Commercial cleaning is not an industry renowned for its use of modern technology. But all businesses need to wring out every ounce of productivity, and effective use of IT can help to get routine tasks done more quickly. Thanks to over 30 years' experience in the sector and continuous investment over this period, Minster Cleaning Services has established systems that simplify many of the important day-to-day business activities, leaving franchisees free to concentrate on building large, valuable assets.
Minster’s IT has moved forward over this time to a point where it is now making use of new technologies, such as cloud services. This facilitates the provision of up-to-the-minute, cost-effective solutions to the branches.
As well as providing support for Minster’s IT functions in the head office and all 42 branches, IT Manager Neil Williams is responsible for evaluating current systems and making refinements as necessary. He visits branches to carry out IT health checks to ensure that franchisees are making the best possible use of technology to streamline their business functions, and he is able to provide pre-emptive support by spotting potential failures through both onsite and remote system scans.
Neil has also overseen the creation of Minster's first two fully customisable mobile apps designed to run on tablets and smartphones. One is for staff training and development, the other for completing site audits; these replace a paper-based system and provide easy access to information through centralised servers.
Managing director Mike Parker says that it is important for prospective franchisees to research the training and support packages offered by franchisors before taking the plunge. “Support has played a big part in the success of Minster branches and, whether they buy an established business or a new territory, new franchisees get help with the transition from employment to self-employment. Then they benefit from a comprehensive range of ongoing support services covering IT, accounts, marketing, training and operations, as well as professional advice on employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.”
Minster Cleaning Services was established in 1982 and has been a full member of the British Franchise Association since 1992. As the country’s biggest and one of the most successful commercial cleaning franchises, the company offers prospective franchisees with people-management abilities a safe and secure future, whether buying a branch that is already up and running or choosing a new area. The top ten branches are averaging annual sales in excess of £1.7million and some are on the verge of joining the Liverpool, Sheffield, and Leeds and Wakefield branches in Minster’s £2million club. Annual turnover for the group is approaching £40million.
Contract cleaning is an essential business service with multi-sector appeal so is less susceptible to fluctuations in the nation’s economy than most sectors. Minster’s exceptionally large territories give enterprising franchisees virtually unlimited scope for expansion in the massive and still-growing UK market.
On average, franchisees have been with Minster for 13 years and some longer-serving franchisees are planning to retire in the next few years. The majority of Minster’s most recent franchisees have joined through the purchase of an established branch. There are currently resales available in Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall, and Nottingham at a fee of £10,000 plus vat in addition to the purchase price of the business. Contact Minster for further details.
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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