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Booming Berkshire

When Richard Thompson took over the Berkshire franchise of Minster Cleaning Services in September 2003, the branch had been operational for seven years. With annual sales more or less stabilised at around £250,000, Richard recognised the potential and saw it as an excellent opportunity to build a substantial business.  He was confident that he could add value to the operation and, in his first six months, grew turnover by nearly 50 per cent to an annualised figure of just under £400,000.  

Today the branch provides office-cleaning services to a wide range of companies in sectors that include car rental, house building, retail, healthcare, education, financial services and leisure including a world-renowned restaurant group.   Turnover has now reached over £1.3million from around 175 contracts.

Richard’s efforts earned him the Minster Franchisee of the Year award for two years in succession – 2004 and 2005 – and he was placed third in 2014. Managing Director, Mike Parker says that Richard's management experience gave him the ideal grounding for Minster:  “We need people like Richard who have the drive to succeed in business for themselves and yet value the advantages that a network such as ours can provide. The size of Minster territories means that opportunities for growth are virtually unlimited. From the outset, franchisees will be employing staff which, within a number of years, could easily be over 200 people.”

Richard became a Minster Cleaning Services franchisee in 2003 after reading an article about the company in Business Franchise. He gave up a career in the media industry to take over their Berkshire branch and chose the ‘resale’ primarily because he realised that the M4 corridor was the perfect environment for a Minster branch. “Minster offers the opportunity to be your own boss and yet have the backing of a strong, stable and established business partner,” said Richard.  “Advice and guidance is there when you need it, but you have to be prepared to work hard and be totally committed to building a successful and lasting business.”

Whether Minster franchisees buy an established business or a new territory, they get help with the transition from employment to self-employment and, as well benefitting from a highly effective marketing strategy, they get ongoing support covering operational management, administration, bookkeeping and IT and professional advice in the complex fields of employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.

Minster Cleaning Services was established in 1982 and has been a British Franchise Association (bfa) Full Member since 1992.  As the country’s biggest and one of the most successful commercial cleaning franchises, Minster offers prospective franchisees a safe and secure future, whether buying a branch which is already up and running or choosing a new area.  All franchisees can build large, valuable businesses and many, like Richard, have achieved annual sales of over £1million.  Average annual branch turnover is well over £800,000 and turnover for the group is £35 million.

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 Dundee, Edinburgh 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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