Meet the Franchisee: Beccy Pope

Beccy with her award for Merry Maids Rookie of the year, awarded for her exceptional work during the COVID19 pandemic.

Beccy Pope’s journey into the world of franchising was completely unplanned. She began her working life as a student with the goal of teaching. But, whilst working three jobs as a student, Beccy realised she preferred to earn money. A combination of the need to retake a year, and the sudden passing of a close friend then caused Beccy to rethink her life. Having decided she wanted to leave university and earn money for herself, Beccy made a leap of faith and took a job in the forensics industry doing finance and admin. From there, she found herself on the path of a career woman, building said business from the ground up along with the owner. She was then headhunted as an Operations Director selling military software for two-ex military men and did this for a number of years.

Her two financing and admin roles gave Beccy a good sense of the processes involved in running a company. She had become very familiar with the requirements of establishing a good business, and loved building a business and running it how she wanted. She describes the feeling of being in her 20s and finding the fulfilment of being ‘in it’, meeting amazing people, doing work she loved, and being the woman who can “slap her high heels on and stomps across the train station feeling important.”

During this period in her life, she was with her then boyfriend, now husband. “You know,” she says, “We did the whole traditional get married thing and decided we wanted to have children.” And in 2017 Beccy had her daughter Isabelle. Beccy says that it was pretty much immediately after this that she realised she was faced with a choice. She had come up against the reality of a lot of modern women. “I could be the mum that I wanted to be, or the career person that I wanted to be, and nothing in-between. It wasn’t doable to do my job, and be a good mum.” Beccy knew she had to revaluate her options.

It was then that a friend and colleague told her that his father was looking to sell his business. She wouldn’t have to start something new. She met with Ray Topple, who started Merry Maids North Sussex in 1996. Ray was supportive of Beccy stepping across to North Sussex and introduced her to the team. “It just seemed like a really nice bunch of people, a really nice setup,” she says. Beccy was then supported in buying the business by her own dad, who helped her put the money together to make the sale. With a smooth sale done, Beccy took over Merry Maids North Sussex in August 2019.

“And then the pandemic hit.”

Though Beccy says she was lucky to not lose anyone in the pandemic, she struggled with managing a new business alongside the birth of her son Finley. Though through this now, she said she’s now found herself in the place she wanted to be in:

“I can be the mum I want to be, and I have the work that I enjoy. I like dealing with the staff, and I still get to go out and meet people. It still feels like the best part of my jobs, but in a more local, community setting. I love going and meeting people. I met a mum a little while ago who just wanted us to go and hoover her floors and mop them because she couldn’t find time. And that’s real life isn’t it? Forensic software is all very exciting, and it’s cool, but it’s not the part of my life that I’m in. And my team leader Alex, she’s got two little boys, and between us: We’re sailing this ship.”

Together with her team, and her husband, who also runs his own business, Beccy has found a better quality of life. The work life-balance afforded by Merry Maids, and the systems in place mean customer inquiries can be seen to without becoming all consuming. Beccy can live the life she wants, as part of a partnership she wants, to be the woman she wants.

If you liked Beccy’s story and want to follow her journey, check out her YouTube channel: ‘Beccy Cleans’.

What our franchisees love about owning a Merry Maids franchise

Happy Valentine’s Day from Merry Maids! In keeping with the theme of the day, we’re sharing the love. We asked the franchise owners within our national network to share what it is that they love about franchising, and owning a Merry Maids business.

Whether it’s being a part of an established network of friendly franchisees, or working with a trusted and dependable business model, there’s a lot to love about owning a Merry Maids business. As Nicola Morris from Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool will tell you:

“What I love about the Merry Maids brand is working together with a fabulous group of fellow Merry Maids owners all helping each other!”

Tom Jackson from Merry Maids Dudley and Wolverhampton says what he loves about franchising with Merry Maids is the support from our network:

“The support from head office is good….but the best thing about being a franchisee is the support and teamwork you get from the other people in your network.  If it’s solving a problem or just ‘how’s your business getting on?’ there is always another franchisee at the other end of the phone or WhatsApp.

Seeing those league tables and finding out how that area is doing so well and what is working is fantastic for my business…..borrowing idea’s from Bill in Inverness…..asking Nicky in Blackpool what she is doing about a particular issue is invaluable

And of course I look forward to the social events where we can now get back to being able to meet up from time to time.”

If you’re looking to start a new business that will allow you to support domestic customers in a rapidly growing and highly profitable industry, make an enquiry with us, and join our network of satisfied franchisees today. Upon purchasing a business with us, you will take part in one of our comprehensive training academies, to help you get to grips with the Merry Maids values, strategies and methods. No matter your experience of the domestic cleaning industry, franchising, or the stage of your journey, we will be there to support you every step of the way.

Merry Maids of Inverness wins Great British Franchise Award

Merry Maids network are delighted to announce our 2nd ever franchisee to achieve ‘Great British Franchisee’ status in the 2022 Great British Franchisee Awards.

We are thrilled to congratulate Bill Grant of Merry Maids Inverness & East Highland on achieving Great British Franchisee Status this year. Bill is our second ever franchisee to receive this esteemed title, alongside Gary Rolfe of Merry Maids Kingston in 2021.

The whichfranchise.com Great British Franchisee Awards are designed to recognise franchisees across the UK for their outstanding performance and contribution to franchising, regardless the sector or size of the business. Franchisees are recognised and assessed on a number of factors including stability and business experience, staff retention, customer satisfaction, community and franchise involvement, inspiring leadership and driving business growth.

All of these Bill has in spades. His branch of Merry Maids has been in operation out of a single base in Inverness since January 2008, and though it initially saw relatively modest profits in its first year, it has since flourished due to expansion and investment, which has included the use of expanded commercial premises and branded vehicles. Bill has been a Merry Maids partner, covering Inverness and East Highland for the last thirteen years. The business employs a further twenty staff members, who in the past year have had to deal with being severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This included a full closing of the branch in March-June of 2020 and Christmas 2020-April 2021. However, in spite of this, Bill and his team persevered and saw that month on month trading figures between the first lockdown closure, and the subsequent post-lockdown closure in 2021 were significantly higher than pre-COVID figures. As a result, Bill is very optimistic about post-pandemic recovery and how the business will perform in 2022.

Bill recognises that the principle challenge facing him and Merry Maids Inverness (beyond the pandemic) is the fact that they operate within a geographically expansive franchise territory that has a relatively low population. As a result, they have opened a second office approximately an hour’s drive from the second largest populated area in the territory, following its’ successful operation and growth  as a satellite business, this business was then sold to a new franchisee as a separate and newly agreed territory.

Now, Bill concentrates on territory within a twenty mile radius of Inverness and so has invested in local marketing and brand awareness. Marketing is the key for Bill, and he has focused on brand awareness continuity post-lockdown. This has proven to be fruitful as it has grown business quite substantially. Merry Maids Inverness is now the largest single territory business by turnover within our franchise network, as well as the second largest single or multi-territory Merry Maids business by turnover.

Key to franchising and one of the factors recognised by the Great British Franchisee Awards is a franchisee’s approach to staff recruitment, training and development. Along with his approach to marketing, Bill has embraced alternative approaches to staff recruitment and his team now includes a dedicated Operations Manager who is responsible for training, staff engagement, and quality control. To incentivise staff and keep morale high, Bill encourages client feedback through online forums such as Google Reviews. He displays any and all positive feedback on a staff noticeboard to recognise the successes of his staff. He also holds regular staff meetings and training in order to highlight these achievements, client gratitude and to encourage retention of  a high working standard.

Much of this training and standards include making sure that his team are able to work to and maintain the core values and practices of the business. For Bill, the central objective for Merry Maids Inverness is to meet and exceed client expectations. These are consequent to information provided by the extensive marketing and research, the business’ online presence and initial visits to prospective clients. During the initial interview and training process, Bill makes sure that his workforce are made aware of these high client expectations. This training then provides staff with the wherewithal and tools to consistently deliver this high level of service.

Beyond his team, and within the wider franchise network, Bill is a long-standing member of the Merry Maids IRC (Ideas Review Council), and provides assistance, encouragement and mentoring to other franchisees within Scotland, and engages regularly with our franchise Brand Manager and marketing department.

Brand Leader for Merry Maids UK, of Vikki Donnachie has high praise for Bill and his achievement, saying…

All this and more proves why Bill is a worthy recipient of a Great British Franchisee Award. We would once again like to congratulate him for this outstanding achievement, and wish Bill and his fantastic team continued success for 2022.

If you aspire to be like Bill and build one of the largest businesses within our franchise network, we would love to hear from you. Contact our franchise sales team on 0116 275 9005 / franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk for further information 

A Croydon based cleaning company is celebrating after collecting a business award following the COVID pandemic

Merry Maids of Croydon scooped the Merry Maids Business Resilience award following the COVID pandemic. The award is designed to recognise and celebrate achievements in showing resilience throughout the pandemic to a business that responded in an above and beyond manner.

Covid19 presented a multitude of challenges to Merry Maids businesses and employees across the UK, who all responded magnificently in the highest traditions of delivering excellent customer service.

However, it was one business that stood out. Throughout the pandemic, Merry Maids of Croydon responded to the challenges in an exemplary manner by employing exceptional safety protocols, maintaining excellent standards of customer service and actively exploring new opportunities to ensure the future of the business.

Merry Maids of Croydon, is a franchise of ServiceMaster, owned and managed by Debbie Walker and has been successfully cleaning homes in the area since 2003.

Debbie commented: “Myself and the team are delighted to have won the award. It was an immensely challenging time and to know we did as much as possible to help our community and our fellow franchisees across the UK is a great feeling.” Said Debbie

“I was so pleased to be able to return back to work on 1st June 2021 and bring my team back together again. We set ourselves a target to have all our staff back within the business by September 2020 and this was achieved.” Added Debbie

“In the last year we have helped so many families, elderly clients and those that are vulnerable in our community to bring their lives back to some form of normality after what has been a hideous time for all. Nothing rewards us more than making a client comfortable in their home and making them smile when often they are facing difficult times.” Finished Debbie

Merry Maids franchise were committed to ensuring that all franchisees were fully supported throughout the pandemic and the challenges that business owners faced. This meant regularly speaking with franchisees to update them on the latest government guidance and how their business would be affected, but how the affects could be managed positively.

Brand Leader for Merry Maids, Steve Morris said: “As the Brand Manager for Merry Maids it is one of the great privileges of my role to reward businesses that have achieved great things in the past year. Throughout the pandemic, Merry Maids of Croydon responded to the challenges in an exemplary manner.

“Of particular note, regular contact was maintained between the business and myself, the Merry Maids Brand Leader, for our mutual benefit for which I was extremely grateful. Proof of the excellent business management and customer service skills utilised during this challenging period are now being rewarded by a strong business recovery.” Added Steve

Merry Maids of Croydon are deserved winners of the 2020, and hopefully the only, Merry Maids Resilience Award!” Finished Steve

Recognising some of the less obvious, but nonetheless culturally vital parts of franchising is imperative to ServiceMaster and the yearly awards allows this to happen.

Awards were given for not only growth, but also to those that have given back to their community, or employees of franchisees that have demonstrated their commitment to the brand attributes engaging in initiatives and actions with colleagues and customers well beyond their job description, very often in their own time at their own expense.

“As a family business working for families, we are thrilled to have won, but it simply wouldn’t be possible without our staff. I feel they all need a special thank you. Merry Maids of Croydon constantly strives hard to offer great customer service and a community friendly approach.

“Of course, our goals over the next 12 months are to grow but also to continue to offer an excellent service to our clients especially continuing to develop in certain sectors – working with clients with dementia and the elderly that wish to stay living at home. Additionally, we want to maintain an excellent customer experience and continue to serve our local community”

“Let’s hope we never have to go through a situation with so much sadness and challenge again.” Finished Debbie

If you’d like to learn more about how our network worked through the challenging times of the pandemic to come out of the other side stronger, together, contact our franchise sales team today on how you can be a part of it. 0116 275 9005 / franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk 

 

Advice to others from an existing Franchise Partner

Going in to business for the first time, or even in to a new business can be daunting.

Fortunately when joining a franchise network, you not only get support from the franchisor, but also from an established network of existing business owners.

Here Gina Glendinning of Wakefield, South Leeds, York & Harrogate shares her advice to those who are looking to go in to business for themselves, not by themselves with a franchise opportunity.

What can you expect going in to business? 

Always try to expect the unexpected, staff will undoubtedly have problems that will take them away from work and you can never predict the weather!” 

What rule should you always stick by? 

“Never to compromise on your core values, if you have provided a quote stand by it, do not sell yourself and your team short.”

What helped you to grow? 

“Recognising my strengths and affording me the opportunity to success using Merry Maids as my trusted advisor.”

Gina provides 1-2-1 help with other franchise owners within the network to pass on her learnings and experiences. This is such a valuable activity helping others to thrive and grow.

If you would like to speak to Gina, or any other members of our franchise ahead of pursuing your journey with us, contact our franchise sales team to arrange this for you on 0116 275 9005 or at franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk

Franchise Focus – Nick Rayner

Nick joined the Merry Maids franchise network over 8 years ago in 2013 and has grown a great business servicing customers in Milton Keynes. 

We’re grateful to Nick for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions surrounding being an integral part of our franchise network.

Q. What made you want to own your own business? 

A. “I bought the Merry Maids franchise originally because for years and years of working for someone else, I just thought why not give it a go myself, be my own boss with all the challenges you get from Merry Maids it seemed like something I wanted to do.”

Q. What is your lifestyle like as a Merry Maids franchise owner?

A. “I currently have a really good work/life balance.  I’ve got a goos structure, I have an office manager who is brilliant and gives me the time to do stuff that I want to do. Spend time at home, with the family and things like that. Getting the structure right within your business is key to having a good lifestyle.”

Q. What is the support like the brand?

A. “We have good marketing support. They sort out Facebook and social media for us. Leaflet design, they do our leaflet run and then we sort out distributing them. This is brilliant so we don’t have to think about them. We also have local media, newspaper ads and things like that. It puts our name out there and makes people see us.”

It’s important to not just ‘take our word from it’, but hear from our franchise owners too. They have bought in to and operated the brand for months or years. We encourage all prospective franchise owners to reach out to our network as part of their due diligence.

If you’d like to chat to us, or perhaps a franchise owner – contact our friendly franchise recruitment team today on 0116 275 9005 to arrange an introductory chat.

Franchise Council

What is a franchise council?

A franchise council is a group of franchisees who meet on a regular basis to discuss any ideas and issues within the franchise with the franchisor.

Franchise Councils are common in most franchise opportunities and they are most effective when they have specific goals and objectives clearly set.

At Merry Maids franchise we believe an effective way to grow and develop is to make our franchise partners an active part of the process. As such, we have a group of franchisees, elected by franchisees take the role of the franchise council, known to our brand as the Ideas Review Council.

Their purpose is to; 

  • Collect ideas
  • Pilot new initiatives
  • Gather feedback
  • Support other franchisees
  • Collate network information and research
  • Work together to achieve goals and objectives

The Ideas Review Council help to ensure that the network remains inclusive for all and maintains a healthy culture.

There is no ‘them and us’. We instil ‘togetherness’.

If you’d like to be a part of a franchise where innovation and growth is important and franchise owners have the opportunity to build a better brand, contact our franchise sales team today on 0116 275 9005 / franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk for available territories

5 Questions to ask a Franchisor

The research process to buying a franchise is an important one. There are a minimum of 5 questions to ask a franchisor to help you in this process. These questions aren’t the typical questions relating to financials and what you get for your investment.

These 5 questions are ones that could potentially help you to make your decision based on your human needs.

  1. In what areas do you offer support? 
    Why – You might be strong in some areas of business, but not others. You need to ensure you’re strong in all
    Our answer – We offer support in all areas of the business.
  2. Are there any existing franchise owners who have come from a similar background?
    Why – You can then ask for their story and if you could be put in touch with them
    Our answer – We absolutely can match you to existing franchisees in our networks and of course, you can chat with them.
  3. Do you have a ‘buddy scheme’? 
    Why – Partnering up with a more established business owner can help you to follow in their footsteps, learn from their mistakes and grow
    Our answer – We do!
  4. Are there any additional training opportunities?
    Why – The initial training might not be enough, could be too overwhelming and over too quickly for some
    Our answer – Absolutely, we offer continuous refresher and new training opportunities.
  5. What communal events do you have and do you recognise achievements? 
    Why – Communal events represent togetherness and recognising achievements fosters motivation
    Our answer – We do, large events at least once per year and regional events quarterly. Our awards our annual too.

Through asking the above 5 questions, you’re giving the franchisor the opportunity to respond to your human needs.

If there’s anything else we can help with, most questions have been asked and there’s no such thing as a silly question so ask away.

0116 275 9005 / franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk

Franchise Focus – Debbie Walker

Debbie Walker is the proud owner of Merry Maids of Croydon. Debbie has owned her domestic cleaning business for almost 20 years and has build a strong and successful investment for her future.

We caught up with Debbie to ask her a five questions surrounding her journey so far, read on to find out more… 

Q. Why did you go in to franchising with us?

A. Having the Merry Maids franchise allows me to control my own destiny

Q. What’s the work/life balance like? 

A. The franchise helps me to control my downtime which is fantastic to help me to enjoy life and have a good work/life balance.

Q. What is the marketing support like?

A. We have fantastic marketing support. The team are always looking to refresh and keep things current which is fantastic in this fast moving world

Q. What kind of marketing support do you get?

A. We have support with our website , social media and blogs, As well as traditional marketing such as leaflets and letters.

Q. You won the Merry Maids franchisee of the year award in 2017, what do you put that down to?

A. I won the award by working to the ServiceMaster model, increasing revenue consistently and bringing new initiatives such as the Dementia Friends initiative.

We’re grateful to Debbie for chatting with us and if you’d like to learn more from Debbie, or other franchise owners in our network, contact our team today to arrange a franchisee fact finding call at

0116 275 9005

franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk

 

The power of a branded vehicle

Merry Maids Franchise

Kevin Shutler – Franchise owner of Merry Maids North Wiltshire

Research suggests that a branded vehicle can be seen up to 3000 times a day! This is pretty handy when establishing your brand and growing your customer base.

The more eyes on your brand, the more customers who can find out about you, so that they can buy from you.  

Fortunately for our Merry Maids brand, we have several options for branding vehicles, all of which are both distinctive and cost effective.

  • Full vehicle wraps
  • Part vehicle wraps
  • Decals
  • Car Magnets
  • Window stickers

We are proud to have this marketing activity as an option to our franchise owners so that they can share the brand, far and wide across their territory.

We can arrange the artwork and installation for you so that you can benefit from the great results with minimal fuss.

If you would like to discuss adding a vehicle wrap, or other method of vehicle branding to your franchise starter pack, get in touch with our franchise recruitment team today on 0116 275 9005.

Innovation helps our franchisees to utilise demand

In today’s society, we very much live in ‘on demand’ terms from the customer, meaning that we need to respond when they ask us to! What this looks like in real terms, is not having a 9 – 5 business, but having a 24/7 365 business.

Sound exhausting? It would be if we hadn’t already got market leading technology tried, tested and used, to help!

Merry Maids are one of a very select through who enable customers to purchase their cleaning services ONLINE.

Benefits for the customer:

  • Choose & book at their convenience
  • Pay easily by credit/debit card
  • No waiting for the business owner to respond
  • Exclusive online discounts

Benefits for the franchise owner:

  • Reduced admin
  • Captures extra custom by being available
  • Payment upfront, ahead of clean, way in advance!
  • Suited to the millennials, time poor and tech savvy

This facility is available to all Merry Maids franchise owners and is fully supported by us.

If you’d like to join a franchise where innovation is at the heart of everything that we do, contact us today to discuss our franchise opportunities on 0116 275 9005.

What our Brand Leader looks for in a Franchise Partner

In order to maintain brand integrity, we carefully select the franchise partners who are to join our brand by inviting prospective business owners to an interview with our Merry Maids Brand Leader, Steve Morris.

We asked Steve, 5 questions to help prospective business owners qualify themselves to join: 

Q. Describe the characteristics of the most successful franchisees in your network.

A. The most successful franchisees are those who are hungry for success and who recognise the advantage that using a recognised brand and a proven business model can bring in a busy market place.

Q. What skills/attributes do you look for in a franchise partner?

A. Entrepreneur.  A general understanding of what running a small business is all about.  Good communication skills.

Q. What personality do you look for in a franchise partner?

A. Communicative, pro-active, ambitious.

Q. What experience is required?

A. No previous cleaning experience is required as all training and support is provided by ServiceMaster and the network of business holders.  However, some knowledge of the various elements of business management would be beneficial.

Q. What is a ‘red flag’ for joining your brand?

A. Always remember that you are in franchising for yourself and not by yourself.  Therefore, whilst you are not completely on your own, running your own business is hard work so franchising is not for people who think that the franchisor does everything!

Do you think you have what it takes to become our next Merry Maids Franchise Partner?

If you would look a no-obligation conversation with our Merry Maids Brand Leader, contact our franchise recruitment team today on 0116 275 9005 who will happily arrange this for you. 

Franchise Focus – Nicky Morris

Nicky Morris is the proud owner of Merry Maids Fylde, Blackpool and Preston. Celebrating her 20th anniversary in business later this year, Nicky is part of a franchisee elected council to help build and develop the network, and despite her busy schedule operating two territories, took time out of her busy schedule to answer the following questions we asked;

Q. Why did you want to go in to business?

A. I wanted to be responsible for my own decisions and I wanted to drive the business forward for myself and see the results of my own action.

Q. Why did you choose a Merry Maids franchise?

A. I looked at various home cleaning franchises where some of those were an agency where you didn’t get to know customers or staff and used to send out people at the end of the telephone to do a job for someone who you’d only spoken to on the phone. I wanted to be involved with both my staff and customers, so I went with Merry Maids as that’s the scenario there to build relationships with everyone. I also chose Merry Maids because of the business model and the way it works and they worked out much better than other businesses working in a similar way.

Q. How is the work/life balance?

A. As you develop the business is becomes easier to take time off. To the stage where we have a really good lifestyle where our office manager looks after the business so that we can take breaks and holidays. We have a good work/life balance now.

Q. What’s included in the marketing support?

A. Our marketing team look after our social, they run our webpages and we send updates for alterations. They also provide advice for free publicity and for arranging advertising.

Which Great British Franchisee of the Year

Merry Maids of Kingston is crowned a winner in the Great British Franchisee Awards

Owned and operated by Gary Rolfe, Merry Maids of Kingston scooped a prestigious award this week which recognises excellence in franchising.

After setting up his business in 2017, Gary has taken Merry Maids of Kingston from strength to strength as well as shown resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic which forced many domestic cleaning companies to close their doors for a short while.

Offering services from regular house cleaning, to end of tenancy, builders and one off cleans, plus more; Merry Maids of Kingston boasts an array of services to suit all requirements. Not only that, they are Dementia Friends trained, and with 12 staff members, are regarded as a great place to work.

Hosted by Which Franchise, the Great British Franchisee Awards focuses on the people who have made UK franchising a success.  They recognise the outstanding performance of franchisees, regardless of the size of their business or the sector they work in.

With a tough criteria to fill, Merry Maids of Kingston clearly demonstrated what it takes to be Great British Franchisee. From proof of Franchisee Stability and Business Experience, Customer Satisfaction, Inspired Leadership and to Driving Business Growth and Community involvement – this prestigious award is no easy gain, especially following a challenging year following COVID-19.

Gary Rolfe said: “I am extremely honored and delighted to have won this prestigious award, I am extremely grateful for the fantastic support I receive from Servicemaster, and the award would not have been possible without my amazing staff.”

The awards judging panel consisted of Suki Dehal – Lloyds Bank, Head of Franchising, Aman Nirwal – BDO, Senior Key Account Manager Franchising, Euan Fraser – AMO Consulting, and Derrick Simpson, Companion of the British Franchise Association.

If you’d like to chat to us about our award winning franchise network and how you can join it, contact us at 0116 275 9005 / franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk

Real Franchise Story – 18 Years of Merry Maids

The Merry Maids franchise has been around in the UK for over 30 years and in this time has welcomed many franchise owners to the network to deliver domestic cleaning services locally.

Tom Jackson is the proud owner of FOUR territories within south Birmingham, Dudley, Wolverhampton and Solihull.

Having joined the network 18 years ago, Tom has seen how the industry has changed over the years and has been able to keep up with the times through the research and development undertaken by the brand.

Eighteen years ago, Tom visited every customers’ home to provide an in-home quotation based on their requirements, now, Tom is able to sell some of his services online to give himself and his customers the flexibility to choose and book their service online.

Initially Tom’s business mainly served elderly customers who were unable to clean for themselves, now it serves both customers who need our services, such as the elderly and those who want our services to give them their time back to do something else – not cleaning!

Our clever, empathetic marketing activities help to attract customers from all demographics, giving our franchise owners more opportunities than ever to sell their services to the general public.

Tom’s business is the largest within our network and we support him in his plans to continue to grow so that he can build an asset for the future. Tom also supports other franchise owners by offering his advice and guidance.

If you’d like to chat to Tom, or our franchise recruitment team, contact us today on 0116 275 9005

2020 proved the future is Franchising

Nothing proves that the future is bright for franchising more than the fact that 2020 was our biggest year for both enquiries and franchise partners joining our brands.

2020 was by far one of the most unexpected and challenging years for everyone. The extent of the effects of Covid-19 could not have been predicted, nor prevented. Our business expected to see the demand for owning a business reduce as individuals may choose to stay in secure employment or stick with something familiar.

In fact, in most cases, we found the complete opposite. We discovered that the pandemic led many people to revaluate their career choice and research other options in to how they could make more money and improve their lifestyle. This was reflected in a 67% increase in enquiries in 2020 compared to 2019.

It was encouraging to see growth in enquiry numbers and whilst we did not expect to see growth in new franchise partners, knowing that there were more individuals exploring a future in franchising, was a result in itself in such uncertain times.

The uncertain times weren’t enough to put aspiring entrepreneurs off from investing in a franchise in 2020 and we also saw a 60% increase in the number of new franchise partners joining in 2020 compared to 2019.

Franchising has proven to be a resilient business model in the testing times brought upon us by Covid-19. Our brands have been able to successfully support our franchise owners through this difficult period by our expertise, experience and also strength in numbers through the established franchise network. We understand this to be one of the main reasons why we welcomed so many franchise partners throughout a period of uncertainty and will continue to invest in supporting our franchisees going forward.

ServiceMaster Brands – Stronger Together.

Enquire today on 0116 275 9005

Franchise Focus – Jon Dean

Real franchise stories help you to make an informed decision whether a franchise is suited to your aspirations and motivations in business. 

Here we chat to Jonathan Dean of Merry Maids South Surrey. Jonathan is a long standing business owner within the Merry Maids network, having owned his business for over 12 years.

He took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions to hopefully help a prospective Merry Maids business owner to make their decision.

Q. Why did you want to start your own business?

A. I had been made redundant so I wanted to work for myself, and I wanted to work from home. So I was looking for a business that I could go straight in to without any specialist skills and Merry Maids fitted the bill.

Q. Why did you choose to partner up with Merry Maids?

A. I could have gone for other cleaning companies, but I chose Merry Maids because A) there was a good structure, there was a lot of evidence that told me how successful the business might be and B) the loyalties were lower than the competition.

Q. How has being a Merry Maids business owner helped your lifestyle? 

A. The Merry Maids cleaning franchise was very beneficial for me in terms of lifestyle as I have two small children. I wanted to do the school runs and I wanted to work from home so I was able to do this and avoid travelling distances as I live right in the middle of my area. I have a great deal of flexibility and I can do other bits and pieces whether it be sports clubs or voluntary work and I can fit it around these.

Q. Advice to give to someone looking in to Domestic Cleaning? 

A. This is a business which is viable and sellable and can build in a growing market. You can live locally, so I would say Yes go for it. It is hard work, but it is something that you can do and you don’t have to be overly physical in order to achieve that and you can build steadily and surely.

We hope that you have found this interview helpful in your research for starting a new business whether it helps towards you joining a franchise such as Merry Maids, or any other business or sector.

If you’d like to chat to Jonathan about his journey so far, or would like to be put in touch with a Merry Maids business owner with a similar background to your own, contact our team today to find out more on 0116 275 9005 or at franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk

Merry Maids – 2020 in review

Back in 2019 when we were evaluating our brand and making decisions for 2020, we could never have predicted what was in store for our franchise in 2020.

That said, our brand has developed, our franchise owners have built resilient businesses that have stood the difficult trading conditions that the pandemic has brought upon the globe.

The very early part of the year in January and February, the brand operated as per expected with a surge in deep cleans after Christmas and regular customers securing bookings for yet another year.

In early Spring, news of the virus was on the horizon and we were able to adapt quickly to enhance our cleaning regimes to offer customers a heightened cleaning service.

As our franchise owners were able to adapt quickly, it meant that many customers were still able to enjoy the cleaning services that they have come to expect, and franchise owners saved much of their business through delivering services differently, but safely.

Some franchise owners have even reported growth in some areas of their businesses where customers have new found importance of maintaining a clean and hygienic home, as such, have decided to outsource their cleaning requirements to professionals to ensure that it is done effectively to protect those within their household.

In short, whilst 2020 proved to be a difficult year, utilising our support, Merry Maids franchise owners have showed new learnings and developed their businesses to survive in the new normal. As such, our brand has become more unified and much stronger.

All franchise owners are fully supported in all aspects of business not only by the franchise professionals at the franchise support centre, but also by the peer network of existing Merry Maids business owners.

Stronger together, Merry Maids Franchise.

An all-year-round opportunity

There are many great business opportunities out there and it’s important to consider whether you wish to operate to capacity all year round, or in seasons.

Seasonal work is great for those who undertake more than one venture or prefer a little time off to regenerate. However, all year round is great for those who require a constant, regular flow of income to give them their chosen lifestyle.

Whilst most businesses naturally have busier and quieter periods, a Merry Maids Franchise, is an all-year-round opportunity.

Domestic cleaning is a nice to have for some, but a necessity for many. As such, our franchise owners manage a busy team of maids all year round. Typically, our cleaning teams operate during school hours so that the business days are shorter, making the franchise opportunity ideal for those with school age children.

With no work on evenings and weekends, there is ample opportunity to have a great lifestyle away from the business.

So, if you are looking for an all-year-round opportunity where no two days are the same, a Merry Maids Franchise may be exactly what you are looking for. Contact our friendly franchise recruitment team today on 0116 275 9005 for more information.  

Ranked in Elite Top 75 Franchises in the UK

The Elite Franchise Top 100 Franchises is all about celebrating successes in British franchising by ranking applicants from 1 to 100. 

Despite the difficult trading conditions in the past year, we are proud to announce that the Merry Maids brand has ranked within the TOP 75 franchises in a solid position of #61 – two places higher than last year! You can view our ranking by clicking on this link. 

It is worth noting that securing a place in the rankings isn’t all about profitability and turnover, it’s also about the value added to the community and the franchise sector.

Our application included a complex write up of how our brand has developed over the year and what affect that this has had on our franchise network, customers and all stake holders alike.

Andrew Brattesani – UK Head of Franchising at HSBC was one of the judging experts and had this to say: 

“This year we have had to assess how business have had to proactively adjusted in response to closures caused by the pandemic. It’s been essential for entrants to demonstrate how they have pivoted their services. Despite the economic difficulties of this year, these franchises have prospered due to their proven business models and determination. 

Steve Morris, Merry Maids brand leader followed with;

The continued inclusion of Merry Maids in the Elite Top 100 in Franchising for 2021 is a welcome and valuable recognition of the outstanding professionalism of our franchisees, and our committed and dedicated head office support staff. 

We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of a prestigious ranking and will continue to work on our franchise offering over the next 12 months to secure a spot in the 2022 ranking next year.

For further information on our franchise or our spot in the Elite Franchise Top 100, contact a member of our franchise recruitment team today on 0116 275 9005.