Chemex International CEO Interview


Oct 02, 2018

CEO of Chemex International discloses answers to all the questions you want to know!


Find out what Chemex is all about, whether you would be the right person to get involved in the franchise,  and most importantly why you should get involved in a Chemex Franchise!


1.    Tell us about the Chemex concept.

We are more than just simply a supplier of cleaning products – our franchisees are trusted advisors to thousands of businesses. Our network spends their time pinpointing hygiene issues, making recommendations, controlling stock levels and being their customers’ eyes and ears in all hygiene matters so that their customers maintain the highest possible standards of cleanliness in their premises.

There is growing demand from businesses for the service and solutions that Chemex offer, meaning that our franchisees start with a single van operation but can soon grow this if they want to.


2.    How and when did you become involved with Chemex?

It was the summer of 2009 when Melvin Lusty invited me to a meeting at the IOD. Having known Mel for a few decades I’d never even realised he had a wallet and the thought of a free lunch was too good to be ignored. That aside when Melvyn is asking you to a meeting like that you know that something good is at the end of it and his offer was to join Chemex and help shape its future direction.


3.    What was your background prior to joining Chemex?

For those old enough to remember BFA chairman, and founder of Safeclean, Desmond Cook sold his business to Guardsman where I was a Territory Manager. The MD spoke to me and two colleagues asking for a volunteer to run it, and I was the one who said yes – while looking forward to guidance from Desmond. Sadly, he died of a heart attack six weeks after the acquisition, so I had to make it up from that point forward. I was then promoted and went to the USA to reinvent the service under the guise of Furniture Pro. Returning to the UK I joined Pitman Training and ended up as an owner and Managing Director.


4.    What are some of the advantages in being a Chemex franchisee?

We deal with friendly customers who want and need your support. They buy the products, use the products and buy them again and again. The supply of necessities as opposed to luxury goods is a great way to build a solid and dependable income stream as the customer becomes reliant on your service abilities.


5.    Who is your ideal franchisee?

I have a 73-year-old who will be buried in his van, a 60-year-old who will be the first £1m business and a 35-year-old who will quickly follow him. There is no ideal – just people who have that desire and ability to follow through with hard work.


6.    What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

1.     Never mix chemicals – the results are generally painful.

2.     As a network of individuals always remember you are talking to an individual.

3.     A wise man once said that that the journey is more important than the destination and I firmly believe that.


7.    Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?

Franchisor – Melvyn Lusty, a man who can get to the heart of a situation in a flash.

Franchisee – Martin the milkman (you know who you are) - his stoic determination and refusal to give in was amazing.


8.    What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

Having run a franchise both as a franchisor and franchisee, always make sure you understand the model. In one way, shape or other you are the sales engine so be sure you understand the specifics of that role and what is required to succeed in it.


9.  In your opinion, why do you think that Chemex would be a fantastic opportunity for someone?

Aside from spending all your time in lovely pubs, hotels and restaurants the opportunity is based on a repeat business to business model where your service levels make the difference. Therefore, you truly control the size of your business opportunity.


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