Founder of Myhome Islington, Niall Power, reflects on ten years in business, how times have changed and why the area is perfect for him and his family
What was the recent anniversary you reached – and how did you celebrate it?
Actually we have recently reached two anniversaries: ten years since the founding of Myhome Islington and Suzanne (my wife) and I have also been married for ten years. Suzanne and I plan on taking a break, preferably without our three kids, in a couple of months. As for the Myhome Islington it is business as usual!
What was your story before Myhome came onto the scene?
I was an unhappy accountant working in Canary Wharf and Suzanne was worked for UBS (but is a Bio-Chemist). I had always wanted to own and run my own business and at the time we could not find a decent, secure cleaning service – so we quit and set up our own!
How has the business evolved since the early days?
The day we started was also the day of the 7/7 attacks, so London was uncharacteristically subdued for the first couple of months before things returned to normal. We started with two cleaners and one van and a cleaning system that we had received from Unilever. Over the coming years we grew the local business to 30 professional home cleaners and 13 vans. We have also started to franchise the concept and now have ten other Myhome offices across the UK.
What has been the key to your success?
I think that our key to the success we have had is down the clear systems we have in place for recruitment, vetting and training, along with a customer focused approach and a correct pricing structure. We have also expanded the services we provide to include a Handyman Service.
Is there something Myhome offers that others don’t?
Yes, absolutely – all our staff are full-time, vetted and trained professionals that attend each job fully uniformed and equipped with everything they need to do the job properly. We guarantee all our work, so should they ever miss anything we would have a team return for free.
Why has Islington been a good base for you?
Like most areas of London, Islington is a very vibrant and busy place. Its inhabitants tend to have more exciting or important things to do than mundane domestic chores, so we have always found the residents of Islington to be more than happy to outsource their requirements.
Out of work, where are your favourite places in the area to head to?
We live in Highbury and with three small kids we spend a lot of time in the park (Clissold and Gillespie). Apart from that we regularly eat out in the many restaurants around Highbury and Stroud Green.
Do you have an Islington secret?
Did you know that on the Almeida Post Office site a gruesome method of avoiding paying wages was common? In January 1876, the bodies of eight former employees were discovered in a pit under Collinwood’s steam saw. They had been beheaded on the power saw when their contracts had ended.
If there was one celebrity or dream home you’d love to work in, where would it be and why?
We have a lot of celebrity clients already, everything from prominent politicians and actors, to comedians and musicians. Some of them have modest homes and some amazing, but all of them are very ‘London’ in the overall design. It is nice to get to see some amazing homes from time to time.
What does the future hold for you Niall?
Hopefully continued growth of our business along with health and happiness for myself, Suzanne and our three great kids – Rionach (8), Ornaith (5) and Malachy (3).
Find out more by visiting myhomeislington.com or calling 020 8802 4040