UK Business confidence grew yet again in 2014 as the total number of people in employment reached a record level at just over 30 million. The CBI expects final GDP growth of 3 per cent for the year and for the recovery to continue at much the same rate in 2015. The service sector continues to be the biggest driver for growth. Minster Cleaning Services had another excellent year, recording growth of over 8 per cent and taking annual turnover to £33million.
With a reputation for integrity and professionalism, Minster is one of the country’s most successful franchises and a leading force in office cleaning. The company was established in 1982 and became a bfa Full Member in 1992. By providing an essential service that appeals to a broad client base, their market hasn’t been too greatly affected by the prolonged downturn in the UK economy.
Managing director, Mike Parker, says that their many years' experience together with the company's policy of continual investment in support for the franchise network helps to keep Minster at the forefront of its marketplace: “Our standing in franchising is widely recognised: our Northampton and Milton Keynes franchisee, Nick Barber was a 2014 bfa ‘B2B Franchisee of the Year’ finalist and has been asked to sit on one of the bfa management committees. Arthur Mitchell, our Oxford franchisee, is to speak at bfa's prospective franchisee Seminar this year.”
Mike is looking forward to even more success in 2015: “Two new franchisees joined us by taking on established areas last year and both Martin Francis in South Wales and Neil Campbell in the northwest Midlands have got off to excellent starts. Our new prospect database is up and running and is being integrated with our existing customer database, which will enable us to provide even more targeted marketing campaigns for our franchisees. We are also updating our website to reflect the growing trend for internet access via tablets and mobiles. On top of this, our head office buildings in Birmingham were demolished last year and completion of our new head office on the same site is due for early this summer.”
On average, Minster franchisees have been with the company for 12 years and some longer-serving franchisees are planning their retirement. As a result, there are several high-quality, established branches for sale. These offer franchisees cashflow, customers and staff from day one and provide evidence of what can be achieved. Kevin Lawley bought Minster's Norfolk and Suffolk territory as a resale in September 2011 and has now tripled turnover at the branch.
Whether they buy an established business or a new territory, Minster franchisees can all build substantial, valuable assets and a safe and secure future; average annual turnover is now well over £700,000 across the 42-branch network and many have achieved annual sales of over £1million.
The main attributes required for success are people-management ability, commercial awareness and resilience. Help is always available for franchisees starting with the transition from employment to self-employment, through comprehensive ongoing services covering IT, bookkeeping and marketing, as well as the complex areas of employment law and health and safety and environmental legislation.
There are currently established franchises available for resale in in Bristol, Dundee, Hertfordshire 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 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.