviously a massive amount of money to part with. Any advice on starting up would be appreciated.

Kind regards,
Gary

Anonymous said...

Hi John. I know this post was almost 10 years ago but can you tell me what vehicle you use for the wheelie bin cleaning? I'm wanting to start up but have been quoted around 10k for a trailer system which is obviously a massive amount of money to part with. Any advice on starting up would be appreciated.

Kind regards,
Gary

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