Fringe Box



Young Entrepreneur Sweeping Up in Guildford

Published on: 12 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 18 Jul, 2016

Engineering graduate, Pierre Goodwin, youngest sweep franchisee

By Will Parsons

Young entrepreneur Pierre Goodwin, a 23-year-old from Guildford, has joined a national chimney sweep franchise, Wilkins Chimney Sweep, becoming its youngest franchisee.

Mr Goodwin, who has a degree in engineering, said he ruled out working in London after seeing his friends trying to succeed in the capital. Speaking to his girlfriend’s father, who runs a successful chimney sweep business, convinced Mr Goodwin to open his own business in the field.

“My father had his own IT programming business for 35 years,” he explained, “so I’ve always had a good understanding of what it takes to build a company.

“Franchising stood out as an obvious way to start a business with a huge leg up the ladder in terms of initial training, mentoring, and ongoing support.

“Wilkins Chimney Sweep appeared on my radar due to my girlfriend’s father, a Wilkins franchisee. There was no big push from him to consider Wilkins necessarily, but he encouraged me to look into franchising as a serious option.”

Mr Goodwin used money from his parents, grandparents, and his own savings to pay for the franchise – money, he admitted, which was intended to be used as a deposit for his first home.

He said: “For me, the rewards just outweighed the risk.

“Some people might think it’s crazy to take that risk, especially given how hard it is to get a house these days, but if I didn’t believe 100 per cent that I could instead use the money to start a successful business that would allow me to recoup the investment, I would not have done it.”

Mr Goodwin will have 100,000 houses in his exclusive Guildford territory, providing plenty of potential customers. He said that being a part of a national franchise will help him market his business to such customers, and provide support and training to help his business grow.

Wilkins Chimney Sweep was established in Newbury, West Berkshire in 1895. The business was franchised in 2011, and now consists of 12 franchise territories nationwide, with the recent inclusion of Guildford.


Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *