Annual turnover at Minster Cleaning Services, the commercial cleaning franchise, is now £40million. Across the network, half of all branches are each achieving sales of more than £1 million, and the top franchises are each achieving sales in excess of £2 million. James Lofthouse of the Sheffield branch fits into this category and became the first to reach £2million.
He bought the franchise as a going concern in 2005 when turnover was approximately £1million; since then it has grown every year, which is testament to his management abilities and the resilience of the Minster business model, even during an economic downturn.
James had been involved in various management roles before he joined Minster, and had run another franchise; this was heavily dependent on a small number of customers, which made it vulnerable, unlike Minster. He explains: “Office cleaning is an essential service based on repeat custom and we have a diverse customer base of around 230 contracts. This helps to protect us from the peaks and troughs experienced by so many businesses, and Minster’s large territories give us enormous potential for expansion. I have built a significant, valuable business by offering a high quality, cost-effective service.”
He chose Minster Cleaning Services because it is long established and well respected with a proven track record for success. “I have the best of both worlds”, he says. “I run my own business and yet I am not entirely on my own. Minster’s support covers a wide range of areas, including IT, accounting, operations and marketing, as well as complex areas like health and safety and employment law. This leaves franchisees free to concentrate on looking after customers and providing a first-class service. The franchisee network is also very helpful – there is always someone to speak to, and no matter what situation arises, one of the other franchisees can offer useful advice.”
James plans to keep the business growing by continuing to offer excellent service levels, value for money and a flexible service which is tailored to the individual needs of both existing and new clients.
James’s achievements have also been recognised; he was a proud a finalist in the Customer Focus Franchisee of the Year category at the 2018 bfa HSBC Franchise Awards, as well as being named Franchisee of the Year at the Minster Cleaning Services annual awards ceremony.
Like James, most of Minster's recent franchisees have joined through the purchase of an established branch and all have made significant positive impacts on the businesses they bought; Norfolk & Suffolk franchisee, Kevin Lawley has trebled turnover at his branch since taking over in 2011.
Minster was established in 1982. It has been full member of the British Franchise Association since 1992 and was a 2016 bfa Franchisor of the Year finalist. As one of the most successful commercial cleaning franchises, the company offers prospective franchisees a safe and secure future with considerable opportunities for growth whether they buy a resale or choose a new area.
On average, franchisees have been with Minster for 14 years and some longer serving franchisees are planning to retire in the next few years. There are currently established franchises available for resale in Nottingham and Devon at a fee of £10,000 plus vat in addition to the purchase price of the business.
New franchise opportunities include Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Doncaster, Durham, Guildford, Leicester, London, Middlesex, Peterborough, and Swansea. Initial start-up cost is £28,225 plus vat, which covers licence, training, marketing launch package, computer hardware and stationery. 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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