Adrian Brooks was looking for a new challenge after a successful career as a professional photojournalist. Wanting to work more locally, he explored services that could be provided within his own neighbourhood. Having always enjoyed improving and transforming things – and being house proud himself – he discovered ‘soft washing’, a gentle exterior cleaning process popular in Europe and America but not yet well known in the UK. We chatted to him about his journey into a new world of work and why having a local business is so rewarding.
How did you discover soft washing?
“I could see the roof of my house needed to be cleaned but wanted to do so in a way which would not risk damaging the roof. My research led me to soft-washing, a non-aggressive cleaning process that used more science and less pressure than traditional cleaning methods, maintaining the integrity of the roof. As I walked around my own neighbourhood, I knew that other people would also value this gentle yet effective approach. I decided to take the leap of faith and invested in a newly launched City & Guilds qualification where I learned all about the equipment, products and tools needed to do the job expertly. Home Soft Wash was born.”
“During the ﬁrst year, I learnt on the job and worked on my own. When 2020 hit and both of my sons struggled to ﬁnd work, they joined me. It’s been terriﬁc to work with them, build up our local family business and spend time together.”
How have you used Nextdoor to grow your business?
“I was using Nextdoor personally as a way to source recommendations from local neighbours for services I needed. This made me realise the same Nextdoor endorsement could be effective for my own business, so I created a business page on Nextdoor.“
“We received a recommendation from a neighbour and things moved very quickly from there. One recommendation led to more business and we now have 50 recommendations!”
“I am very proactive with getting recommendations from our customers. I think people see a lot of value in Nextdoor recommendations because they are from your neighbours. It’s local and trusted.”
“We do have a website but I don’t refer to it as much because Nextdoor is our go-to business site.”
What would you say to other businesses who are thinking of joining Nextdoor?
“Having a page on Nextdoor is an easy, safe and cost-eﬀective way of trying a market out with your friendly local community. Because it’s local there is a sense of accountability that gives more credence to the referral.”
“When you’re starting oﬀ costs need to be carefully controlled, Nextdoor allows businesses to reach potential customers at a minimal cost.”
“Nextdoor is a safe and friendly environment to get help and support. Local people want to help local people.”
“Our local business page is highly productive because we can target our customers locally. This means we don’t get enquiries from miles away – they’re right on our doorstep”.
“Get the recommendations – they are gold dust!”
What does community mean for your business?
“Nextdoor’s beauty is that it brings people together in a community. You have neighbours helping each other ﬁnd the best traders and warn about local planning or crime issues – it links people together.”
“Being able to work in my own community is a huge plus to me. After years of travel with my previous career, working locally is invaluable for saving time.
“As I drive around my neighbourhood I can see the improvements we have achieved to local homes which is very rewarding.”
To reach local customers and grow your business, go to Nextdoor’s dedicated business site for more information.