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High Fliers

Nick Barber, the Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire franchisee for Minster Cleaning Services, was named the 2015 Franchisee of the Year at their recent Annual Conference held at the Brandon Hall Hotel and Spa on the outskirts of Coventry.

The award is based on performance criteria including sales, new business acquisition and customer retention. Nick, who is celebrating 20 years in the business, also won the prestigious award for his excellent performance in 2013 and 2010 and was a 2014 B2B bfa Franchisee of the Year finalist.

Nick, aged 53, started his franchise in 1996 after spending 16 years as an RAF navigator.  He chose franchising because he wanted to run his own business when he left the forces and was aware of the relatively high success rates of a franchised business compared with starting a business from scratch.

He chose Minster Cleaning Services because it is a business in which he felt that the people-management and organisational skills, which he had developed in the RAF, would be put to best use.  The comprehensive support package, which Minster offers to take care of the main day-to-day business activities, helped Nick with the transition from life in the forces to self-employment.

This covers operational management, administration, bookkeeping, IT, marketing and the complex fields of employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.

He has also benefited from Minster’s highly professional marketing strategy together with their expertise in providing specialist cleaning services for particular sectors such as healthcare. Like all Minster franchisees, the size of Nick’s territory has given him almost unlimited scope for expansion and the branch achieved an enviable growth rate of 12 per cent in 2015.

Franchisee of the Year runners up were: Bernadette Hanley and Kevin Jones of Minster Cleaning Services, Black Country and Birmingham; third place went to John Whyte and Marc Goddard in Leeds.  There were also awards for particularly high levels of growth for the Leeds, Berkshire and Aberdeen branches.

Minster Cleaning Services managing director, Mike Parker, says that it is the quality of their franchisees that has made Minster into one of the country’s biggest and one of the most successful cleaning franchises and a leading force in office cleaning.

He commented: “Since franchising was identified as the route for sustained growth through a network of committed individuals, annual turnover has reached £35 million – an average of over £800,000 for each of the franchises.

“Our annual awards recognise people who have made outstanding achievements during the year, but all of our franchisees have the opportunity to create large businesses and genuinely valuable assets.  The combination of resilience and people-management skills, together with Minster’s proven business model, really does work and has stood the test of time,” says Mike.

Minster was established in 1982 and has been a bfa Full Member since 1992.  On average, franchisees have been with Minster for 12 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 + 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.

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