Cleaning Up – How a Young Mum of Two Started One of Wales’ Fastest Growing Businesses

Local businesswoman and entrepreneur tells the story about how A&R Cleaning Services has become one of the fastest growing cleaning and security businesses in Wales.

It has been quite the journey for Rayner Davies and A&R Cleaning Services since it’s creation back in April 2010.  Little did Rayner know that in 2021 the business would be employing over 300 members of staff with a turnover of over 4 million – she explains:

‘’I wanted to prove to people I was more than just a teen mum.’’

Rayner initially set up a small ironing service that could be balanced alongside being a young mother of two and her community care job.  She says:

’I really didn’t have any business knowledge back then!’’

‘’After putting the children to bed I would spend my evenings reading up on educational websites and business forums, wanting to learn more about the world of business.’’

Starting a business mid-recession

The late 2000’s was a particularly tricky time to start a business – the UK was enduring one of the largest recessions the UK had seen since the Second World War.

Thankfully, the business thrived despite the climate and within just a few months of launching, Rayner was able to start employing others, and naturally expand her ironing service to start covering domestic cleaning.

‘’In the first six months I had so much work I was able to give up my care job and work full-time on the business – something which I never thought I’d be able to do!’  said Rayner.

Following some steady growth including building a small team, in 2010 Rayner joined forces with her husband Ashley, and with his extensive background in financial services led to the creation of A&R Cleaning Services.

‘’Growth was slow, but steady at first and then the business really took off from 2018’’.

Growth and awards followed – then COVID

As the client base expanded and the company grew, A&R became renowned for their professional, and personable family-run operation, with a real passion for the cleaning industry.

Alongside numerous industry awards, and recognition the business was listed in Wales’ Fast Growth50 list for the last four consecutive years.

2020 brought an extremely challenging year for not just A&R but the entire cleaning industry.

The Bridgend based enterprise quickly adapted by diversifying the services which helped our clients to keep their places of work open and more importantly COVID secure.

Another record-breaking year

In 2020, A&R celebrated their ten-year anniversary and despite the challenges, the company signed off another record-breaking year with an annual growth of 133.5%.

Fast-forward to the present day and now employing over three hundred members of staff across Wales and the South West of England, diversifying in the services they offer including; Security, Janitorial Supplies, Bio-misting, Washroom Services and Pest Control.

Still a family business

One of the key contributors to success has been the family-business ethos the company has always believed in.

In keeping with this theme, Rayner’s daughter Demi has been learning the tricks of the trade, and has been working part-time as a cleaner at a local surgery alongside her college studies.

 ‘’We wanted Demi to really get an understanding for the business. Our reputation is built on the high standards set by our cleaning staff, and it was important that she understood that’’.

Through a real emphasis on employee wellbeing and development, Demi isn’t the only member of staff working their way through the ranks.

Many of the leadership team started their journey with A&R as cleaning operatives and now hold senior positions.

Office Manager, Chloe Stanford is one of those real success stories. After leaving college with just a few qualifications, she has excelled over the last six years, after starting off as an Office Administer.

Chloe completed various NVQ and ILM funded qualifications to now head up the office staff.

The outlook for the rest of 2021 is much of the same for A&R Cleaning and Security Services, with the business showing no signs of easing up after recently securing a deal with one of Wales’ largest employers and being shortlisted for a FBU Family Business of the Year award.

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