Annual turnover at Minster Cleaning Services, the commercial cleaning franchise, is now more than £35million, taking the average for the 42-branch network to well over £800,000.
Many Minster franchisees have achieved annual sales in excess of £1million, but James Lofthouse of the Sheffield branch has gone one better by becoming the first to reach £2million.
He bought the franchise as a going concern in 2005 when turnover was £1million. since then it has grown every year, which is testimony to his management abilities and to the resilience of the Minster business model, even during an economic downturn.
James had been involved in various management roles before he joined Minster, and had run another franchise. His first franchise was heavily dependent on a small number of customers, which made it vulnerable, unlike Minster.
He explained: “Office cleaning is an essential service based on repeat custom and we have a diverse customer base of around 230 contracts. This helps to protect us from the peaks and troughs experienced by so many businesses and Minster’s large territories give us enormous potential for expansion. I have built a significant, valuable business by offering a high-quality, cost-effective service.”
He chose Minster Cleaning Services because it is long established and well respected with a proven track record for success. “I have the best of both worlds”, he said. “I run my own business and yet I am not entirely on my own.
Minster’s support covers a wide range of areas including IT, accounting and marketing, as well as complex areas like health and safety and employment law. This leaves franchisees free to concentrate on looking after customers and providing a first-class service. The franchisee network is also very helpful; there is always someone to speak to, and, no matter what situation arises, one of the other franchisees can offer useful advice.”
James plans to keep the business growing by continuing to offer excellent service levels, value for money and a flexible service which is tailored to the individual need of both existing and new clients.
Like James, most of Minster's recent franchisees have joined through the purchase of an established branch and all have made significant positive impacts on the businesses they bought; Norfolk & Suffolk franchisee, Kevin Lawley, has trebled turnover at his branch since taking over in 2011.
Minster was established in 1982; it has been a British Franchise Association (bfa) full member since 1992 and was a 2016 bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year finalist. As the country’s biggest and one of the most successful commercial cleaning franchises, the company offers prospective franchisees a safe and secure future with considerable opportunities for growth, whether they buy a branch that is already up and running or choose a new area.
On average, franchisees have been with Minster for 13 years and some longer- serving franchisees are planning to retire in the next few years. There are currently established franchises available for resale in Dundee and Liverpool at a fee of £10,000 plus vat, in addition to the purchase price of the business.
New franchise opportunities include Cambridge, Doncaster, Durham, Leicester, London, Middlesex, Guildford, Peterborough and Swansea. Initial start-up cost is £28,225 plus 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.