After 35 years selling advertising space Paul Bailey took his career in a new direction when he became the owner of Minster’s Surrey franchise in 2013. Under his management it’s gone from strength to strength.
When Paul took over, the franchise had revenues of £460,000. But his focus on finding new business has paid off. In 2017, he won a Minster award for the biggest growth among franchisees, bringing in £500,000 to £1million. Turnover has now hit £1.2million.
Although advertising and commercial cleaning may appear to have little in common, Paul the skills Paul learned during a career that started at Girl About Town magazine when he was 17 and ended at Sky have really helped. He says: “I managed a team at Sky so I came into it with people management skills, which I think is really important when you’ve got around 140 staff, as we have. My sales background has also helped when it comes to pitching and, more often than not, winning new business.”
He was specifically attracted to a Minster management franchise for several reasons. “I was looking for an established low-risk business at a reasonable cost. Minster stood out because they have a great reputation, were within my budget and I could see a lot of potential for growth in the Surrey branch. I also live in Surrey so it made sense location-wise.”
The strengths of commercial cleaning speak for themselves. It’s an essential business-to-business service with multi-sector appeal, which helps protect franchisees from economic peaks and troughs. And the size of Minster’s territories gives enterprising franchisees huge scope for expansion. By securing contracts from just a small fraction of the market in your area, you can really flourish.
But not only did Paul see it as a good business opportunity, he also saw it as a chance to rebalance his life. Long commutes to London are now a thing of the past. “My working day suits me. I start early and finish early, and if I choose to I can work from home. It’s totally flexible, which is great at the moment because we’ve just got two new puppies.”
Of course, there are challenges, but overcoming them is all part of what makes the job so satisfying. One of the key factors behind his success is, he says, keeping hold of good cleaners. “That’s why we look after them. We pay them well, develop their skills by sending them on courses and make sure we communicate with them so they feel part of the team, not just cleaners with a key.” They take pride in their work and the franchise has built a strong reputation because of that.
By working with Minster Cleaning Services, the UK’s largest commercial cleaning franchise, Paul also knows he’s got the backing of an experienced and reliable company. Established in 1982, it’s been a full member of the British Franchise Association since 1992 and has branches across the UK. Half of Minster’s franchisees have built up businesses with sales of more than £1million and the top branches achieve annual turnover in excess of £2million. In total, the group has more than 5,000 employees and yearly revenues of £40million.
Training and support is also crucial to Minster’s success. Franchisees are given ongoing support with operational management, administration, bookkeeping, marketing and IT. Not to mention professional advice in complex areas including employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.
The initial start-up cost of a new franchise is £28,225 plus vat, £5,000 of which is allocated to a marketing launch package using a highly effective strategy that’s constantly being refined. It also covers licence, training, computer hardware and stationery.