SO WHAT IS THE DCBN?
The DCBN is such a big concept that we often struggle to answer exactly what the Domestic Cleaning Business Network (DCBN) is. It started as a trade association, but quickly evolved from there. It is an idea and a concept of community, a drive for better business practise and a way of improving the entire cleaning industry.
How did it start?
Back in 2019 three people sat in a motorway service station believing that we were going to do something. If I’m honest we don’t entirely know what we were going to do and as we brainstormed it seemed like we were going to tackle every problem that had ever existed in the cleaning industry! Back then the task seemed impossible, but much has changed since 2019.
We needed other people to get behind our idea that together we could improve the industry for everyone. There was no best practise for the domestic cleaning industry, we were not represented and suppliers would barely even supply to us. There were no success stories for us to aspire towards other than the large franchises. In fact, often no one even believed that a domestic cleaning business was a proper business, sellable, big enough to buy chemicals, or big enough to employ people and comply with HSE laws. In summary, we were often an overlooked, discredited and uncontactable sector of the cleaning industry.
Those beliefs have each already been blown out the water. So how did we do it?
The first step was to persuade suppliers of chemicals that we were big enough to be worth dealing with. Admittedly it helped that the five original directors each owned domestic cleaning businesses which comfortably turned over £millions between them. A few suppliers turned us down as they thought we weren’t worth dealing with, so we moved on and eventually found first Avica and then Chemical Hut that would work with us and they both continue to be phenomenal for supplying smaller quantities of concentrate even to start up domestic cleaning businesses.
There are cost saving benefits, environmental benefits, organisational benefits, and health benefits for domestic cleaning companies using professional chemicals. DCBN members can now access safer professional products regardless of their size. And even better than that, the discounts that we have negotiated are often higher than the cost of membership itself!
While we’re talking about partners, we work with so many : Peninsula to provide HR solutions, there are discounts on insurance companies, you can get discounts on most major vacuum suppliers, chemical suppliers, cloth suppliers, graphic designers, workwear, scheduling software, quoting software and more! The discounts that you receive are often a major reason to become a member of the DCBN.
Less than two months into our existence, COVID-19 was discovered and in March 2020 lockdown happened. If you can remember back, this time was terrifying for business owners, the government did say that it would give us money to be closed, but the idea or concept was almost unbelievable. For business owners forced to close, their income dried up overnight and understandably they were terrified and turned to their support community for answers.
As Boris Johnson appeared each night on our TV to give an update for everyone, the DCBN would go live on Facebook two hours later with the interpretation of what Boris Johnson or his team’s announcements would mean for business owners and cleaners within the cleaning industry.
The Domestic Cleaning Business Network suspended all membership payments at this point and all work was done on a completely voluntary basis to support the industry. There is no doubt at this point that the popularity of the DCBN rocketed, as people gained support, cleaning business templates and cleaning training for free.
It was only a couple of short weeks before cleaners wanted to get back to work and it was clear that cleaning was going to play a frontline role in tackling this pandemic. The DCBN quickly made infection control training courses available then went one step further and commissioned a specialist infection control trainer to customise their knowledge and research specifically to the domestic cleaning industry.
Cleaning Course was created
The DCBN produced the first comprehensive course for domestic cleaners to clean safely during the pandemic and educated thousands of cleaners and business owners in this specialist knowledge in the effort to improve the industry and get everyone back to work. This course was ground-breaking and it went on to influence government agencies and many large company policies.
This course continues to be one of the best courses for learning to comply with HSE law and clean safely within the domestic cleaning industry. The updated version of this course is now exclusively available for free to all DCBN members and we strongly encourage all members to take it and receive a certificate at the end.
During 2020, the DCBN established itself as the place to be for anyone that wanted to clean properly and receive support to grow their business. The DCBN delivered online training webinars on every specialist subject within the domestic cleaning industry. These webinars have produced a massive video library now available to all DCBN members to watch at their convenience.
Business document template library
There is also a template library for all documentation required to run a cleaning company, from customer terms and conditions to employment contracts and price rise letters. With all the essential documentation, business owners have never found it easier to set boundaries within their own business and comply with best practise.
2021 continued to be an interesting year for the cleaning industry and the DCBN continued to support its now hundreds of members. We saw many cleaning businesses really boom with the increased desire across the country for cleaners.
Unfortunately, this was quickly followed by a massive demand for staff which caused stress for the business owners as they struggled to staff contracts that they had agreed to. The directors were so busy with their own businesses and supporting others and now running the very busy DCBN that it became overwhelming to them as volunteers.
DCBN in 2022
So 2022 we launched the new DCBN! New website, new software, new systems, new podcast, new branding, new in person networking, new industry shows and new team. 2022 has launched with a boom and the DCBN has never been busier and supported more business owners.
If you have read to the end and are now tempted to join the DBCN tribe, click on the BECOME A MEMBER BUTTON and we would love you to join us!