Get the latest Startup news and information

Minster Cleaning Services: The franchise opportunity

Cleaning franchise Minster reveals to Startups their criteria for the perfect franchisee and growth plans to reach a group turnover of £50m

Franchise: Minster Cleaning Services
Description: Management Franchise – Office and commercial cleaning
Started in: 1982 (franchised since 1992)
Founder: Alan Haigh
No. of franchises: 41
Coverage: UK
Average cost per franchise: £28,225 plus VAT plus £40,000 to £60,000 working capital (new territory)

With their largest branch turning over £1.5m and an average franchise turnover of over £700,000, Minster Cleaning Services is the largest office and commercial cleaning franchise in the UK. Established in 1982 by Alan Haigh, the business was inspired by Haigh's previous difficulties in finding reliable and effective cleaning contractors while working for past employer Tandy. Haigh was keen to explore what he believed to be a huge market potential, so left his steady job to go out on his own and the first Minster establishment was born. By 1990, the brand had three successful and profitable branches with ambitious plans for rapid growth. In 1992, Haigh decided to create a franchise model to fulfil his ambitions and he hasn't looked back since. Now serving as chairman on the company, Haigh has built a cleaning services empire of 41 franchises turning over £30m per annum, very close to the business' ultimate franchise target of 50 franchises.   Here, Startups finds out about current franchisees' success, the vetting process for potential new recruits and plans for a group turnover of £50m.

Moving into franchising

So how did Minster move into franchising?

Moving into franchising was always the plan. Alan Haigh, who had previous experience of the franchising industry, spent 10 years carefully developing Minster Cleaning Services' highly successful franchise model before moving into franchising in 1992.

Where did the business open its first franchises?

In Essex and Edinburgh.

How successful were those original franchisees?

These franchisees are still trading profitably after over 20 years.

The franchise opportunity

What makes Minster different / unique?

Minster Cleaning Services was established in 1982 and has been a BFA full member since 1992. As the country's biggest and most successful office and commercial cleaning franchise, it offers prospective franchisees a safe and secure future whether they buy an established branch or choose a new area.

What services do you offer?

We provide office and commercial cleaning services to a wide range of industry sectors. In addition to daily office cleaning, our services include window cleaning, carpet cleaning, floor treatment, washroom services and janitorial supplies. We also provide specialist cleaning services to certain sectors such as healthcare, our biggest client base.

How big is the market opportunity?

Key Note estimated it to be £6.42bn in 2010 and predicts that it will reach £7.13bn by 2015. Franchisees need only to corner a tiny share of this to be highly successful and Minster's large, exclusive territories give almost unlimited scope for expansion.

How many franchisees does Minster have today?

37 across 41 branches.

How is the brand marketed?

We use multi-channel on and offline marketing activities.

How do you divide the regions? Regions are divided by postcode area.

The perfect franchisee

What do you look for in potential franchisees?

Prospective franchisees must have the following qualities:

  • Management ability
  • Determination
  • Resilience
  • Ambition
  • Self-motivation
  • Energy
  • Total commitment
  • An understanding of finance
  • The ability to get the best out of people

So do franchisees work from an office, or are they home-based? Is it part-time or full-time?

They are full time, office based (with a team of administrative and supervisory staff), with visits to prospective and existing clients as required.

How are franchisees vetted?

Our process is highly selective as we want to be 100% sure we recruit franchise partners with the right skills, qualities and experience in order to successfully run a Minster Cleaning Services franchise.

What do you offer franchisees that sign-up?

We offer franchisees a large and exclusive territory. When they join, franchisees get all the help needed to ease the transition from employment to self-employment and ongoing support is provided in all main business areas including bookkeeping, training, marketing and the complex fields of employment law, health and safety and environmental legislation. Initial training is provided at our head office prior to a branch opening. Our dedicated support team provides further training after a branch opens. Training and support is ongoing – it's critical to running a successful Minster branch. In addition, we also provide national franchise meetings, regional meetings, regional training courses, branch visits and comprehensive central support.

How much do franchisees pay and what are the ongoing franchise fees? N

ew territory – £28,225 + VAT. Resale – £10,000 + VAT plus the purchase price of the business. Ongoing franchise fees – 7% royalty.

Success and growth

How successful are some of the franchisees today?

Highly successful. 25% of branches are achieving sales in excess of £1m and average branch turnover is well over £700,000.

How is the brand looking to grow?

Our multi-channel marketing approach ensures that brand awareness is high across the numerous industry sectors we promote our services to. We will continue our focus on specific vertical sectors such as healthcare where we provide specialist cleaning services.

What is the potential of the business?

Our group target is to have 50 territories operating across the UK with a group turnover of £50m.

What will the challenges be in achieving that?

Being able to recruit a sufficient number of high calibre franchisees.

To what extent are the founders involved today?

Alan Haigh, Minster's founder, remains Chairman.

Finally, is the company a British Franchise Association (BFA) member?

Yes we are a full member.


Read more about the cleaning business opportunity (as a franchise or otherwise) with our 8 simple steps how to start a cleaning business


(will not be published)