Mark Harvey, managing director, VIP Bin Cleaning

It’s an exciting time for VIP Bin Cleaning: big changes in the waste management sector have led to a huge increase in demand, a changing customer base and significant opportunities for entrepreneurial franchisees to grow their team and business. Managing director Mark Harvey explains how the company’s long-established history and reputation for quality has put it in pole position to clean up.

Mark Harvey VIP Bin CleaningWhy is it a good time to get involved as a franchisee?


Year established: 1997

Network size: 60 franchisees in nine countries

Typical start-up cost: £9,995 + machinery (variety of options)


Because our marketplace is evolving incredibly quickly – there are major developments happening within our industry. VIP Bin Cleaning is at the forefront of those developments, thanks to its own evolution from solely domestic customers to, increasingly, commercial clients of all sizes.

As more commercial entities – private companies and councils alike – either recognise, or are forced by legislation to acknowledge, the need for professional cleaning services, we have designed and redesigned our equipment to keep pace with changes in a way no other company can. There are more and more complex jobs, which we have genuinely unique technological solutions and experience of managing. That’s thanks to already going through a similar process in Poland, giving us an incredible competitive advantage and ability to adapt our solutions to any and every situation. It’s a very exciting time for the business.

So there’s scalability for your franchisees – this can become a significant business operation?

Very much so, in ways that haven’t been possible before thanks to the changing marketplace. VIP Bin Cleaning was accepted as a partner of LARAC (Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee) in December. This is a highly significant development for the company as it puts it into direct contact and communication with councils and waste management companies, who will be instrumental in the future development of bin cleaning. The opportunities for franchisees to grow their businesses are increasing constantly.

What’s the role of technology in the business?

It’s already significant, and growing rapidly. We design and manufacture our own machinery, which can be incredibly complex and needs to be adaptable to a range of jobs. Our developments in Poland alone have seen four redesigns in 18 months of crucial equipment. We also have our own bespoke software, which can be tailored to meet the needs of each franchisee and/or cleaning contract.

VIP Bin Cleaning (2)Do your franchisees need a background in the industry?

No, we have a comprehensive initial and ongoing training programme for all franchisees, bespoke to their own needs. Having contacts in the sector can be an advantage but we appreciate most new franchisees will not have experience of our industry. We ensure they will be able to understand and penetrate the market. On national accounts, most larger organisations will also only be dealing with VIP head office so the work will automatically be passed by us to franchisees – but we also work hard to support our franchisees to obtain work at a local level.

Name three traits you look for in your franchisees?

  1. Ideally a solid understanding of how to establish, manage and grow a business.
  2. To have the resources available and the confidence to grow the business as and when it is needed – no matter how quickly it might have to be.
  3. To work closely with VIP to ensure the values and strength of the brand and the service we have built over the last 18 years is used to its full potential – working together we can achieve much more.