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Continued Growth

Last year turned out to be one in which business confidence grew across a broad range of sectors including services, construction and manufacturing. As an essential service that appeals to such a broad client base, the commercial cleaning hasn't been too greatly affected by the recent downturn and Minster Cleaning Services has performed particularly well, recording overall growth of 7 per cent for 2013. Managing director, Mike Parker, says this has been achieved throughout the group with exceptional performances in East Anglia, Glasgow, Oxford, Leeds, Staffordshire and Northamptonshire. He says: "Several of our branches grew by more than 20 per cent during 2013 and since he bought our Norfolk and Suffolk territory as a resale in September 2011, franchisee Kevin Lawley has doubled turnover there.

"Minster started life in 1982 and became a bfa Full Member in 1992. On average, franchisees have been with us for 11 years and some of our longer-serving franchisees are planning their retirement. As a result, we have a number of high-quality, established branches for sale. These offer franchisees cashflow, customers and staff from day one and provide evidence of what can be achieved."

This could be a very good year to join Minster and share in the country's recovery. With annual turnover of £30million and 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 has a policy of continual investment in its support systems for the franchise network. As Mike explains: "We've strengthened the head office team by recruiting a new IT manager and an operations manager – a newly created position. We've been trialling a client feedback system in seven branches; this has been very successful and will be offered to all branches this year. We're also developing our tendering expertise to facilitate larger contracts which may involve multiple franchise areas."

Minster helps franchisees every step of the way and simplifies the transition from employment to self-employment by providing franchisees with a recognisable and well-trusted brand, together with full training and comprehensive ongoing services covering IT, bookkeeping and marketing as well as the complex areas of employment law and health and safety and environmental legislation.

Whether they buy an established business or a new territory, Minster franchisees can build substantial, valuable businesses and a safe and secure future. Average annual turnover is now well over £700,000 across the 41-branch network and many have achieved annual sales of over £1million. Mike says that the main attributes required for success are people-management ability, commercial awareness and resilience. "In our larger branches there can be as many as 200 employees, so good leadership skills are essential."

There are currently established franchises available for resale in Bristol, Derbyshire, Dundee, Hertfordshire, the North West Midlands and South Wales.

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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