A franchise offers a tried and tested business model where failure rates are significantly lower than for independent businesses. But all franchises are not the same and the levels of support that franchisees receive can vary dramatically.
Minster Cleaning Services prides itself on its track record of success and the comprehensive support package that it provides for franchisees. This covers many of the day-to-day aspects of running a business such as IT, training, bookkeeping and marketing.
For more complex areas, outside specialists are contracted to provide help and advice. For example, Bibby Consulting and Support, one of the UK's leading providers of risk management solutions, ensures compliance within the demanding, complex and constantly evolving fields of employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.
A conference held recently at Moor Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield provided a forum for discussions with topics such as new business development, client retention and lapsed client recovery; there was also a demonstration of the new company website which has been completely redesigned and structured to maximise lead generation through search engines.
Guest speakers included Paul Stovold of NEST – the National Employment Savings Trust – who explained how, starting from 2012, employers will have to enrol some or all of their workers into a pension scheme and how NEST is a low cost, easy to use scheme any employer can use to meet these new duties; and Derrick Simpson of Franchise Resales Limited spoke about exit planning and preparing a franchise for sale to get the very best possible return on investment.
Managing director, Mike Parker, believes that providing excellent support has helped Minster Cleaning Services to become one of the UK’s most successful franchise networks, “By allowing our franchisees to focus on customer service and business development, we have built up a large and highly profitable network. Annual turnover is £30 million, average sales per branch are over £700,000 and we’re getting stronger all the time through resales and recruitment – I was delighted to be able to welcome six new franchisees to the recent conference at Moor Hall.
“A Minster Cleaning Services franchise is ideally suited to ambitious, resilient individuals with people-management skills. We give them all the help they need to move from employment to self-employment and, by encouraging them to exchange ideas and information with each other, they can benefit from the combined experience and expertise of 40 professional managers; if ever a problem arises, there is nearly always someone else who has had the same experience and has come up with a solution.”
Minster Cleaning Services was established in 1982 and is a full member of the bfa; as an essential commercial service, office cleaning is less susceptible to difficult trading conditions than many other industries and a broad client base - manufacturing, financial, professional, retail, general offices, healthcare, government and local authority, charities, etc. - gives added protection against the recession.
New franchise opportunities include Cambridge, Durham, Leicester, London, Middlesex, Peterborough and Swansea.
Initial start up cost is £28,225 + VAT which covers licence, training, computer software and hardware, stationery, machinery, equipment and materials. In addition, between £40,000 and £60,000 working capital will be needed – finance is available from leading banks subject to status.
With franchisees having been with the company for an average of 13 years, some are reaching the stage where they are planning retirement and so there are also a few established Minster Cleaning Services franchises for sale across the country from time to time. These are available at a fee of £10,000+VAT in addition to the purchase price of the business.