When investing in a business, location is key; with a population of 441,300, the thriving independent city of Bristol is the perfect site for a franchise to set up shop. Established in 1993, the Bristol Minster Cleaning Services branch has been under the present ownership since 2003. With 130 staff including two area managers, an office manager and a bookkeeper, the business brings in an annual turnover of just under £700,000 from around 145 contracts.
Owners Eric Deacon and his wife Trish, are looking forward to retirement and Eric says that the business is stable and staff quality is excellent: “The branch runs very smoothly with the current team, but there is plenty of scope for further growth. Bristol is ranked as one of England’s top-five growth centres and is creating 10 times as many businesses per head as the rest of the UK. Its improving economy has seen many new start-ups in aerospace and financial services as well as the technology, media and tourism sectors. As an essential commercial service we appeal to a broad client base and, as well as Bristol, our territory covers Avonmouth, Bath, Cheddar, Clevedon, Keynsham, Kingswood, Portishead, Taunton, Trowbridge and Weston-Super-Mare, so the potential market is enormous.”
The UK’s first ever European Green Capital, the city aims to become a European hub for low-carbon industry with a target of 17,000 new jobs in creative, digital and low-carbon sectors by 2030.
The most recent NatWest British Franchise Association (bfa) survey of UK Franchising showed that franchising performed significantly better than the overall economy over the last five years and that seven out of 10 franchises acquired over the previous two years were resales. Minster managing director, Mike Parker says that buying an existing business has many advantages including brand recognition, cashflow, customers and staff from day one: “A resale can show you actual performance figures and how the business may perform in varying market conditions.
“Most of our recent franchisees have joined through the purchase of an established branch and all have made significant positive impacts on the businesses they bought. Kevin Lawley has now more than trebled turnover at his Norfolk and Suffolk branch since taking over in 2011.
“Our average annual branch turnover is over £800,000 and for the group is £35million. All our franchisees can build large, valuable businesses and many have achieved annual sales of over £1 million.”
Minster Cleaning Services was established in 1982 and has been a bfa Full Member since 1992. As the country’s biggest and one of the most successful commercial cleaning franchises, it offers prospective franchisees with people-management skills a safe and secure future whether they buy an established branch or choose a new area. As well as benefitting from a highly professional marketing strategy, Minster franchisees get professional help and ongoing support in all the main business areas including bookkeeping, training, employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.
In addition to the Bristol branch, there are currently established franchises available for resale in Dundee, Hertfordshire and Liverpool. These franchises are available at a fee of £10,000 plus vat on top of the purchase price of the business.
Minster’s 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.