One of the main reasons for Rob Wilson choosing a Minster Cleaning Services franchise was the recession resistant nature of office cleaning. A solid business model makes Minster resilient to the effects of a weak economy: office cleaning is an essential commercial service and, by providing cleaning services for such a broad client base, Minster branches are not greatly affected by a downturn in any particular sector.
Rob knows a thing or two about running a business in difficult trading times; he started his Minster franchise in 1992 when the UK was in the in the grip of recession with high interest rates, large numbers of businesses failing and the housing market on its knees. Previously, he had run his own frozen food and video rental stores for 20 years but declining markets and the prospect of even greater retail dominance by the multiples persuaded him to look at franchising to provide a more secure future, "I spent over twelve months planning my career change, visiting exhibitions and franchise companies," says Rob, "Minster fitted my requirements perfectly – a proven business where systems were in place and all the groundwork had already been completed. Also, the fact that large Minster territories offer virtually unlimited growth potential was of great appeal."
Now 20 years on, Rob is one of Minster Cleaning Services' longest serving franchisees; annual turnover at his Essex branch is £1.2 million and, although he says that the last few years have been quite challenging, he has seen that Minster is well placed to weather any downturn, "With around 270 contracts drawn from a wide range of commercial sectors, we're not as vulnerable as businesses that have to rely on a small target market; and many companies prefer to outsource office cleaning, especially when they are looking to cut expenditure. We make sure that the service we give is second-to-none and that it offers real value for money."
During his time with Minster, Rob has built up a valuable, saleable asset as well as having been named Franchisee of the Year three times. Although he now only works a four-day week, he has no intention of retiring in the near future, he says, "Maybe in 5 years or so I'll think about selling up."
Minster Cleaning Services Managing Director, Mike Parker, says that it is only natural that franchisees will, at some stage, want to retire or capitalise on their hard work, "We want our franchisees to be able to sell whenever they wish and we will help them to get the very best possible return on their investment. All Minster franchisees can create big businesses – average annual sales are more than £700,000 per branch and nearly a fifth of branches have more than £1 million turnover."
Franchisees can look forward to a safe and secure future whether they buy an established branch or choose a new area; Minster provides a recognisable and well-trusted brand together with support in all the main business activities such as bookkeeping, training, marketing and the complex fields of employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.
New franchise opportunities include Cambridge, 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. Also, there are currently established franchises available for resale in Surrey, South Wales, Dundee and North West Midlands.