It's been a remarkable eighteen months for Minster Cleaning Services' franchisee, Kevin Lawley. After leaving the Lloyds Banking Group following a highly successful 30-year international career in senior management, he took over the Norfolk & Suffolk branch as a resale and has never looked back. Sales growth last year was over 50% and he now has a staff of over 120. His outstanding achievements were recognised recently at Minster's National Franchise Meeting when he won the Franchisee of the Year award. The award is based on a number of performance criteria including net sales growth, new business acquisition and contract retention.
Kevin's management experience has served him well: "By approaching the business in a planned manner with steady, targeted growth, we've been able to win new contracts whilst making sure that existing clients have no reason to look elsewhere. We started to grow the business from day one and results have been well beyond my business plan objectives."
Other winners were: Oxford's Arthur Mitchell – the Award for Innovation; Sheffield's Ceris Headford and James Lofthouse – the Award for the Highest Percentage Growth for branches of over £1m turnover; and, by achieving annual turnover of over £1 million, Staffordshire's Kevin Mcloughlin became the newest member of Minster's 'Million Pound Club'.
Minster Cleaning Services managing director, Mike Parker says that it is the quality of their franchisees that has made Minster the country's biggest and one of the most successful office and commercial cleaning franchises. He says: "They have shown that resilience, determination and man-management skills together with Minster's proven business model adds up to a formula that really works, whatever the economic climate. The average annual turnover is now well over £700,000 for each of our 41 branches and turnover for the group has reached £30 million. Every one of our franchisees is well placed to build a large business which is a genuinely valuable and saleable asset – many of our franchises have an annual turnover of over £1 million."
When franchisees join Minster Cleaning Services they get all the help needed to ease the transition from employment to self-employment. Ongoing support is also provided in all main business areas including bookkeeping, training, marketing and the complex fields of employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.
Minster was established in 1982 and has been a bfa Full Member since 1992. Prospective franchisees can look forward to a safe and secure future whether they buy an established branch or choose a new area – office cleaning is an essential commercial service for which there is always a demand and, as Minster attracts clients from a broad range of sectors, franchisees are well protected during more difficult trading times. Large, exclusive territories and a huge potential market give franchisees almost unlimited scope for expansion – Key Note estimated the annual UK contract cleaning market at £6.42bn in 2010 and predicts that it will reach £7.13bn by 2015.
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.
On average, franchisees have been with Minster for 11 years and some are reaching the stage where they are planning their exit. As a result, there are also currently established franchises available for resale in South Wales, Surrey, Dundee and North West Midlands.