A well-established branch of Minster Cleaning Services has a new owner. The thriving commercial cleaning company’s Derbyshire franchise was purchased as a new start in 1998 and the previous franchisee took over in 2005. New franchisee Paul Watts chose Minster because he knew that his 30 years’ management experience would prove to be invaluable.
After a short time in teaching, Paul armed himself with a master’s degree in information management and joined CCN Systems, which later became Experian where he was responsible for product development and strategy running large development and delivery teams.
Paul fulfilled his goal of retiring at 55 but was bored after a year and began looking for something that would make good use of his extensive management and technology skills, and was fairly local to his home in Matlock. Minster’s Derbyshire branch fit the bill and this large, exclusive territory offered a low-risk opportunity with almost unlimited scope for expansion.
The branch employs 90 staff and provides services to around 120 clients across a wide range of businesses. Paul says: “There is huge potential for further growth by exploiting Minster’s expertise in specific business sectors such as healthcare, which currently accounts for around 20 per cent of our client base thanks to Minster’s knowledge of implementing cleaning regimes that meet CQC (Care Quality Commission) requirements.
“Attracting just a small proportion of the market in our area will create a substantial business. We’re focussing on customer satisfaction to ensure retention and much of our new business is coming from loyal customers who give us extra work or recommend us directly to prospective clients. Our target is to double turnover within four years.”
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 cashflow, 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. Office cleaning is an essential commercial service that appeals to a broad customer base; this helps to protect franchisees from the peaks and troughs experienced by so many businesses.
Minster Cleaning Services began in 1982 and has been a full member of the British Franchise Association since 1992. The company has branches across the UK and employs more than 5000 people. Annual turnover is £40million.
Half of Minster franchisees have built up businesses with sales of more than £1million and the top branches have each achieved annual turnover in excess of £2million. As the UK’s largest commercial cleaning franchise, it offers prospective franchisees a safe and secure future whether they buy an existing branch or choose a new area.
Franchisees joining the Minster network get all the help they need to ease the transition from employment to self-employment, plus ongoing support in all main business areas, including accounts, marketing, training and operations, and professional advice in the complex fields of employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.
There are currently resales available in Nottinghamshire, and Devon and Cornwall at a fee of £10,000 plus vat in addition to the purchase price of the business.
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 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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