There are lots of reasons Minster Cleaning continues to thrive more than 40-years on from its launch. But underpinning all of them is the relationships it builds with all its franchisees.
“Regularly engaging with franchisees has a huge role to play in supporting, training and motivating everybody across the business. We want every franchise to succeed, therefore in addition to ongoing support, we want franchisees to know they have someone to turn to when challenges emerge,” says Managing Director Mike Parker.
Building these networks and sharing knowledge are key elements of engagement with franchisees. The fact that almost half of franchisees have been with the company for 20 years or more, with the average length of franchisee service 17 years, is testament to its success. “We expect our franchisees to engage with their clients, so it’s important we do the same with them. Commercial cleaning may be the end service but at all levels it is a people business. We pride ourselves on creating strong, honest, person-to-person connections that are the foundations for prosperous, not to mention happy, franchisees,” says Mike.
It is easy to see why franchisees rarely leave when these supportive relationships are combined with the large and exclusive territories Minster Cleaning offers and the stable nature of commercial cleaning, which has proven to be recession resistant.
Franchisee engagement includes national meetings which are held twice a year. These bring together franchisees from across the UK and can include round table discussions, expert talks on various aspects of running a successful franchise, training and social events. At the national meeting each February, an awards evening is held which recognises the achievements of the franchisees throughout the previous year. These awards include Franchisee of the Year, an Operations Award and a Marketing Award, amongst others. Regional meetings are also held every other year, which allow for more in-depth discussions in small groups on current issues affecting the network.
Senior members of staff from Minster Cleaning’s Network Support Centre, including the managing director, also regularly visit franchisees to discuss any issues or challenges they’re facing and assist with activities such as financial health checks and IT audits.
A recent initiative from the Network Support Centre has been a newsletter sent out to all branches every quarter. This provides departmental and general updates and is received and viewed by franchisees and staff at all Minster Cleaning branches.
The operations department has recently announced a new Employee of the Quarter Award. This is a great opportunity for branches to acknowledge a member of staff in their team and for them to receive recognition.
Alongside supporting franchisees, Minster Cleaning is keen to amplify their voices so they can offer input on the direction of the business. With this in mind, working parties made up of franchisees and members of the Network Support Centre focus on marketing and operations. Not only does this give franchisees the opportunity to contribute to Minster Cleaning’s future, they are able to trial new initiatives and systems, providing vital feedback that benefits everybody.
Regular meetings and communications keep franchisees up to date with the latest developments. Perhaps most importantly, on a day-to-day level, they are able to pick up the phone and talk to someone at Minster Cleaning’s Network Support Centre, whenever they need to. Rob Wilson, franchisee at Minster Cleaning Essex, believes that:
“The support from the teams in admin, finance, operations, marketing and IT is efficient and they respond quickly when the need arises.”
It is a relationship that clearly works. Minster Cleaning’s turnover is now over £50million, with the top branches achieving sales of more than £2million per year and many are turning over in excess of £1million.
If you’re interested in developing a low-risk business, backed by a respected brand and enjoying unrivalled support, all new and existing franchise opportunities can be found on www.minsterfranchise.co.uk. For new territories, the initial start-up cost is £20,000 plus vat, which covers licence fee, territory, IT equipment and training, plus a comprehensive marketing launch package. In addition, a minimum of £35,000 working capital plus personal drawings is required. Finance support is available from leading high-street banks, subject to status.