What did you do before you took up the Franchise?
I am a business studies graduate and, while reading for my degree at Bournemouth University, I completed an internship with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Within two years of my graduation, I was promoted to become a branch manager within Enterprise.
Why did you choose franchising and why did you decide on a Minster franchise in particular?
After three years with Enterprise, despite achieving year-on-year growth, I felt ready for a new challenge.
My parents, Chris and Liz Campbell, have run the Hampshire branch of
Minster Cleaning Services for 21 years, so I was aware how successful and profitable this franchise can be.
When I discovered that Minster’s Dorset territory was available as a resale I jumped at the opportunity. There are big cashflow advantages in buying a business that is established and already making a profit. Plus, we had already identified areas where we could make savings on overheads by having two territories.
What is your typical day like?
One of the great things about Minster is that no two days are the same; our contracts range from small offices right up to large factories and schools.
There are plenty of different challenges every day, as we’re involved in customer service, people management, logistics, cleaning materials, stock management and managing our fleet of vans.
Why is Minster equally suitable for both men and women?
As more and more women take on senior roles in both the private and public sectors, people are realising that women can be at least as successful as men in managerial positions.
Gender is no barrier to success at Minster but, as a management franchise, commercial awareness and people management skills are essential.
How has life changed since taking up your franchise?
The sale was completed in record time and I took over the business in July 2011. All of the existing staff transferred to the new company but we’re now up to 150 staff across both branches so it’s very busy. As a Minster franchisee you have the flexibility of being your own boss together with the responsibility of employing people.
I work closely with the Hampshire branch and, like many franchisees in our network, we’ve been able to capitalise on Minster’s vast experience and expertise in providing specialist cleaning services to the healthcare sector. Between the two branches, we are now providing a fully Care Quality Commission-compliant cleaning service to around 40 doctors’ and dentists’ practices.
What advice would you give to a woman thinking of buying their first franchise?
Choose something that you’re interested in and will be able to do long term.
A franchise within a well-known and established network can show you that the franchise model is tried and tested. Speak to as many franchisees as possible and be suspicious if the franchisor restricts your access to some franchisees. Also, be wary if the franchisor looks like they’ll just take anyone on as a franchisee.
Make sure you read the small print – understand what you are getting for your money and what rights you will have. Ask yourself a number of questions like: do you have exclusive rights to the area in which you will operate? How long will your franchise last and what options do you have to renew? What support will you get at the start and what continuing support is available? It’s important you have a long-term plan.
What are your plans for the future?
I intend to keep developing the business by offering excellent service, value for money and a flexible service tailored to the individual needs of our clients.