Customers of Oven Glo tend to be based within a 35 mile radius of Winchester, Hampshire and seek to have their ovens cleaned once or twice per year. Darrell and his team visit people within their homes and also have a couple of contracts to clean university houses every year too.
"We mainly clean domestic ovens, and take pride in our work. It’s really important that we use environmentally-friendly products and do the absolute best job that we can. The majority of our business is repeat or through Word of Mouth, so happy customers are imperative."
When the business first started, Darrell built his own website and invested a lot of time and money trialing local marketing methods; from flyers to advertisements in the Parish Magazine, local newspapers and the Yellow pages. Back in 2006 Darrell even launched a World Cup marketing campaign which included a tailored advert on the local radio.
"Leaflets gave me the best financial return at about 3% but the investment in time really needs to work too. You do learn from mistakes, but it was important to at least see what might work best for me. I got the least return from advertising in newspapers and Lifestyle magazines but what’s great is that right now I do very little marketing for the company - Google and our website does a pretty good job!"
The old Ovenglo website was very complicated to manage and as people are increasingly doing searches online rather than offline, Darrell knew he needed something that would present the business in the best light.
"There’s always been a need for a website, and those businesses that do have one do seem to get a better reception and interest from prospects. What’s been amazing since having a site with Smart Little Web is that I used to spend as much as £80 - £90 per month on Google adwords and although it was a little scary stopping this I haven’t looked back. Due to in-built SEO I’m always on the first page in searches and customers like the clean and modern feel of the site."
Darrell has two sites for his domestic oven cleaning business, one for ovens and one to specialise in Agas. But recently, Darrel also brought the Winchester Football Club website onto the Smart Little Web platform.
"It was necessary - I do so many updates on the Winchester FC site that I needed to use something that was easy to manage and update. And if I get stuck the Smart Little Web team are always helpful and very quick to respond to queries and questions.
And that’s not all, I’m about to embark on a new business, selling Paella pans and gas burners sourced from Spain. My passion for Spanish cooking has sparked the idea - so I’ll be on my fourth site later this year. And I love it!"
We asked Darrell what he is most proud of:
"My family. My youngest son has autism with accompanying special needs but he’s doing just great, and my eldest is about to embark on a live music production course at ACM in Guildford. I’m really proud of them both."
Darrell’s top tips:
- Experiment and make decisions quickly when it comes to spending money on marketing. If it doesn’t return anything after a couple of trials, move on!
- Social media is really important, particularly in my line of work. Being on Facebook and Twitter definitely helps - and it’s great that we can link to them via the websites.
- Word of Mouth recommendations are gold dust, especially with sites like checkatrade being saturated with businesses. We always make sure we do the best job we can do.