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Shared Knowledge

Two of Minster Cleaning Services' longest serving franchisees – Kevin McLoughlin in Staffordshire and Gordon Sandilands in Edinburgh – had long careers in brewery management before taking on franchises with the thriving commercial cleaning company. Their franchisees come from diverse backgrounds including accountancy, transport, telecoms, publishing, the forces and banking but all share common attributes such as people-management skills, commitment and resilience.

Kevin, who joined Minster Cleaning Services in 1999, was runner-up in their 2012 Franchise of the Year awards for winning the highest number of new contracts and increasing turnover by over 20%. He says that he intends to go one better next year: "The size of Minster's territories gives us plenty of scope for expansion; we have recently had to open a satellite office in Whitchurch to deal with new business that we have picked up in that area. We are also getting more and more work from existing client referrals, in particular, in the healthcare sector where our expertise in helping practices prepare for Care Quality Commission registration has proved to be invaluable.

"We have found that by concentrating on quality of service rather than price, we are not only able to retain clients, we are also developing our business with them by suggesting extra services and refinements to their cleaning schedules."

Regional co-operation between franchisees has also benefited the Staffordshire branch in the form of shared contracts where customers have premises in more than one franchise area. But Kevin says that this is not the only advantage of being a part of a national franchise network: "The ability to share knowledge and to talk freely to other business owners who are not in competition is priceless – if ever a problem arises, there is always someone else who has had the same experience and has come up with a solution."

Minster Cleaning Services managing director, Mike Parker is well aware of the importance of attracting the right people whether they are taking over an established area or are starting a new branch from scratch: "We provide a recognisable and well-trusted brand together with a comprehensive range of support services; it is this together with the calibre of our franchisees that has taken us to the position where nearly a fifth of them have an annual turnover of over £1 million, some employing as many as 200 people."

Minster Cleaning Services has been providing commercial cleaning services since 1982 and is one of the country's most successful franchises and a leading force in office cleaning. It has been a bfa Full Member since 1992; annual turnover is £30 million and average sales per branch are over £700,000.

Office cleaning is an essential commercial service which attracts clients from a broad range of sectors. Prospective franchisees can look forward to a safe and secure future and the opportunity to create a large business and a genuinely valuable asset; Key Note estimated the annual UK contract cleaning market at £6.42bn in 2010 and predicts that it will reach £7.13bn by 2015.

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

New franchise opportunities include Cambridge, 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. Also, there are currently established franchises available for resale in Surrey, South Wales and Dundee.

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