South African couple, Paul and Kirsten Dunn travelled more than 6,000 miles to take over the Edinburgh branch of Minster Cleaning Services, one of the company's longest- running and most successful franchises.
The business came up for sale when Gordon Sandilands, who started the franchise in 1992, decided it was time to take things easier and spend more time at his villa in France. As an established branch, it was an opportunity for Paul and Kirsten to acquire a substantial, profitable and well-respected business with cashflow, customers and staff yet still with ample scope for further development.
Paul’s career in South Africa included roles as managing director of two companies in the cleaning/hygiene sector, Steiner Hygiene and Supercare Hygiene, and this gave him the ideal skills needed to run the busy management franchise. He and Kirsten visited the UK in March 2016 to look at several business opportunities including three franchises. Minster was the only franchise company that asked to see Paul’s CV and was the most focussed on helping franchisees to develop their businesses.
The high levels of training and support offered by Minster appealed to Paul and Kirsten. Minster has used its vast experience in the industry to develop systems to simplify many of the important day-to-day business activities such as operational management, administration, bookkeeping, IT and marketing. But it was particularly important for them to have guidance in the complex fields of UK employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation all of which differ from what they were familiar with in South Africa. Support also comes from within the Minster network with franchisees exchanging ideas and information at meetings and conferences as well as by telephone and email.
The couple have ambitious plans for the future of the branch. They have already moved to new, modern premises in Edinburgh and they are aiming to double turnover over the next 8 years. Paul says that the size of their exclusive franchise territory will play a major part in achieving this: “As well as taking care of the office cleaning needs of clients in Edinburgh, the branch covers the whole of the Lothian area. Edinburgh has a strong economy and with the true multi-sector appeal of our service, it adds up to a massive potential market.”
Like Paul and Kirsten, most of Minster's recent franchisees have joined through the purchase of an established branch. Whether prospective franchisees go for a resale or choose a new area, the company offers a safe and secure future. Average annual branch turnover is now well over £800,000 and many have achieved annual sales of over £1million.
Minster was established in 1982 and has been a British Franchise Association (bfa) Full Member since 1992. With annual turnover for the group reaching well over £35million, it is one of the country’s most successful franchises and a leading force in office cleaning.
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 Derbyshire 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 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.