Managing director Mike Parker explains the benefits of taking on a Minster Cleaning franchise, what he looks for in a franchisee and the impact of COVID-19 on the business
Minster Cleaning is one of the UK’s leading commercial cleaning franchise. It has been supporting franchisees to create thriving businesses since 1982, with some branches achieving an annual turnover of more than £2m. And Minster’s expertise has never been more in demand, with hygiene a top priority in the era of COVID-19.
Managing director Mike Parker explains the benefits of taking on a Minster Cleaning franchise, what he looks for in a franchisee and the impact of COVID-19 on the business.
What makes your franchise standout?
Minster Cleaning is a trusted brand with a track record of success. We offer franchisees lots of support in areas including operational management, administration, bookkeeping, marketing and IT to help them make the often daunting leap from employment to running their own business.
We also give professional advice in complex areas including employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation. Combine that with the stability of the sector and it makes for an attractive package.
Perhaps the most telling fact is that 100 per cent of franchisees renew their franchise agreements. They now only seem to leave us to retire.
Why is it worth investing in your brand?
Everything is set up to give franchisees the best chance of making a good profit and building a business that can be sold on for a healthy lump sum.
Quality not quantity is our mantra. All our territories are large, so our franchisees have plenty of scope for growth. We’re looking to build reliable 20 to 25-year relationships, that’s why if someone invests in us, we’ll invest time, energy and expertise back into them.
How is your franchise adapting to the COVID-19 crisis?
Commercial cleaning is a durable sector and although revenues understandably dipped in the first lockdown they have bounced back to near their previous levels.
Cleaning has never been more important and Minster’s expertise in infection control has proved to be a valuable asset, particularly in GP surgeries and other medical environments we work in.
For many of our clients, we’ve upped the volume of cleaning, including regular deep cleans and the cleaning of touchpoints such as light switches throughout the day.
What extra support and assistance are you offering your franchisees during this time?
We offer comprehensive support right through someone’s time as a franchisee and that didn’t change during lockdown. In particular, we were on hand to help them through the complex process of furloughing staff and formulating claims to HMRC.
In 2021, we have plans to help franchisees hit the ground running. We’ve introduced a royalty-free growth scheme for the year. That means we will not charge our usual fee on any new business our franchisees win until the end of December 2021.
What plans do you have for the franchise over the next few years?
It’s going to be challenging economically, but that will bring opportunities. We hope to find franchisees for several new territories and I’m optimistic about their growth potential in a market looking for reliability and expertise.
On top of that, we have several franchisees reaching retirement age, so there’s likely to be the chance for people to invest in some established businesses too.
What skills are important for your franchisees to have?
They come with all sorts of experience although, funnily enough, none of our current franchisees have a commercial cleaning background.
What they all have is people skills, because this is a people business. They need to be able to interact with and manage everyone from cleaning staff to customers, so communication is key.
Whatever their background we provide support where it is needed. If someone is comfortable with financial processes but has less marketing knowhow, we’ll focus our help there.
Most of all we look for resilience and determination. It’s hard work running a franchise from day one and there will be ups and downs. But it’s worth it.