When Richard Thompson took over the Berkshire management franchise of Minster Cleaning in September 2003, the branch had been operational for seven years. With annual sales more or less stabilised at around £250,000, Richard recognised the potential and saw it as an excellent opportunity to build a substantial business. He was confident that he could add value to the operation and, grew turnover in his first six months by nearly 50 per cent to just under £400,000. Today turnover has reached over £1.5million from around 185 contracts.
Richard gave up a successful career in commercial television to join Minster Cleaning after reading an article about the company in Business Franchise magazine. His management experience gave him the ideal grounding.
“I was looking for a new challenge and chose the Berkshire branch because the M4 corridor was the perfect environment. Its many business parks offer massive potential for office cleaning services. I was also attracted by the level of support offered by Minster, which includes training, the corporate image of a large national company and a highly effective marketing strategy.
“When you are employed by a large company, you are always having to work to other people’s agendas. I wanted to control my own destiny, and I have built this business to a size and level of profitability which will provide a comfortable income and a pension for me and my family.
“If you follow Minster’s marketing plan and offer a good level of service, your business will grow. I have concentrated my efforts on putting a branch structure in place that will cope with almost any eventuality and be capable of developing with the business as it expands.
“The business has twice moved to larger premises to accommodate growth and I’ve been successful in securing contracts from organisations with specialist knowledge.”
Mike Parker, managing director at Minster Cleaning, says “The quality of our franchisees has been key to the company’s success. We need people like Richard who have the drive to succeed in business for themselves and yet value the advantages that a network such as ours can provide. The size of Minster territories means that opportunities for growth are virtually unlimited. From the outset, franchisees will be employing staff which, within a number of years could easily be over 200 people.
“Annual turnover at Minster is now £41million. Across the network, half of our branches are each achieving sales of more than £1million, and our top franchises are each achieving sales in excess of £2million. Our management franchise business offers a low-risk opportunity with a large, exclusive geographic territory and exceptional support.
As well as benefitting from a highly effective marketing strategy, Minster franchisees get ongoing support covering operational management, administration, bookkeeping and IT, as well as professional advice in the complex fields of employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.
New franchise opportunities include Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Doncaster, Durham, Guildford, Leicester, London, Middlesex, Peterborough and Swansea. Initial start-up cost is £28,225 plus vat, which covers licence, training, marketing launch package worth £5,000, computer hardware and stationery. In addition, between £40,000 and £60,000 working capital is needed – finance is available from leading banks subject to status.