What does it take to become a successful Minster Cleaning franchisee? Funnily enough, the answer isn’t lots of previous commercial cleaning experience.
In fact, the company’s franchisees come from a range of backgrounds says managing director Mike Parker. “We’re not looking for one type of person. Our current franchisees have led varied careers in sectors including finance, manufacturing, advertising and the military. What we like to see is a track record of growing a business, because of the transferable skills that brings.”
Combine these attributes with the recession-resistant nature of commercial cleaning and the rewards can be considerable. For example, the top branches turn over more than £2million per year with half bringing in annual revenues of £1million+ and several franchisees generating profits in excess of £200,000. Here are some of the skills that have helped them succeed.
Business development knowhow
Minster Cleaning franchisees come with an inbuilt advantage because of the large and exclusive territories they operate in. Commercial cleaning is also a sector with multiple potential clients from offices to schools to medical facilities. But to grow, new clients still need to be won.
There are many skills that play their part in this, from the ability to create a convincing proposal to building deal sealing relationships, which franchisees often bring from previous roles. For example, Surrey franchisee Paul Bailey says: “My sales background has helped when it comes to pitching and, more often than not, winning new business.”
Keeping the customer happy
Retaining customers is as important as winning them. And that means doing a brilliant job day in, day out. With each franchisee enjoying such a large number of clients, organisational and interpersonal skills really come to the fore when it comes to recruiting good cleaners and putting systems in place that uphold standards.
With this in mind Kevin Lawley, owner of the Norfolk and Suffolk franchises, adds an extra level of quality assurance by employing two independent auditors who conduct regular inspections. “It’s a healthy process that keeps everyone on their toes.” he says.
Motivated staff are more productive staff. That’s true for any business, but particularly commercial cleaning which is hard work and often carried out during unsociable hours.
“I’ve always viewed one of my main roles as selecting, managing and motivating staff,” says Rob Wilson, owner of Minster Cleaning’s Essex franchise. One of the ways he does this is by showing them he’s on their side. “I’m prepared to dig in, deal with issues quickly and stand up for them if unfair flak comes their way.”
Juggling several balls at once
Variety is the spice of life, and one reason franchisees love the job. But that brings its challenges.
Emma Fenlon, joint owner of Minster Cleaning’s Lancashire franchise says: “You must be capable of thinking on your feet; one day I can be involved in sales and health and safety, the next marketing, site visits or accounts.”
Franchisees are responsible for every aspect of the business, which makes the ability to multi-task calmly and organise competing demands efficiently, a real plus.
More than any one skill, franchisees should be keen to learn new things and eager to work hard to achieve the significant potential rewards on offer.
It’s this mindset that helped former RAF navigator Nick Barber launch and grow the Northampton franchise into the highly successful business it is today. “The forces gives you lots of responsibility and encourages a can-do attitude – great attributes for setting up a management franchise,” he says. With that spirit it’s no surprise his franchise is flying.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to build a successful Minster Cleaning franchise find out more by calling 0121 386 1722 or visiting www.minsterfranchise.co.uk