last updated 31/03/2022
last updated 31/03/2022
Home ownership in just five years. Was it a Lotto win? No, it was Cleantastic!
Towards the end of 2017, Shakeel Ali and wife Fazi Shah faced an unwelcome reality check. Despite having good incomes, the idea of owning a home large enough for them, their two daughters and a live-in grandparent was all but impossible. As for a once-in-a-lifetime hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, that was out of the question.
Five years on and the couple are happily in their own Papatoetoe home; Shakeel was able to take his late mother for a month in Saudi Arabia before she passed away; and, most recently, they took delivery of a brand new 4WD – another goal achieved.
So was it a Lotto win? ‘No way,’ laugh the couple. ‘It was Cleantastic.’
The couple are big fans of the commercial cleaning franchise. ‘We knew we wanted to create more income but, working in the hospitality industry we knew that salary raises would never be enough,’ Shakeel recalls. ‘So we discussed getting some sort of part-time business we could run alongside our full-time jobs and looked at commercial cleaning.
‘It wasn’t long before we came across Cleantastic, and the benefits really stood out for us: an affordable entry fee; a two-year income guarantee; clients to get you started; flexible hours and the ability to start small and grow while keeping our jobs. Our backgrounds helped us to make a pretty accurate evaluation and Cleantastic impressed us so much we didn’t look any further!’
Know one when you see one
When he arrived in New Zealand 20 years ago, the only money Shakeel had was the coins in his pocket. Not long out of school, he found work in hospitality and in 2013 joined McDonald’s, managing the restaurant at Auckland Airport before becoming hiring and training manager. Fazi arrived in New Zealand five years after Shakeel and she, too became a McDonald’s manager. It meant the couple knew a good franchise system when they saw one.
‘Meeting with Greg Paget, franchisor for Cleantastic, we learned just how big and successful the business is, and how it has grown from a nineties start-up in Auckland to having over 280 franchisees around New Zealand. It was Supreme Franchise System of the Year as early as 2004 and a finalist again this year, so it’s got a long history of excellence.
‘It was reassuring to hear Greg say that almost all Cleantastic franchisees start out part-time as we wanted to do. We could see how this would help us learn the business and cleaning systems gradually and thoroughly. Believe me, there’s more to commercial cleaning than turning up with a vacuum cleaner, bucket and mop. Each new client is visited to establish their individual cleaning requirements and what products are needed, how many cleans a week, what days and suitable hours. That creates an on-site time and workflow pattern to ensure each visit is cost- and time-efficient for both franchisees and clients.
‘And those efficiencies extend to Cleantastic focussing on finding clients within 15 minutes’ drive of where we live in Papatoetoe.’
Income guarantee pays off
Buying their Cleantastic franchise as a new area at the beginning of 2018, Shakeel says that they could soon see the money coming in and started making their dream come true. ‘Our support manager, Nessie Sakaria, helped us big time from the very start and made it possible to balance our full-time jobs, Cleantastic work and family life.’ Soon, Fazi resigned from full-time employment, followed by Shakeel in June as he took time to help look after his sick mother. Then in March 2020 along came Covid-19…
‘The Cleantastic income guarantee proved its value, as initially the lockdowns meant some of our clients were forced to drop cleaning altogether while others reduced cleaning to just one or two days a week at first,’ recalls Shakeel. ‘But the pandemic also highlighted the need for good reliable cleaning and taught employers to value the health and wellbeing of staff.
‘Now we’ve built up a strong client portfolio based on the two of us working as a well-oiled team. We have the option of working eight or nine hours some days, or as few as two or three on others. No two jobs and no two weeks are the same, and it’s given us the flexibility to grow. In fact, two weeks ago we bought a second Cleantastic franchise to increase our income even more. That’s probably the best endorsement we can give!’
Opportunities throughout New Zealand
Cleantastic has more opportunities available throughout New Zealand right now, says Greg Paget. ‘Entry costs are very affordable and start from as low as $19,600 +gst, including equipment, and with finance available (with some conditions). The income guarantee Shakeel mentions allows a franchisee to more than double their investment in their first two years, and reflects our confidence and experience in this business.
‘If you want to start small then grow, call us. We take pride in developing motivated individuals like Shakeel and Fazi into becoming successful business owners and achieving their dreams.’
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