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A Scottish Success Story

The Edinburgh branch of Minster Cleaning Services, one of the company's longest running and most successful franchises is for sale.  It offers buyers a substantial, profitable and well-respected business with cashflow, customers and staff – yet still with ample scope for further development.

In 1992, following a long career in the brewing industry, Gordon Sandilands put his management skills to good use taking on the franchise as a new start.  Annual turnover today stands at roughly £900,000.  Franchisee Gordon, 58, and his wife Phyllis, now plan to take things easier and spend more time at their villa in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.

Gordon says that the size of his exclusive franchise territory has been one of the key factors in the success of his franchise: “As well as taking care of the office cleaning needs of clients in Edinburgh, the branch covers the whole of the Lothian area (population circa 850,000) including Bathgate, Broxburn, Livingston, Penicuik, Haddington and North Berwick.  Having such a large trading area together with the true multi-sector appeal of our service adds up to a massive potential market.”

Edinburgh is a great place to live and do business.  According to Invest Edinburgh, it enjoys the UK's strongest city economy and transport mix outside London alongside a highly qualified and skilled workforce, excellent communications networks, a rich creative environment and an excellent quality of life.

The Financial Times fDi Magazine named Edinburgh as the 'Best Mid-Sized European City of the Future' and 'Best Foreign Direct Investment Strategy (Mid-Sized City)' for 2014/15, while The European magazine awarded Edinburgh FDI City of the Year in the Business and Finance Awards 2015 for investment potential and innovation.

Having started his franchise in a recession, Gordon is well aware of Minster’s resilience and strengths: “The beauty of our business is that we provide an essential yet low-tech service which is less affected by changes in economic climate or advances in technology.

We also have the advantage of being a locally based company which is completely in tune with the local area, but which benefits from the business systems and backing of a large and expanding national organisation.”

Minster has used its vast experience in the industry to develop systems to simplify many of the important day-to-day business activities.  Minster’s training and support covers operational management, administration, bookkeeping, IT, marketing and the complex fields of employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation. This leaves franchisees free to concentrate on building a large and valuable asset.

Minster was established in 1982 and has been a bfa Full Member since 1992.  With annual turnover reaching £35 million and average annual branch turnover now over £800,000, Minster Cleaning Services is one of the country’s most successful franchises and a leading force in office cleaning.

On average, franchisees have been with Minster for 12 years and some longer serving, like Gordon, are planning to retire in the next few years.  There are currently other established franchises available for resale in Dundee 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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