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A Polished Career

Damon Brown, the new franchisee for the Bristol branch of Minster Cleaning Services, has got off to a flying start. In his first few months, the branch has won new contracts as well as adding extra business from existing clients.

He chose Minster because he liked the management’s high levels of corporate and franchising experience coupled with the established business systems and depth of knowledge that come from more than 30 years in the market.

The Bristol branch was established in 1993 and, since 2003, was under the ownership of Eric Deacon and his wife, Trish who are now enjoying their retirement.  Damon, following a career in international and UK finance with Lloyds Banking Group, bought the branch after considering various options including a number of other franchise opportunities.

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. Damon, 49, is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Kevin Lawley who had a similar background with Lloyds Banking Group and has trebled turnover at his Norfolk and Suffolk branch since taking over in 2011.

Damon says: “I have an excellent team working for me and the branch runs very smoothly but there is plenty of scope for further growth.  Bristol is thriving and is ranked as one of England’s top-five growth centres creating 10 times as many businesses per head as the rest of the UK.  It has seen many new start-ups in aerospace and financial services as well as the high tech, media and tourism sectors.”

“As an essential commercial service, we appeal to a broad client base and with such a large territory, the potential market is enormous.  As well as Bristol, our territory includes Avonmouth, Bath, Clevedon, Portishead, Taunton, Trowbridge, Weston Super Mare and Yeovil.”

Minster managing director, Mike Parker says that a resale has many advantages including brand recognition, of brand recognition, cashflow, customers and staff from day one.  He says: “A resale can show you actual performance figures and how the business may perform in varying market conditions.

“Our average annual branch turnover is over £800,000 and turnover for the group is £35million.  All our franchisees can build large, valuable businesses and many have achieved annual sales of over £1million.”

Minster Cleaning Services was established in 1982 and has been a bfa full member since 1992.  As one of the country’s most successful commercial cleaning franchises, it offers prospective franchisees with people-management skills a safe and secure future whether they buy an established branch or choose a new area.

As well as benefitting from a highly professional marketing strategy, Minster franchisees get professional help and on-going support covering operational management, administration, book-keeping and IT and professional advice in the complex fields of employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.

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, Edinburgh and Liverpool at a fee of £10,000 + 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 + 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.

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