With annual turnover reaching £35 million and average annual branch turnover now over £800,000, Minster Cleaning Services is one of the country’s most successful franchises and a leading force in office cleaning.
Managing director Mike Parker puts their success down to the quality of their franchisees coupled with the high levels of support provided by head office. He says: “We have established a first rate network with franchisees drawn from a wide range of professions including the forces, advertising, brewing and retail. They are all commercially aware, resilient and determined as well as having excellent people-management skills – important qualities for a management franchise like Minster where you can easily be employing well over 200 people.
“We have used our vast experience in the industry to develop systems to simplify many of the important day-to-day business activities. Support covers IT, accounts, marketing, operations and training, and there is professional advice available for health & safety, environmental legislation and employment law. This leaves our franchisees free to concentrate on building a valuable asset – they all have the opportunity to build substantial businesses and many of our 42 branches have achieved annual sales of over £1million.”
Recent recruit, Graeme Gorthy, has been brought in to add weight to the head office finance support team. Finance has an impact on nearly every aspect of business and Minster franchisees get help and training on a range of fiscal matters including vat registration, payroll, banking, pensions and accounting software.
ACCA-qualified Graeme's responsibilities will include regular contact with franchisees and at least biannual visits to each branch. One of the many functions that he will carry out involves benchmarking – comparing costs of various goods and services such as insurance and vehicle leasing across branches – with the aim of driving down costs and ensuring best practice throughout the network.
Minster wants all their franchisees to get the very best possible return on their investment and, through their extensive range of financial controls, helps to ensure that they are not only producing growth but also have a successful and profitable business. As well as regular branch visits to review progress and provide assistance, the head office finance team provides on-going daily telephone support and can connect directly to the franchisee's computers to help them with any queries.
Minster was established in 1982 and has been a bfa full member since 1992. The company offers prospective franchisees a safe and secure future whether buying a branch resale or choosing a new area. Office cleaning is an essential commercial service, which attracts clients from a broad range of sectors whatever the economic climate and Minster’s exceptionally large territories give enterprising franchisees virtually unlimited scope for expansion in the massive UK market.
On average, franchisees have been with Minster for 12 years and some longer-serving franchisees are planning their retirement over the next few years. There are currently established franchises available for resale in Liverpool, Edinburgh and Dundee 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 + 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.