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West Country Magic

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.   Over the last 12 months, turnover has increased by 20 per cent.

After 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 & 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 will bring £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 in Britain Guide.

“By concentrating on the M5 corridor south of Bristol, we’ve 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.  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, which helps 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, it 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 purchased 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.  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.

Annual turnover at Minster is now £40million, across the network, half of its branches are each achieving sales of more than £1 million, and its top franchises are each achieving sales in excess of £2 million.  This is a management franchise business that offers a low-risk opportunity with a large, exclusive geographic territory and exceptional support. 

Minster Cleaning Services was established in 1982 and has been a bfa Full Member 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 Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Doncaster, Durham, Leicester, London, Middlesex, Guildford, Peterborough and Swansea.  Initial start up cost is £28,225 plus vat which covers licence, training, marketing launch package worth £5,000, 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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