Minster Cleaning Service's Lancashire franchisee, Arthur White, bought the Accrington branch in 1996.
Arthur, previously managing director of a manufacturing company, joined Minster after deciding that his management capabilities and experience could be put to good use running a commercial cleaning franchise of his own.
He identified franchising as an excellent way of establishing a business quickly and with the minimum risk and, after looking at many franchise opportunities, chose Minster Cleaning Services. He liked their openness when it came to disclosing facts and figures about the business and he liked the idea of a business which is not subject to dramatic swings in fortune dependent on the prevailing economic climate. He was also attracted by the fact that Minster is very much a ‘people’ business which would fit well with his proven skill sets.
The branch had previously been successfully run by the company and had a well established and solid customer base but Arthur believed that with his enthusiasm and management ability, there was ample scope for further development. This was certainly the case and the Accrington branch was soon achieving a turnover of over £1 million.
In 2005, Arthur asked his daughter, Emma, if she’d like to join the company in the role of Business Development Manager. After graduating from Leeds University with a Business Management degree, Emma worked at HBOS (then the Halifax) as a Business Analyst for two years before joining Minster. She was soon making a positive impact on the business and was promoted to be Operations Director; she then became the Joint Franchisee in 2011.
Today, Emma takes care of most of the day-to-day running of the management franchise and loves the challenges that being involved in such a very varied mix of business brings: “You must be capable of thinking on your feet: one day I can be involved in sales and health & safety, the next marketing, site visits, accounts, etc. Our contracts cover a broad range of commercial organisations across Lancashire.
“There’s no room for complacency and we have to be prepared to improve continuously and adapt our strategy to suit the market conditions. It’s not a nine-to-five job but the rewards are there if you are organised and work hard; I still find time to play netball, go away on holiday and enjoy weekend breaks, so it’s not ‘all work and no play’ by any means.
“We are always trying to improve the way we operate and we intend to keep on expanding the business by offering excellent service levels, value for money and a flexible service which is tailored to the individual needs of our clients. The size of Minster’s territories means that there are always plenty of potential clients for us to contact and we have recently been marketing our services to organisations in the Lancaster area which is proving to be very successful.
“Since I joined Minster, I’ve developed personally and feel that I’ve proved myself within the business. I know every single aspect of the process and can now confidently present to prospective clients at all levels. I am also very proud of the success that we’ve had in the healthcare sector. All primary medical and dental practices now have to be CQC registered and their premises have to meet a number of required standards which include the maintenance of appropriate levels of cleanliness and hygiene; our expertise in this area has opened many doors and we are now helping around 40 healthcare practices to achieve compliance. Our turnover increased by approximately 15% in 2015 and I feel sure that we can maintain these healthy growth levels for the foreseeable future.”