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Dusters Colchester: Cleaning Up as a Local Business for over 32 years

Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

If there’s one proven way to start a successful small business it’s by spotting a niche that’s not currently filled, then filling it yourself. That’s what Marianne Beaumont did back in 1987 when she launched a domestic cleaning business from her own spare bedroom. These days, she and her team have grown considerably, and are now enjoying working in rather more space (and without a bed) at Capital Space, Colchester.

“I came up with my business idea initially to fulfil my own need,” explains veteran business-owner, Marianne Beaumont of domestic cleaning company, Dusters “I wanted someone to clean my own home to my very exacting standards.  I didn’t want to get involved with finding someone to do the job, building up a relationship with them, only to have them disappear. Plus I wanted to know they were working to an agreed rate and that insurance was covered just in case anything went wrong. There was nothing like that round here back then – so I knew what I needed to do.” 

Marianne considered buying into a cleaning franchise, but as her late husband already ran his own building business, she knew they could cover the practicalities of starting up on their own. “Initially, Dusters was just me, a friend and a former next-door-neighbour. I did clean briefly as part of a time-and-motion exercise, so I’d know what to charge clients depending on the size of their home – but it was never my intention to get my hands dirty on a regular basis. I hate cleaning – that’s why I started Dusters!”

Building a team

Scroll on 32 years and Dusters’ original trio has expanded to 13 cleaners and three vans. “We’ve hadsome staff who’ve been with us for over 20 years,” says Marianne. “I think we’re able to retain people because we interview them very carefully in the first place to make sure they’re right for us and we’re right for them, and we pay a decent salary with a proper contract  – no ‘zero hours’ contracts for our staff!

Moving on up

Within six months, Marianne had moved out of her spare room, with business growing via word of mouth, local newspaper adverts and leafleting. Capital Space Colchester, to which Dusters moved in 2005, is her third business ‘home’: “I moved to Suffolk, and the Capital Space centre was within easy reach of my new home, so it was the first place I looked at.  I really like the way you’re not tied down by a long lease and there’s plenty of flexibility – at one time we had two offices here, because my late husband ran his additional carpet-cleaning business from here, but when we needed to downsize after his death, that was no problem. The on-site team is excellent too – John our caretaker is on hand to sort out any small issues we might have.”

Marianne has no plans to stop working, even though she’s into retirement age. “People talk about retirement, but I still enjoy work – and, with both my sons grown up and far away, what else would I do? That said, my staff say we could write a book: we’ve certainly got some stories about the people we’ve met and the homes we’ve cleaned through Dusters. My lips, though, are sealed…”

The Dusters story  is a great example of a niche idea taking off to fulfil a need. For ideas to fly, though, there has to be the infrastructure to support them – and that’s where Capital Space comes in. Our flexible terms and customer support allow you to build your business while we handle the property logistics. If you’re thinking of starting up or expanding within the south and south east, check out our other business parks located around area.


To find out how  Capital Space  virtual offices or business premises

could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667