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A day in the life of… Ian Stringer, Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington

A day in the life of… Ian Stringer, Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington

Ian has been a Merry Maids franchise owner since 2002

7:00 am: I’m up and enjoying a leisurely breakfast with a cup of tea. This is something I was never able to do before starting my Merry Maids business so I make the most of it. Being well organised from the previous day means I can avoid panic wake-ups and rushing into the office.

8:15 am: I arrive at the office and my first job is to make any final adjustments to the team schedules for that day. We find that the more efficient we are in the office, the easier it is for the maids to focus on their roles.

8:30 am – 9:00 am: The maids arrive, we have a cup of coffee and discuss any issues whilst they prepare their kits for the day. They look through their jobs and decide what extra products and equipment they may need. They do a second check to ensure the correct keys are allocated. A typical day in my business will involve three or four cleans per team, so anything up to 28 cleans can take place in a day.

9:15 am: The maids leave for their visits and I start the office work. At different times of the week, I need to arrange the banking, do the payroll and update the accounts from the bank statements. This part of the job takes a little concentration but with some helpful training when you first set up, it becomes a fairly easy process. If we have any queries on the systems, we give the head office a call for advice.

All the cloths need to be washed and dried to ensure everything is clean and ready for the next day – our washing machine is always running! We then also monitor stock levels, products and equipment and order additional stock via the ServiceMaster warehouse.

Throughout the day we receive calls from customers requesting changes to their cleaning dates and calls from prospective customers who we then arrange to visit. I enjoy this part of the job, meeting the customers, selling the service and engaging with people. It means I get to be out and about regularly in my area too –  and every day is different. My customers vary greatly from professionals who are out at work all day and like to return home to a clean house, to the elderly and infirm who can no longer manage their cleaning themselves and for whom our cleaning services are essential.

10:30 am: I usually arrange for our quality checks to take place at this point in the day.

12.00 pm: After the visits, I head back to the office to monitor our marketing activity, in particular, our online advertising and leafleting responses. I work closely with the ServiceMaster marketing team on this but have the flexibility to tailor the activities to our requirements.

14:00 pm – 15:30 pm: Later in the afternoon, the maids arrive back and unload their equipment. I receive comments and feedback from customers and go through the ‘closing out’ process, which entails logging the visit sheets, locking away keys and finances.

15:30 pm: I set up the next day’s visits for the maids. I have to prepare visit sheets, keys and any notes for the teams. I need to ensure I have the right staff on the right jobs so there is some thought that goes into arranging the cleans.

17:00 pm: I leave the office. Being able to organise the next day in advance means there’s no rush the next morning and there shouldn’t be any panics or emergencies!

At a glance Merry Maids

Established: 1979
Number of franchised outlets: 40-plus
Location of units: UK coverage
Investment range: £19,995+VAT
Minimum required capital: £5,995+VAT
Contact: 0116 275 9000 or