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Damon Brown took over as franchisee for the Bristol branch of Minster Cleaning Services in January 2016.  Since then, the office cleaning franchise has won many new contracts, as well as adding extra business from existing clients, and turnover has increased by 26 per cent over the last 12 months.

Following a career in international and UK finance with Lloyds Banking Group, Damon bought the branch as a resale.  He is aiming to follow in the footsteps of another ex-banker, Kevin Lawley, who has more than trebled turnover at his Norfolk and Suffolk branch since taking over in 2011.

Damon says: “I have an excellent team here and the branch runs very smoothly, but there is plenty of scope for further growth.  Bristol is thriving and continues to attract investment.  The West of England Combined Authority has been launched bringing £90million of public money into the region over the next three years and, according to the latest UK Powerhouse report, Bristol’s economy is now worth £13.6billion.  Its growth is keeping pace with some of the country’s biggest cities, including London, Birmingham and Leeds.  The city was also named as the UK's most desirable location in the 2017 Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide.

“By concentrating on the M5 corridor south of Bristol, we have been successful in gaining customers from the South Somerset region.  Much of the new business is from larger contracts with higher average values, and an account manager with multi-site experience has been recruited to capitalise on this success and add experience to the management team.  Growth has been predominantly in manufacturing and the service sector but also Minster’s expertise in healthcare has helped expand this important area.”

Office cleaning is an essential commercial service that appeals to a broad client base; this helps to protect franchisees from the peaks and troughs experienced by so many businesses.  As the country’s biggest and one of the most successful commercial cleaning franchises, Minster offers prospective franchisees with people-management skills a safe and secure future whether they buy an established branch or choose a new area.

The majority of Minster’s most recent franchisees have joined through the purchase of an established branch.  Buying an existing business has many advantages including cash flow, customers and staff from day one.  It can also provide evidence of what can and has been achieved and it can show how the business is likely to perform in varying market conditions.  There are currently resales available in Derbyshire and Devon at a fee of £10,000 plus vat in addition to the purchase price of the business.

Annual turnover at Minster is now approaching £40million and the top ten branches are averaging annual sales in excess of £1.7million.  The business was established in 1982 and has been a full member of the British Franchise Association since 1992.  As well as benefitting from a highly effective marketing strategy, Minster franchisees get ongoing support covering operational management, administration, bookkeeping and IT and professional advice in the complex fields of employment law, health and safety, and environmental legislation. 

New franchise opportunities include Cambridge, Doncaster, Durham, Guildford, Leicester, London, Middlesex, 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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