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Going strong

Rob Wilson, one of Minster Cleanings’s longest-serving franchisees, has no plans to retire

Rob Wilson spent 20 years running his own retail business before joining Minster Cleaning, the highly successful commercial cleaning company.  Rob was in search of an opportunity that offered ample scope to satisfy his ambitions, but within a stable marketplace.  He identified franchising as the best option and spent over a year planning his career change, visiting exhibitions and franchise companies.

After meeting Minster’s founder and now chairman, Alan Haigh, Rob decided to take on the vacant Essex territory.  He liked Alan’s open approach and felt that Minster’s targets for growth were realistic. Furthermore, Minster had a proven business model – where systems were in place and all the groundwork had already been completed – and large territories offered virtually unlimited potential.

Rob launched in 1992 when the UK was in the middle of a recession, so he knows a thing or two about running a business in difficult times.  He says: “Starting your own business is not for anyone afraid of hard work. But the support I have had from the team at Minster has been superb and, whatever problems you may encounter, help is always available, either from our network support office or from another franchisee.”

Now, 27 years later, annual turnover at his branch is around £2million. “With around 330 contracts drawn from a broad spread of commercial sectors, we’re not as vulnerable as businesses that have to rely on a small customer base.  Office cleaning is an essential service, which many companies prefer to outsource, especially when they are looking to cut expenditure; we make sure that the service we give is second to none and that it offers real value for money.

“Maintaining quality standards is key to building long-term client relationships, and by offering a comprehensive range of services, we can provide all clients’ needs from one reliable, trusted source.”

His branch has also benefited from Minster’s expertise in the healthcare sector.  Healthcare premises must meet a number of essential standards and by helping practice managers maintain appropriate levels of cleanliness and hygiene, Minster has gained significant numbers of clients in this sector.

Rob, one of Minster’s longest-serving franchisees, was awarded second place in the Minster Franchisee of the Year category in 2018, based on performance criteria including sales, profitability, new business acquisition and customer retention.  Now 67, Rob has no thoughts of immediate retirement and still enjoys the challenge of running a growing business.  If and when he decides that it’s time to take it easier, he will be able to rely on the skills of the experienced and long-serving management team that he has built up to keep the business running smoothly.

Half of Minster’s branches turn over in excess of £1million and the group’s total revenue is £41million.  The initial start-up cost of a new franchise is £28,225 plus vat, £5,000 of which is allocated to a marketing launch package using a highly effective strategy that’s constantly being refined.  If you require finance, Minster will provide business models that you can share with banks.