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Mersey Management

One of Minster Cleaning Services' largest and most successful branches is available for sale at £425,000. David Charlton purchased the Liverpool and Wirral franchise as a new start in 1999. Now 63, he plans to retire to spend more time with his family and work on his golf handicap. David chose Minster because he knew that the experience gained from his career as a finance manager with Marks & Spencer would be perfectly suited to running the management franchise.

The branch is perfectly positioned for a new owner to take over and build on its excellent track record. It has over 200 employees and annual turnover exceeds £1.4million. It has benefited from long-term stability in both the workforce and its client base and the large, exclusive territory gives almost unlimited scope for further expansion. As David explains: "The market for office cleaning is enormous; Minster provides a high-quality, professional service for which there is a big demand across all business sectors. I estimate that we have less than two per cent of the market in our area so the potential is massive and Merseyside is currently benefiting from significant investment, which will have a positive impact on the region's economy."

He adds that it is the dedication and hard work of his whole team that has been the secret of his success: "Well-trained, motivated staff, high standards and flexibility have helped us to build long-term relationships; around 250 clients place their daily commercial cleaning in our hands – including nearly 40 NHS practices – thanks to Minster's expertise in providing specialist cleaning services to the healthcare sector. By delivering a cleaning strategy that covers all key elements and functional areas, we are helping these practices to combat healthcare-acquired infections whilst fully complying with Care Quality Commission requirements."

The majority of Minster's most recent franchisees have joined through the purchase of established branches. This has many advantages including cashflow, customers and staff from day one. Minster franchisees get all the help they need for the transition from employment to self employment as well as ongoing support in all main business areas such as bookkeeping, training, marketing, employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.

Minster Cleaning Services managing director, Mike Parker, says that all their franchisees can build substantial, valuable businesses whether they buy an established business or a new territory: "Commercial cleaning is an essential business service that appeals to a broad client base. Our business model, in the hands of dynamic, self-motivated people-managers like David, has worked well for over 30 years. Many Minster branches turn over in excess of £1million and total group turnover is now over £30million across the 42-branch network."

Minster Cleaning Services has been providing commercial cleaning services since 1982 and has been a bfa Full Member since 1992.

As well as the Liverpool and Wirral branch, there are currently established franchises available for resale in Bristol, Dundee and Hertfordshire at a fee of £10,000 plus 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 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.

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