Even after a long and successful career, not everybody wants to put their feet up or get the golf clubs out. Some people need a new challenge, which is why Paul Watts bought into Minster’s Derbyshire franchise after a brief early retirement.
Paul was previously a senior vice president at Experian PLC and had spent more than 30 years working in marketing data and analytics.
"I’d retired a couple of years before taking on the franchise in June 2018. But 55 was way too early and I got bored, so went looking for something that would get me back in the swing of things.”
The Derbyshire franchise was an exciting proposition, offering him the right opportunity at the right time.
“It was an established management franchise and one that is local to me, not to mention the fact commercial cleaning is a relatively low risk sector because businesses always need office cleaning services. There’s also lots of potential for development since no one has a huge market share.”
The strengths of commercial cleaning speak for themselves. It’s an essential business-to-business service with multi-sector appeal, which helps protect franchisees from economic peaks and troughs. And the size of Minster’s territories gives enterprising franchisees huge scope for expansion. By securing contracts from just a small fraction of the market in your area, you can really build your customer base.
Paul has found the skills he honed during his time at Experian have proved invaluable.
“The principles you need to run a business are the same for Minster as they are for Experian: new business generation, marketing, account management and the ability to manage personnel at all levels."
He’s obviously put these to good use, building annual revenues from £650,000 when he took over less than a year ago to around £800,000 today.
“We’ve invested in our people, vehicles, upgraded our technology and systems and worked hard on generating and retaining new business. We also make sure we provide a great service, because that’s what keeps customers coming back. In addition we’ve had great support from head office, particularly in terms of finance, IT and marketing.”
What Paul finds especially satisfying – aside from winning new business which he’s obviously good at – is the multi-dimensional nature of his work.
“I manage the big picture, the direction of the business, but I’m also deep in the day-to-day detail, which means there’s lots of variety. I’m busy, but never bored!”
Paul aims to double revenues within a few years and by working with Minster Cleaning Services, the UK’s largest commercial cleaning franchise, he knows he’s got the backing of an experienced and reliable company.
Established in 1982, it’s been a bfa Full Member since 1992 and has branches across the UK. Half of Minster franchisees have built up businesses with sales of more than £1million and the top branches achieve annual turnover in excess of £2million. In total the group has more than 5,000 employees and yearly revenues of £40million.
Training and support is also crucial to Minster’s success. Franchisees are given on-going support with operational management, administration, bookkeeping, marketing and IT. Not to mention professional advice in complex areas including employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation.
The initial start-up cost of a new franchise is £28,225 + VAT, £5,000 of which is allocated to a marketing launch package using a highly effective strategy that’s constantly being refined.
Jenny Campbell is the Minster Cleaning Services partner in Dorset.
Arthur White and Emma Fenlon are the Minster Cleaning franchise partners in Lancashire.
Paul and Kirsten Dunn took over Minster’s Edinburgh and Lothians franchise in 2016.
Damon Brown took over as franchisee for the Bristol branch of Minster Cleaning Services in January 2016.
I wanted success but not at the expense of personal security. With Minster I’ve got both. My annual turnover is over £2m and I have a huge exclusive territory in Sheffield and surrounding towns and areas.James Lofthouse, Sheffield Franchise, since 2005
To eliminate the risk of failure I was attracted by Minster’s tried and tested business model. Having a large national organisation behind me has given me the confidence to grow my business.Jenny Campbell, Dorset Franchise, since 2011
To make an informed decision about which management franchise to go with I needed total transparency. Minster encouraged me to talk to any of their franchisees to discuss any concerns. I now have a business turning over more than £1.2m and a secure and profitable future.Richard Holdich, Hull Franchise, since 1994
The business has been around for 37 years, so it has vast experience and knowledge of the cleaning industry and franchising
Marketing is centrally managed to provide a constant flow of good quality leads
Low management service fee – only 7% of turnover