A culture of providing support to help its franchisees succeed in a booming housecleaning industry means the future looks even brighter for investors in Molly Maid
The UK’s most recognised brand in the booming housecleaning industry posted one of its strongest years of sales growth in 2021, with a phenomenal 32 per cent increase. Despite predicting strong interest in professional house cleaning services coming out of the pandemic, Aaron Watson, director of franchise development, said that the level of demand from new customers exceeded even the most optimistic of expectations.
“As well as record sales growth, we received our highest ever number of customer service enquiries, doubling that of the previous year. Franchise owners managed a staggering 84,000 during 2021, with that trend continuing in the first few weeks of 2022.”
Tried and trusted
Watson points to the company’s trademarked HomeSafe cleaning system, which received accolades from the government in 2020, and improvements in the website as two important factors, but also says that the company is in the right place at the right time. “In a pandemic, cleanliness is really important, and housecleaning has effectively become an essential service. Combined with thousands of cleaners leaving the industry because of the pandemic and Brexit, we have the recipe for a perfect storm of growth for Molly Maid.” And it’s a storm that the company doesn’t see clearing anytime soon.
Franchisees Gill and Rob Dawson, from Burton-on-Trent, echo similar comments about the growth of the industry and also the culture of support within Molly Maid. Having joined in April 2017, they quickly developed an impressive business, and just prior to the first lockdown were on track for annual sales of £300,000. When restrictions eased in March 2021 the couple were overwhelmed with customer enquiries and quickly scaled up their business to take advantage of the surging demand. Fast forward to the end of 2021 and they had almost doubled their weekly sales.
As finalists of the BFA-HSBC Franchisee of the Year Award in 2019, Gill and Rob definitely know a thing or two about running a successful business. “We anticipated an increase in demand following the easing of restrictions, but doubling our business in nine months exceeded our wildest expectations,” they admit. “Over the past two years, everyone at Molly Maid has pulled together to help each other deal with all the challenges from the pandemic. Without this support, and definitely without our HomeSafe cleaning system, we genuinely don’t think we could be achieving anywhere near these results.”
Support for franchisees
“Caring and helping our franchise owners is by far the most important thing that we do”, adds Watson. “It’s in our DNA.” It’s also why the future looks so bright for the 35- year company.
In January Molly Maid launched Workplace by Meta (Facebook), a support tool to help franchise owners connect with each other and share best practices in order to take advantage of the huge growth they’re all experiencing. It’s consistent with the company’s ethos of providing the right systems, processes and support for franchisees to succeed and then focusing all its energy on helping them to do so. It’s an ethos that saw the company achieve its third 5 Star Franchisee Satisfaction Award in 2021 and another top 15 position in the Elite Franchise 100 ranking in 2022.
Molly Maid aims to add just eight franchisees to its roster in 2022. If you would like to be one of these eight, contact Aaron Watson, director of franchise development.
At a glance
Number of franchised outlets:
Location of units:
across the UK, from Scotland to the south coast
£18,975 (+ VAT) and £7,000 working capital (£10,000 of the £18,975 is allocated to marketing for the first 12-18 months)
Minimum required capital:
at least 30 per cent of the total investment (£7,975). The remainder can be funded through a business loan
Aaron Watson, director of business development. 01628 583765. firstname.lastname@example.org