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All Walks of Life

Franchisees at Minster Cleaning Services come from a wide range of professions including accountancy, advertising, biochemistry, brewing, car hire, civil engineering, market research and newspaper management. What they do have in common are people-management abilities, commercial awareness and determination – essential attributes for a management franchise where the average annual branch turnover is more than £700,000 with some employing over 200 people.

Minster's newest franchisee, Martin Francis, bought the South Wales branch as a resale following a career in banking and security management in Africa. He has benefitted from the high levels of support that Minster gives to its franchisees and has been able to concentrate his efforts on growing the business from the very outset. Another ex-banker, Kevin Lawley bought Minster's Norfolk and Suffolk franchise as an established business in 2011. He doubled turnover in his first two years of trading and continues to maintain a high level of growth.

Many of Minster's 42 branches have reached an annual turnover of over £1million including: the Essex branch, run by ex-retailer Rob Wilson since 1992 – making him one of Minster's longest-serving franchisees; the Northampton branch run by ex-RAF navigator Nick Barber since 1996; and the Leeds and Wakefield branch, run by former computer software supplier John Whyte since 1994.

Managing Director Mike Parker says that all Minster franchisees can create successful and lasting businesses just by following their tried-and-tested plan, whether they are taking over an existing area or in a new-start situation: "As an essential commercial service that attracts clients from a broad range of sectors, office cleaning is relatively recession-proof and the size of Minster territories gives franchisees virtually unlimited scope for expansion.

"Sophisticated systems take care of many of the routine day-to-day business activities such as IT, accounts, marketing and training. Outside professionals advise on employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation, leaving franchisees free to build thriving businesses and valuable, saleable assets."

Franchisees also benefit from a highly professional marketing strategy together with Minster's expertise in providing cleaning services for particular sectors such as healthcare. Cleaning surgeries requires a thorough understanding of their requirements and a detailed scheme of work. By delivering a cleaning strategy that covers all key elements and functional areas, franchisees can help NHS practices in England to combat infections whilst fully complying with Care Quality Commission (CQC) requirements.

Minster Cleaning Services was established in 1982; it is one of the country's most successful franchises and the largest commercial cleaning franchise. It has been a bfa Full Member since 1992 and annual turnover is over £30million. Research organisation Key Note says that, despite ongoing economic pressures and continued cuts across budgets in both the private and public sectors, the contract-cleaning market has continued to grow over the last five years.

There are currently established franchises available for resale in Bristol, Derbyshire, Dundee, Hertfordshire 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.

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