Merry Maids Bromley donate Easter eggs to Dandelion Time

Spreading Easter cheer and chocolate.
Over Easter, Richard Wall and his team at Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington partnered with Reed Employment to donate chocolate eggs to Dandelion Time.
Richard, who has previously engaged in other charity work, such as running the Cambridge Half Marathon to raise money for Dementia Friends, says he and his business are always looking for ways to help charities that do vital work, like Dandelion Time.

“We are always glad to support charities and help [wherever possible].”

Due to Richard’s first-hand experiences earlier in his career, supporting children’s mental health for him was a no-brainer.

Hence when Reed contacted him about Dandelion Time, Richard was more than happy to help.

Dandelion Time

Dandelion Time is a charity local to Richard’s area.

Their mission is to support children in Kent who have suffered traumatic experiences like neglect or domestic abuse.

According to Dandelion Time,

“Health, education and social care services face huge financial pressures and aren’t always the right solution for children with [mental health and trauma] issues: Dandelion Time fills this gap.”

Over the last 20 years, they have brought lasting change to over 1,000 families through their unique therapeutic approach focusing on the great outdoors.

At Dandelion Time, families take part in a ten-week programme.

During this time, they work with experts, nature, crafts and families to get the time and space they need to recover and be the children they deserve – without trauma and distress.

Donating Eggs

We all know that as much as the time off is much appreciated, the holidays are the best for children.

Especially when there’s plenty of chocolate to seek out and snack on.

That’s why, in partnership with Reed Employment, Richard and Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington donated Easter Eggs to Dandelion Time so the children in their care could share in the spirit and have some chocolate eggs this Easter.

Find out more

If, like Richard, you would like to run a business that allows you to engage with your local community, get in touch with our friendly franchise sales team on 0116 275 9000 to find out about opportunities in your area.

Celebrating 20 years of success at Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool

The team at Merry Maids Fylde & Blackpool are celebrating their 20th anniversary.

It’s been all smiles and celebration at Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool as business owner Nicola Morris and her team of cleaning experts celebrate the 20th anniversary of the business.

About Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool

Nicky Morris established Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool in 2002 after moving to the area with her husband and young child.

Following a career in the corporate world, Nicky knew she wanted to do something for herself.

And when reflecting on her own experience of struggling to find quality and reliable home cleaning, she recognised that first-rate cleaning services were in short supply.

Knowing there was a need for cleaning services, Nicky started her Merry Maids business and has provided first-class and professional domestic cleaning services in Fylde, Blackpool, Lytham St Annes, Kirkham, Poulton le Fylde, Thornton Cleveleys and Freckleton ever since.

Celebrating 20 years

To celebrate her 20th anniversary, Nicky held a surprise party for her team. And what do you need for a good surprise party? Commemorative Merry Maids cupcakes and balloons, of course!

 

This was a lovely opportunity to socialise, spend time together as a team and ensure all of the new staff who recently joined the Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool family could get to know everyone.

Giving back

Nicky says she also wanted to give back to the people who made her time in business special: her staff and customers.

To say thank you to her customers, Nicky and her team delivered Merry Maids cupcakes to everyone they cleaned for that day.

And for two extra-special customers who have been loyal Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool supporters for Nicky’s 20 years in business, the team delivered bouquets as a token of their gratitude.

One of these customers, from Lytham St Annes, started using Merry Maids as cover for a previous cleaner’s absence and is still with us two decades later!

“I first used Merry Maids 20 years ago for full house spring cleans or as cover for my cleaner’s holiday and was always delighted with the results,” she says.

“When I was looking later for a replacement cleaner, I chose Merry Maids as a regular replacement – and I have been with them ever since.

It was a sensible choice, as holidays or other absences were always covered, so the cleaning is done regardless of circumstances.”

We’ve been with this customer through changes in their life and have supported them by customising our services seamlessly.

“When our daughters were still living at home, the visits were weekly. But as they flew the nest and our needs changed, we adjusted schedules to fortnightly.

Ad hoc changes were readily accommodated – a few more hours before and after Christmas and reduced hours if necessary when we were away.”

“It is lovely to come back home after the ladies have been – the house is always clean and tidy,” she says.

And over this time, they have built up a lasting relationship with the team:

“If we are at home when they visit, we enjoy a quick catch-up whilst they crack on.

[The maids] are reliable, hardworking, trustworthy and cheery.”

And “A particular well done and thank you to Debbie, my ‘regular’ Merry Maid,” she adds.

As the anniversary was in December, Nicky participated in the spirit of the season by taking on the role of St Nicky and giving her staff a £20 Morrisons gift card each to mark each of the years they’ve been in business.

That way, the staff could choose to use it for fuel, Christmas food shopping, or to treat themselves!

Nicky says the anniversary was “the highlight of the year” and was thrilled to celebrate her achievement with her team.

“Celebrating 20 years in business is a fantastic achievement, not only for myself but all the dedicated people who have worked for Merry Maids along the way and all our lovely loyal customers who continue to support us.

I put our success down to being lovely, trustworthy people who care about doing the best we can for our customers – at the highest standard of cleaning.”

Want to start your own cleaning franchise?

If, like Nicky, you’d like to work with your own team of cleaners to carry out bespoke and professional cleaning services in your local community, get in touch with the Merry Maids franchise sales team today.

By scheduling a discovery session, you can find out if a Merry Maids business could be your perfect fit. Take the first step towards a cleaner, brighter future today by calling 0116 275 9000 or filling out a contact form today.

What our franchisees love about Merry Maids

Merry Maids Franchisees share the love this Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Merry Maids Franchise!

It’s a day for sharing the love, whether with your significant other, your friends and family, or just indulging in your passions.

In the spirit of focusing on the things you love, we’ve been speaking to some of our franchisees about what they love about Merry Maids.

What our business owners love about Merry Maids

Merry Maids of Croydon

Debbie Walker, the owner of Merry Maids of Croydon, says that she loves that Merry Maids is a people-orientated business, meaning that she gets to work with people all day long and within ever-changing dynamics.

She says she takes great pride in building positive relationships with staff and customers.

From celebrating life events with staff like birthdays and anniversaries to developing a rapport with clients and providing care and support to vulnerable clients with dementia and other illnesses, people are at the heart of what we do.

Through providing bespoke and top-quality services and through local initiatives like a Food Drive for a local charity, Debbie has formed a business with a heart that supports her staff and those in need and shares in the day-to-day: what life is all about.

Lynne, the Office Administrator at Merry Maids of Croydon, adds that she loves everything about Merry Maids and that it would be hard to single any particular thing out.

But she notes she loves the variety that Merry Maids brings to her routine and being amongst the company of the team’s friendly staff.

Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool:

Having spent 30 years building a thriving cleaning business, Nicola Morris from Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool seconds this, saying she loves working as part of a network of like-minded business owners across the UK who support one another in running their businesses.

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

Merry Maids Dudley, Wolverhampton and Stafford:

Tom Jackson from Merry Maids Dudley and Wolverhampton and Stafford agrees, saying what he loves about his Merry Maids business is the support from our network:

“The best thing about being a franchisee is the support and teamwork you get from the other people in your network.

Whether 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.

Borrowing ideas from Bill in Inverness or asking Nicky in Blackpool what she is doing about a particular issue is invaluable.”

Want to run a business that you love?

If you’d like to join a thriving franchise network of like-minded business owners who love what they do, in an industry with endless growth opportunities, get in touch with our friendly franchise sales team today on 0116 275 9000 to find available opportunities near you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Merry Maids Croydon’s festive food bank drive

Merry Maids Croydon has partnered with local charity Reedham Children’s trust as part of a food bank collection drive this Christmas.

Christmas is the season of giving, but it’s also a difficult time for many, particularly as the people of the UK face increasing hardships from rising energy bills and the cost of living. That’s why Debbie Walker and the team at Merry Maids Croydon have partnered with Reedham Children’s Trust as part of a drive to support their local food bank.

Debbie Walker, the owner of Merry Maids Croydon said she was delighted to be able to work with Reedham Trust to provide support to her community during this time,

“There can be no doubt that we are living in difficult and uncertain times. But we don’t have to face them alone. By working together, we can make a real difference and improve the lives of the people in our communities.”

Reedham Children’s Trust

Reedham Children’s Trust began as an orphanage in 1844, and since then has grown into a pillar of the community in Croydon, providing support to children and schools in the local area through initiatives like the ‘Achieving More’ project.

It’s no secret that Christmas is a special time for children in particular. Unfortunately, many children in the UK may miss out on the bare essentials like food and toiletries.

As the Reedham Trust puts it,

“The cost-of-living crisis will impact the poorest households the most, many will have to choose between food or heating, and for some families, they won’t have either. By partnering with Merry Maids Croydon, we hope to provide vulnerable families with enough food to see them through the winter months.”

How Merry Maids Croydon is helping

Until the 30th of November, the team at Merry Maid’s Croydon is asking staff and customers to spread a little extra festive charity by donating:

  • Tinned Vegetables
  • Pasta and Pasta Sauce
  • Tinned Meals
  • UHT Milk
  • Cereal
  • Soap and Shower Gel

Donations will be collected from clients across Croydon in our handy Merry Maids bags and distributed to children and families in need around the Croydon area by the Reedham Trust. Merry Maids Croydon will then also be matching any client donations, so please give as much as you can!

Getting started

As you can see, the donations are already pouring in, with many of our customers from Croydon and the surrounding areas already donating what they can since the drive was announced last month on the Merry Maids of Croydon Facebook page.

Get involved

Make sure you’re following the Facebook page to keep up to date with our donations and track what items are needed the most as we get closer to Christmas.

And if you are local to the Croydon area, get in touch with Debbie, and the rest of the Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268 or emailing croydon@merrymaids.org.uk to see how you can help out.

Interested in joining the Merry Maids network?

If you would like to work within your local community carrying out domestic cleaning services for those who need a little extra helping hand, get in touch with the ServiceMaster Brands UK franchise sales team to find out more about opportunities near you today.

Merry Maids Sutton Coldfield wins BNI Award

Helen Bielby from Merry Maids of Sutton Coldfield has won a networking award from the BNI in her area.

About the BNI

The BNI (Business Network International) is the largest business networking organisation in the world, with multiple chapters around the world that span a variety of industries in a vast network. Each chapter in the UK holds seats for around 20 business owners, each representing a different sector. Membership in BNI offers members access to business training, peer learning and opportunities to network and do business with hundreds of thousands of BNI members around the world. Each group in the UK meets once a week to network and discuss happenings in the businesses.

Merry Maids & BNI Partnership 

This August, our very own Helen Bielby from Merry Maids Sutton Coldfield joined her local BNI Premier chapter to represent the cleaning industry on referral from the occupier of the charity seat who represents the Buddy Bag Foundation. The setup of the network is designed to allow members to bring in new business through referrals, which are logged in an app that allows members to see direct links to new business. Helen and Merry Maids Sutton Coldfield have received some recent business via referral from the network’s printing company, for example.

Helen says that although she had visited the chapter as a visitor, she was unsure about how the different businesses would work together, particularly as the referrals would be for vastly different industries a lot of the time. However, in practice, she has been pleasantly surprised by the results. She says that being part of the chapter, even for just a couple of months, has made her realise that she is part of a further-reaching business community than she had thought. She says that even just attending the meetings has been beneficial in seeing how other members of this community run their businesses and are dealing with the same challenges that are currently facing small businesses across the UK like the cost of living crisis.

“For all small businesses, it’s a difficult time,” she says. “Whether it’s an insurance broker or a wine importer, we can see how other people are coping, you know you’re not alone.”

Having already brought in an estate agent, Helen says she is now “Really hopeful that we’re going to work more to get referrals, the group is always expanding further. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and seeing what we can do for each other,” she says. And historically, BNI businesses can do a lot for each other, with their “UK and Ireland members [generating] over £429m of business between them” in the last 12 months.

The BNI Awards

Held as part of one of their recent meetings, the BNI awards recognised the efforts put in by its chapter members for a variety of areas. Helen was surprised to take home the Notable Networker award as recognition of the noticeable growth that she has managed to bring to the network in just the past two months, especially as it has helped her feel more connected to her local community.

“I’m really pleased to win the award after only being a member for a couple of months,” Helen says. “It proves we do know people, and we’re really interested in getting to know other businesses who might want to come and work with us.”

As Helen says, the BNI meetings are a real commitment, particularly because each meeting takes place first thing on a Thursday morning! But she knows that not only will she reap the rewards for her business, but also that it has helped her feel more involved in her local community of other small businesses and find “her small business tribe,” as she describes it.

This has also given Helen a great opportunity to promote her business through other channels, as she has been using it as an opportunity to promote the new online shop that is now running at Merry Maids Sutton Coldfield, which allows customers to book a range of domestic cleaning services from Helen and her team with the press of a button.

Looking for a change of career?

Do you like the sound of a job that allows you to run your own business and get involved in your local community? We’re always looking to expand our network of around 100 franchises in the UK. At ServiceMaster Brands UK, our franchises (including Merry Maids UK) allow every one of our franchisees up and down the country to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves. By joining our franchise network, you’ll receive all the support you need to grow a thriving business in the ever-expanding cleaning industry.

Starting from scratch can be daunting. But with a Merry Maids franchise, you don’t have to. Our business model has ensured that over the 35 years that we’ve been in business, we’ve grown into one of the UK’s leading domestic cleaning brands. It also means that after a comprehensive training academy, all of our new business owners can hit the ground running as soon as they open their doors for business.

We support all of our franchisees with marketing, PR, social media, uniforms, van wraps, products and cleaning supplies and much more. To learn more about how we could support you on your journey to becoming a highly profitable cleaning business, take a look around our website or book a discovery session with our friendly franchise sales team today.

Merry Maids Croydon & the menopause

How Debbie Walker from Merry Maids Croydon has been supporting her staff through a new menopause policy.

Successful Mums is a London-based organisation funded by mayor Sadiq Khan that provides support to working mums in the area. Recently, Merry Maids of Croydon has partnered with Successful Mums to develop staff policies and training after business owner Debbie Walker spotted an advert on a local notice board. Since then, Debbie has received support in business management, flexible working, and policy making.

Debbie knew that due to the nature of her staff, it was vital to draft a health policy specifically to support her staff working during menopause and perimenopause. So, with the support of both Successful Mums and Wirehouse Employer Services, Debbie has worked to take account of existing menopause policies already in law and offered a range of bespoke support to her staff. She says the goal when developing was to ensure that work undertaken by her staff is manageable and that any menopause symptoms are not worsened as a result of their work. She also wanted to continue to develop a culture of understanding and openness around menopause so that the women working for Merry Maids Croydon can ask for support and speak confidently about this issue without embarrassment, all whilst treating them with dignity and respect.

As the no-nonsense named “The Menopause Charity” highlights, “Your experience of menopause is unique to you, which is the main reason why there’s so much confusion about symptoms and treatment.” This means that providing adequate legislation and policy around it can be tricky. That’s why support from organisations like Successful Mums can be vital for businesses like Merry Maids Croydon in helping do right by their staff. As a result, of the varying experiences of menopause, the Croydon policy treats staff on a case-by-case basis whilst providing in a range of areas.

The new menopause policy provides

  • Flexible work arrangements such as adjustments to working hours
  • Hybrid working patterns
  • Adjustments to workplace procedures and processes
  • Prohibiting the need for extensive travel or manual handling
  • Facilities or areas for keeping cool
  • Fresh, cold water is available at all times
  • Providing desk fans if requested
  • Ability to take comfort breaks when needed
  • Ability to attend medical appointments in line with Company procedure
  • One-to-one support from managers
  • Deadline/task reminders from managers if requested which may include extended deadlines
  • Information and signposting to relevant organisations

Note: This list is not exhaustive

Treating workers with respect and dignity also means that this policy does not deny staff their agency, and all workers are still responsible for looking after their health and helping to further foster and maintain an open and caring work environment in which staff support themselves and one another.

Want more info?

Are you looking for more information about menopause at home and work? There are lots of brilliant resources that can help you learn more. Such as, but not limited to:

Looking for a change of career?

We’re always looking to expand our network of around 100 franchises in the UK. At ServiceMaster Brands UK, our franchises (including Merry Maids UK) allow every one of our franchisees up and down the country to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves. By joining our franchise network, you’ll receive all the support you need to grow a thriving business in the ever-expanding cleaning industry. Giving you the ability to run your own team, with the support of a world-renowned franchisor behind you.

Starting from scratch can be daunting. But with a Merry Maids franchise, you don’t have to. Our business model has ensured that over the 35 years that we’ve been in business, we’ve grown into one of the UK’s leading domestic cleaning brands. It also means that after a comprehensive training academy, all of our new business owners can hit the ground running as soon as they open their doors for business.

We support all of our franchisees with marketing, policy, PR, social media, uniforms, van wraps, products and cleaning supplies and much more. To learn more about how we could support you on your journey to becoming a highly profitable cleaning business, take a look around our website or book a discovery session with our friendly franchise sales team today.

Meet the Franchisee: Gina Glendinning of Merry Maids Wakefield and Leeds

We sat down with Gina Glendinning of Merry Maids Wakefield and Leeds to talk about her experience as a Merry Maids business owner.

Before starting her Merry Maids business in 2018, Gina was a self-described ‘career banker’, working in many different roles for HSBC – over the span of 32 years. One day, Gina says she reached a point where she realised that she needed to get her work-life balance in check, so she started to look around at options for owning her own business.

She decided upon Merry Maids due to her banking background, as she knew she wanted “security and assurance in a business venture.” Upon finding Merry Maids, Gina knew that she had the capability of managing staff, but “couldn’t clean to save [her] life.”

Still, she felt that Merry Maids was the right fit for her due to the “good, stable management structure.” Along with the useful support of the franchise network – which she felt was both helpful and personable.

“It wasn’t overbearing,” she says. “They give you advice, but without impeding on what you want to do as a business.”

Now, she says the best part about owning a Merry Maids business is the variety and community in every aspect of the job – be it the network or the customers, and being able to go above and beyond to help the people that need it most.

“You meet so many varied people. When you go to look at their homes and assess what their needs are: from the little old ladies and little old men who just need you there once a week, to maybe hold their hand, make them a sandwich, make them a drink, and do some cleaning for them. To the massive properties, we have on our books where we go in and we spend sometimes eight hours cleaning to make it right for the clients on a regular basis. It’s so varied, it’s so different. It’s just a pleasure to meet these people.”

If, like Gina, you would like to be supported by an expansive franchise network to run your own business that allows you to meet and offer support to a variety of different people, get in touch with our franchise sales team today by filling out a contact form or by calling 0116 275 9000 to enquire about available territories near you.  

Meet the franchisee: Richard Wall

How the owner of Merry Maids Bromley is settling into his new business. 

Richard Wall purchased his Merry Maids business at the end of January this year, officially taking over from the previous owner at the start of February. Two months on, here is what Richard has to say about owning a Merry Maids business.

Richard, who is originally from Dublin, has lived in the UK since 1997. With a work background in the hospitality industry, Richard spent several years working in hotels and restaurants, before transitioning into work in the security industry for the past 20 years. When Richard sadly lost both of his parents, he was left with some inheritance, which he was determined to put to good use. But what to do? Of course, security was a number one priority, as was something that allowed flexibility, but how could Richard balance these things with starting something new and potentially risky?

Deciding that he didn’t want to be starting on his own from nothing, Richard turned to franchising. He conducted research into several different franchises in multiple sectors, before deciding that he would like to speak to individual franchisees, with the hope of receiving full transparency from business owners with franchise experience. Based on his research, and the testimony of existing franchisees, Richard says Merry Maids and ServiceMaster came up top. He says this was primarily due to one resounding experience of all of the Merry Maid’s franchisees: the amount of support offered by ServiceMaster as a franchisor.

“With a lot of the franchises I was looking at, I was told who to phone to get some answers. But ServiceMaster said just ‘phone who you like, it doesn’t matter to us.’ So, I just picked random Merry Maids up and down the country. But they all said the same thing, which was about the level of support they get from the head office and they’re not left by themselves. And it’s that’s what I needed because it’s my first business.”

Richard says he was then sold on Merry Maids due to his recognition of the brand, and the clear demand for quality cleaning services.

“Trying to get a cleaner these days is like trying to find gold dust. So, I already knew that the demand was there and that there were a lot of independent new businesses that had been set up in the local area quite quickly, and as quick as they’d set up they’d be gone. I knew Merry Maids had a good reputation in the area, so I spoke to Merry Maids Kingston, which isn’t too far from where I live, and they already had a great presence in the area.”

Two months in, Richard says his favourite thing so far is the relationships he ends up building with customers, and being part of the ServiceMaster network.

“Because the girls all work for us, that’s quite a big selling point when we go out and sell the quotes: that the girls work for us. There’s no cash in hand there’s the insurance as well. Everything’s done correctly and above board. And with an agency, you don’t know who you’re getting. I find that the customers like that they know who’s going to turn up. Security-wise it’s good for the customer as well, it is reassuring. [Because they have that relationship and trust] the customer doesn’t need to be ‘in’ either, we can hold onto their keys and it’s nice that customers feel comfortable enough to give us their front door key. I think seeing the girls go out happy and doing a good job, then getting good feedback from customers, that’s what’s most rewarding. And I think going out and getting the variety of different sized houses that we see from different customers, that’s interesting. And also, I think understanding customers, some of them are quite old and the need. It’s not a hard sell with us. We’ll go out and chat with them about normal stuff. I like the fact that it’s a very people and sales business. And the flexibility as well, that because of Donna the amazing manager, and things of that in the office, I don’t always have to be here constantly and get the flexibility just to be at home as well.

I think the best thing about being with Merry Maids is the overall professionalism of the brand and the fact that we can link in with other ServiceMaster services: restoration, carpet cleaning, and the TruGreen [lawncare] brand. We can do everything for a customer. So, I’ve found that when I’m doing quotes a customer will say, “Oh, do you do carpet cleaning?” And I’ll say, “Well, we don’t, but ServiceMaster Clean does, so I can link in with them for you.’ We’ve got enough variations in the franchise that we can help a customer as pretty much a one-stop-shop.”

Now, as a Merry Maids franchisee, Richard says he can fully appreciate the support from the rest of the Merry Maids network:

“Rather than just doing something on my own business-wise, with no support, no help around health and safety, no help around marketing. It just makes it a lot easier when you can pick up the phone and speak to somebody in the relevant department and get the voice that you need for the help you want. I like the fact that I can speak to my neighbouring franchisees as well. If I’m not too sure, there’ll be someone who will have been doing it a lot longer than me so I can ask for advice on things as well. I can put something on the WhatsApp group and say “Does anyone know the answer to this question?” And usually, someone has experienced it because they probably went through it ten years ago.”

Right from the beginning, Richard has felt supported in taking over Merry Maids Bromley, from both the existing team and ServiceMaster head office.

“I was very lucky that was a very good manager in the office already, Donna, who was able to support me. But also, with the brand manager, Vikki, who was on the phone with me most days, to see if I was OK and what I needed. Then again with the support of the other franchises.”

Richard says all of this made him feel secure that he was doing the right thing with his parent’s inheritance. He also says that being a Merry Maids business owner has allowed him to strike a good balance between learning new things using his previous work skills, such as his ability to communicate with customers to assess their needs. The things he wasn’t familiar with, like TNL and bookkeeping, need not be a worry either, as he has been able to receive help with his bookkeeping through another ServiceMaster franchise, Rosemary Bookkeeping. Due to being a ServiceMaster franchise, the Rosemary team understands the specifics of Richard’s operation and the Merry Maids franchise – making even the unknown simple and stress-free.

Confident he’s made the right decision with his parent’s money and his future, Richard says owning a Merry Maids business is a no-brainer.

“It’s got to be the best franchise to get at the moment because cleaning survived COVID. In fact, it’s busier because people want their places clean. And you know, even though there might be potentially cheaper, independent cleaners, people understand that we’re providing all the right things for our staff. Our welfare is taken care of, all the health and safety taken care of, so it’s properly looked after. In buying at a franchise, Merry Maids has got to be one of the best to get because you’re going to get a return on your investment. After all, it’s cleaning, and everybody needs it. As you get older, you want that, you need a cleaner to help out and some people just don’t have the time because they’re so busy but they want their house to be clean. And we’ve got such a flexible range of options for people that we can package up pretty much everything.”

If, like Richard, you think a Merry Maids business could be right for you, get in touch by filling out a contact form to enquire about available Merry Maids territories today.

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’.

The Women of Merry Maids UK

Celebrating International Women’s Day and the women of Merry Maids UK.

It was International Women’s Day this week, which centres the discussion of women’s issues as part of Women’s History Month.

The theme of Women’s History Month changes annually. Though the goal is always to provide education on how women helped shape the nation, and the world at large.

The Merry Maids network includes many brilliant women who manage professional domestic cleaning businesses across the UK.

Each one of them brings something different. Be that previous experiences that have led them to where they are now or a unique outlook that helps them run a successful business.

Sue Smith – Merry Maids Tyneside:

Sue Smith has owned Merry Maids Tyneside for 28 years now. Before this, she worked in payroll for Safeway’s.

With a young son aged three, Sue wanted to have her own business to manage her own time and childcare. Merry Maids “was the perfect solution”, as Sue liked to clean and was able to incorporate this into her job.

Though she found Merry Maids and thought it was just right for her, Sue still had her reservations.

She was concerned that she was not the right sort of person to run a hands-on business, as she felt as though she lacked the confidence.

“I remember when I had to do the first callout, it was terrifying,” she says.

But Sue found that she could do it, and has become confident running her business.

“I think the more you do it, the more you get used to it.

If you push yourself, you can do these things, even when you think you can’t,” she says.

Sue has found also herself becoming more and more involved with the local community and developing long-lasting relationships with clients.

“We’ve had some customers for years.

I like doing it. Especially the older people that have always kept a nice house, and are now finding it difficult to do.

I think you get more satisfaction out of that kind of clean – when they’re so grateful for the difference you can make to their home,” she says.

Nicola Morris – Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool:

Nicky Morris also started her Merry Maids business around 20 years ago when looking for a fresh start.

This coincided with her husband changing careers, having been in the military, and with the two of them moving to a completely different part of the country with a young child.

Having spent most of her career “in the corporate world”, Nicky wanted something new for herself.

So, she researched franchises, and having spoken to other Merry Maids owners, found that she was happiest with the brand and company.

There was also the question of timing around her move, but ServiceMaster (Merry Maid’s parent company) were happy to hold the business until Nicky was ready.

This meant that when her move was completed Nicky was able to undertake her Merry Maids training academy and, in her own words: “hit the ground running after that.”

Though she’s had to put in lots of hard work, Nicky has found running her own business to be worth the challenge:

“It’s very rewarding to see what I’ve built up from nothing.

When you initially start, like any business, you have to give it your all 24/7. Especially for the first couple of years. And moving to a new area with a young child was pretty difficult.

On the other hand, being my own boss gave me a bit of flexibility. It is your baby. Having a business and building it up, its blood, sweat, and tears that you put into it.

It is different to a normal job. However much you might like the company you work for, it is very different.

When it’s your business, you do have an emotional attachment to it as well. But it’s worth it.”

Helen Bielby & Becky Hewitt – Merry Maids Sutton Coldfield:

Helen Bielby has a personal history with ServiceMaster and Merry Maids.

In the early 1980s, both of Helen’s parents worked in engineering and were made redundant around the same time.

So, they decided to pool their redundancy money and buy a ServiceMaster franchise – which used to involve our disaster restoration and clean brands under one umbrella.

The business stayed a family affair, with Helen and her nan helping out doing the cleaning. Her dad ran to the physical side of the business, whilst her mum handled the running and operation.

Then, in 1999, Helen’s mum decided that she wanted to buy a Merry Maids franchise as well.

At the time, Helen was at university and would still help out with the cleaning on her break days, and after university, she would help with the books alongside her job.

When Helen’s mum passed away suddenly in 2010, Helen had to handle both businesses, but says the support from ServiceMaster helped her through it:

“There was a point where we didn’t have any of the passwords to get into the ServiceMaster system.

And ServiceMaster were great, and they sent people down from head office to help us get it all.

We had to keep going. We had staff that we employed – we couldn’t close.

So, you know, it was a nightmare, to be honest. I couldn’t run both businesses and have a foot in my full-time job.

I could do Merry Maids because I’d done it for such a long time. But we realised we needed a secretary to help my dad do the admin on Service Master.”

They found Becky, who was working part-time as in conveyancing at a solicitor’s office.

“She had just had her hours reduced, and she was looking for something to make them up,” Helen recalls.

The pair met, and hit it off from the start.

“We became best friends very, very quickly,” says Helen.

“It let me get on with concentrating on Merry Maids, but because they were run from the same office in the same room, she would help me out with Merry Maids as well, which was huge for me.”

When Helen’s dad then decided he wanted to sell the Merry Maids, business, he suggested that Helen and Becky take it over together.

They have now been running it for the last 12 years alongside working other jobs and both having young children.

Though this has been difficult to manage, especially during COVID-19, the pair have been able to lean on each other and be at the forefront of making changes within the business to tackle whatever problems come their way.

Helen and Becky have needed to be adaptable and able to work under enormous pressure, but have been able to manage it together.

Beccy Pope – Merry Maids North Sussex:

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 Beccy realised she preferred to earn money.

So, she made a leap of faith, taking a job in the forensics industry doing finance and admin. After building this business from the ground up along with the owner, she was headhunted as an Operations Director selling military software.

These two roles gave Beccy a good sense of the processes involved in running a company, and she found she loved building a business and running it how she wanted.

In 2017, Beccy had her daughter Isabelle and was faced with a choice as she was worried she was missing out on too much of her daughter’s early life due to the job she was in.

“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 for me to do my job, and to be a good mum,” she says.

So, in August 2019, Beccy purchased Merry Maid’s North Sussex.

Though she faced some difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside the birth of her son Finley, Beccy is now both the businesswoman and mum she wants.

“I can be the mum I want to be, and I have the work that I enjoy, she says.

“And 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 the time. And that’s real life, isn’t it?

My team leader Alex, she’s also got two little boys, and between us: We’re sailing this ship.”

As the newest of these women in the Merry Maids franchise, Beccy says she has received invaluable help and support from the other women in the network.

Like Nicky and Helen, Who have helped her with various things during the setup of her business, even though online during the pandemic:

“Helen talked me through how she runs her online shop and was really friendly and positive,” Beccy recalls.

“She was happy for me to use some of her work if I chose and to call her if I had any problems during or after set up.

Nicky has sent me a few letter templates which have saved me a lot of time too. Considering I haven’t even met these ladies, they have been very supportive!”

Beccy is soon to be starting a new YouTube channel called Beccy Cleans, which will concentrate on Beccy running her business, looking after her family and lots of useful cleaning tips.

Find out more

As a leading British franchise, people are at the heart of what we do.

The women of Merry Maids have each brought unique contributions to our franchise network. This month is all about celebrating them and shedding light on what they do.

We hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about the women that make up the Merry Maid’s network.

If you’d like to join a network of supportive and like-minded business owners and get a fresh start running your own domestic cleaning business, get in touch with our friendly franchise recruitment team to learn more about opportunities near you.

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.

All there is to love about owning a Merry Maids franchise

As we head into February and closer to spring, here are all of the things to love about starting a Merry Maids business now.

Spring is approaching, and whilst there is no bad time to purchase a Merry Maids franchise, this is an excellent time to start thinking about growing with a new business.

The concept of spring cleaning is a well-known one. It is also something that our Merry Maids franchisees can take advantage of with both our services and our marketing, as more and more people start spending time thinking about the state of their property and the cleaning.

Springtime is all about new starts, and what better way to reflect this, by giving yourself a fresh start by purchasing a Merry Maids franchise. But unlike the natural world, you won’t have to build yourself from the ground up. Joining a successful BFA Top 100 Franchise like Merry Maids means that all of the groundwork has been laid for you. By joining our network, you are also joining a nationwide team of other successful franchises with a pre-existing, tried and trusted business model.

Upon purchasing a Merry Maids business you will take part in one of our comprehensive training academies to help you get acclimated to the Merry Maids brand, values and strategies. This all but eliminates the awkward period of finding your feet and ensures that your business can hit the ground running, equipped with all tools you’ll need to succeed straight out of the gate.

And there’s lots to love about a Merry Maids franchise. The Merry Maids brand is trusted by customers and franchisees nationwide with 42 years as a leading domestic cleaning brand, and 60 years successful franchising experience as part of the ServiceMaster brand family. That’s four decades of growth and innovation within a rapidly developing market that you can be a part of! Speaking of rapid growth, the COVID-19 pandemic has made a lot more people conscious of the importance of a good standard of cleaning and hygiene. This has been reflected in the £55.5bn estimated market value of the UK cleaning market – which is only sure to grow.

Whether you’re new to domestic cleaning and franchising, or an industry professional – the tried and tested Merry Maids model can help you develop a highly successful business.

If are looking to start fresh by starting your own business and are interested in a great franchise opportunity, click here to make an enquiry about starting a Merry Maids franchise today.

New Year, New Start: The benefits of franchising

Ready to make a change this New Year? Why not join a leading UK franchise with Merry Maids?

Happy New Year from all of us at Merry Maids! With 2022 here, many will be looking ahead and as a result, you make be thinking about making some changes in your life and career. If this sounds like you, why not consider making your New Year’s resolution to give yourself a fresh start by purchasing a Merry Maids business?

If you are on the fence and are unsure about making a big change, that is understandable – it’s a big decision to make. Ultimately, the choice lies with you, but it can still be worth looking into the many advantages that franchising provides. So, we’ve put together a list of questions that you might have about franchising, as well as the benefits it can provide:

What is franchising?

First things first, what even is franchising? Put simply, franchising is an alternative route into business that provides business owners – also known as franchisees – with an already tried and tested business model that has been proven successful.

OK, so why Merry Maids?

With an established presence in the UK, ServiceMaster Ltd is a recognised, well-known, and trusted brand chosen by residential and commercial customers alike, with franchises turning over in excess of around £50 million across the ServiceMaster network in 2021.

Investing in a trusted franchise from ServiceMaster like Merry Maids provides you with a wide reaching network and connects you to our franchise support centre, who are able to provide support and advice, training, marketing materials, and all of the systems and processes that you might need.

How is franchising better than starting my own business?

We understand that one of the main draws of owning your own business is, well, having your own business. Though our franchisees are provided support and a business model, they are still responsible for their own business and are given plenty of autonomy within their own territory. As well as this, starting your own business will be challenging no matter which way you slice it. However, with a franchise, you have the support of a larger body behind you. As a result, a business that you have started on your own has a statistically proven higher chance of failure than a franchise business.

A good franchise like Merry Maids gives you a helping hand when and where you need it, and allows you to build on a previously proven business formula. All of those things that you ‘try to see if they work’ in the early stages of starting a business have already been done by the franchisor, so you save a lot of time and money and reduce your investment risk. With a franchise, you are ultimately in charge of your own operation, but you don’t need to spend time trying to reinvent the wheel.

But don’t just take our word for it…

The British Franchise Association believes that,

“Franchising remains one of the most successful forms of starting your own business, with extremely high success rates and much more security than starting your own without the proven system, support and brand.”

You can also receive external financial support

Many leading banks in the UK recognise franchising as the safest route into business and as a result may be willing to lend you up to 70% finance towards your investment.

All in all, franchising is about support. It can be reassuring to know that there is an established and experienced governing body behind you as you take that first step into starting a new business. With Merry Maids UK, and our main body ServiceMaster Ltd., you will be set with a recipe for success.

Where can I learn more?

If this has helped you learn more about franchising and you now think that you might want to delve into starting a business of your own with Merry Maids, you can find more about us and our franchise opportunities here.

Or, if this has given you an interest in franchising, but you are unsure if Merry Maids is right for you, why not check out franchise opportunities with the other brands within the ServiceMaster Ltd. family of brands?

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 

An introduction to new Merry Maids UK Brand Leader, Vikki Donnachie

Merry Maids UK has recently appointed a new Brand Leader: experienced franchise professional Vikki Donnachie.

Vikki, who has just completed her second week at ServiceMaster, will be officially taking over the reins from Steve Morris in January 2022.

Background

Vikki joins Merry Maids with over twelve years of experience in recruitment and thirteen years of experience in healthcare franchising as Head of Kare Plus Franchising.

What attracted Vikki to Merry Maids was the opportunity to use her years of franchising experience but in a different environment, allowing her to put her stamp on the franchise network.

Vikki says, “The fact that [Merry Maids is] a big organisation, but with a family feel, and the fact that there is scope for network development–” Furthermore, having spoken to other Brand Leaders within ServiceMaster, Vikki says that she has been assured of the career journey that a Brand Leader position offers and that this is in line with the path she sees herself on.

First steps

Having completed her two-week training academy with Merry Maids to get acquainted with the brand and its processes, Vikki feels well-prepared to tackle her new role.

Speaking of her experience settling in at ServiceMaster over the past fortnight, she says,

“It’s been really, really good! Everyone has made me feel really welcome. I feel like I’m fitting in, the processes are very similar, and certainly what I would expect, I feel like I’ve been here for ages – which is always a good sign. And the days fly! There are not enough hours in the day, so that’s another good thing.”

Vikki is now itching to get out and interface with the Merry Maids network and is looking forward to “Building a relationship with the franchise partners and getting them to buy into and trust [her], and then helping and supporting them to develop as much as they can.”

With her experience in franchising, Vikki is aware that it is all about the people.

Therefore, the network is at the forefront of her mind going into her first month at ServiceMaster and the New Year.

“What motivates me is seeing other people succeed. I love being a mentor, I’m not one for ‘it’s all about me’, I love to give people ideas and for them to roll with it, to be successful and for them to take the credit for it. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning: seeing people I work with and support doing well.”

Speaking of her plans for her first month at ServiceMaster, she adds,

“ I’ve been getting my head around the systems and so on, plus getting to meet the internal team. I think in January, the first thing is going to be to have verbal conversations and hopefully interactive conversations on Teams with all the franchise partners, just getting to know them, find out why they joined Merry Maids in the first place; what their motivators are; will they need my help and support? Ultimately, what their goals and aspirations are, because I think everybody is going to have different goals and plans. I want to try and find out what floats their boat and what motivates them, to build business plans to make sure that is what we are achieving. After that, hopefully in quick succession, to go out and meet them all face to face in their offices. But I know that is potentially going to be hampered at this moment in time.”

Long-term strategy

But Vikki is also thinking long-term. She says there are two sides to how she sees herself progressing Merry Maids and the strategy she will use to realise this progress.

She says :

“The first is to work closely with the existing network. Step 1 will be to work with the existing franchisees and try to explore new opportunities, alternative ways and ideas –fresh initiatives – to help boost the business.  Her goal – is to enable the network to get the best out of their investment and to build a really good relationship with us, because for me it is a partnership. It’s not a dictatorship, it’s a partnership. It’s all about making sure [franchisees] get as much out of the support that we give as well, whilst exploring other services and other offerings down the line.”

The second part is to work closely with franchise recruitment, to bring in some new franchise partners and fresh energy.”

Vikki is also well-equipped to support the Merry Maids Franchise Recruitment team, drawing on her experience in franchising.

She says “I think the Merry Maids network is poised for some great investors in 2022. Following on from recent investment from two new franchise partners, we plan to build on this success. Even during challenging times, Merry Maids has remained an attractive opportunity for those looking to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves. I like to think outside of the box, and think of different initiatives and different ideas.”

As a result, Vikki has already been in conversation with the franchise recruitment team at ServiceMaster.

“I’ve been working closely with Franchise Sales already and sharing a few ideas and how I’ve done things previously. We’re really excited about where we can take the Merry Maids network by working closely together and sharing our expertise. So, developing the existing network but bringing fresh investment in as well, is really, really important because we need people to bring in different ideas and initiatives. That’s what makes a successful network to me.”

Outside of work, Vikki is also a busy mum.

“I live in a little country village so I love walking. I’ve got my dog – a cockapoo – I love getting out and about. I’m a ‘horsey’ person as well and love just ‘the countryside’ I’ve got a lot of friends dotted around the country as well, so I love the social element of that; love a good night out; love a good party. Whether it’s a party in a kitchen or a party in a pub, I don’t mind. Aside from that, I’ve got an eleven, soon-to-be twelve-year-old daughter, who keeps me busy with netball, and dance, and gymnastics, and everything else. So it is ‘Mum’s Taxi, all aboard!’ most weekends. We like to be busy!”

Ultimately, Vikki says she feels confident in her career journey and is taking a new step with ServiceMaster, and she is eager to roll up her sleeves and get to work.

She says, “I’d like to be here for the long haul. I’d like this to be my last job now and I want to make the most of it, and to grow and develop together.”

Though COVID-19 has provided challenges for us all, the importance and demand for cleaning services have never been more pronounced.

Merry Maids is well placed to capitalise on this demand, and we are very excited to welcome Vikki on board to spearhead this.

Therefore, on behalf of the ServiceMaster family of brands, we would like to welcome Vikki and wish her the best for what promises to be a bright future with Merry Maids.

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 

 

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

Merry Maids of Wakefield scooped the epitome of awards, the Merry Maids Franchisee of the Year award 2020 following the COVID pandemic. The award is designed to recognise and celebrate achievements in being a model franchisee and additionally in the following year, showing resilience throughout the pandemic and reacting 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 Wakefield 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 Wakefield, is a franchise of ServiceMaster, owned and managed by Gina Glendinning and has been successfully cleaning homes in the area since 2018.

Gina said: “Firstly, I can’t quite believe I won such a prestigious award having only just completed my 3 year as a Franchisee! What a huge sense of pride both in my achievements but also in my team and how hard we have all worked to keep going in such unprecedented times.”

“2020 as we all know had been a challenging time for everyone and although I knew the business would be impacted I also knew that I had the drive and the team around me to steer the business through.”

“I took the bold and immediate decision, to close the business immediately when needed but also to contact my lovely customers letting them know we’d be back. I believe my calm approach to the situation help others see that it was not a time to panic but to act.” Added Gina

All franchise owners received heaps of support throughout the pandemic to ensure that they were able to manage their business effectively through the storm without too much damage. Our job as the franchisor was to ensure that franchisees were fully supported in what decisions they chose to make throughout the pandemic.

Brand Leader for Merry Maids, Steve Morris said:

“As the Brand Leader 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 Wakefield 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

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.

“Re-opening on 1 June 2020 was great, I had meticulously planned which members of the team should come back and how we would approach each job. I brought back 8 full time ladies with each working on an individual basis. I ensured I constantly contacted both customers and staff, remaining positive and calm even when some felt a little uncertain.” Added Gina

“The business steadily grew and eventually we got back to somewhat normal times. During this strange and demanding year, I strove to look for opportunities to grow the business via different avenues working with Estate Agents and Property Developers to ensure that any voids during our working days were filled.” Said Gina

“My year ended on a high as during Q4 my husband and I took the decision to expand and we purchased two new additional franchise areas. An excellent adventure awaited in 2021 when we took the reins just before Christmas.” Finished Gina

If you’re interested in joining a franchise where support is second to none, franchisees are rewarded for their resilience and greatness, then do contact our franchise sales team on 0116 275 9005 / franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk for further information on our available territories and future training academies 

Why do individuals want to work for Merry Maids?

The low skilled job market is competitive. Particularly following the pandemic, many businesses have struggled to recruit staff due to ‘fishing in the same pond’ as many other establishments. That’s because when businesses are paying the same, such as national minimum wage, there isn’t a lot to differentiate them from someone else.

Merry Maids are different.

We recruit staff by ensuring that are working conditions are favourable over other employers. Merry Maids businesses are able to offer:

  • School working hours
  • Flexible hours
  • No evenings or weekends
  • Paid travel time and mileage
  • Part time and full time contracts
  • Holiday, sickness, maternity and pension pay
  • Uniform, products & equipment
  • Training opportunities

Above all else, a proper form of employment in a friendly and professional environment. Exactly what is important to most individuals when looking for a regular source of income.

Our recruitment strategy also helps to protect the integrity of our business and the security of our customers as we hold proper information on our employees as they are employed and not self employed. This is favoured amongst the loyal, regular customers within our franchise network.

So not only does our well established brand and reputation attract customers, it also attracts employees too. Extremely important when it comes to building a business.

If you’d like to discuss in more detail the Merry Maids model, in particular recruitment – contact our franchise sales team today on 0116 275 9005 / franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk

Tips on how to run a business from home

The Merry Maids Franchise gives you the opportunity to operate your business from home initially, but how do you get the most from it?

Here are 5 tips on how to run a business from home, effectively!

  1. Separate work and pleasure 
    Make sure the office/work space is totally separate from where you spend your down-time. This will prevent you from being tempted to work when you shouldn’t and relax when you should be working!
  2. Create storage
    Running a business from home will require you to have storage and when looking after data, it needs to be kept secure. Lockable filing cabinets, safes and other organisational furniture will be required
  3. Dress for the job 
    Get up and out of your pyjamas, wear something appropriate for running your business from home. It helps with mindset and then gives you the opportunity get in to your ‘comfies’ when you’ve finished for the day
  4. Fresh air
    Take regular breaks and where possible, get some fresh air. It helps refocus the mind and awaken you if you’re feeling a little tired
  5. Have the right kit 
    If you’re lucky enough to operate your business from home, you need to ensure that you have everything you need, to do it effectively. Computer, printer, storage and stationery to name a few

Above all else, you do need to be committed and motivated to work from home. Particularly when it comes to the distractive that you expect within a home.

If you’d like to chat about the Merry Maids business model and how it allows for flexible home working, contact our team today on 0116 275 9005 / franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk

Why should you sell services online?

Online shopping has been around for some time now, particularly for buying products and more recently for buying services, but why should you sell your services online?

There are many reasons, the main being that if you’re not a part of the digital evolution, you will get left behind!

Here’s some more reasons as to why you should sell your services online:

  • Improved accessibility for customers – Not defined by opening hours, your business is available to your customers whilst you sleep
  • Reduced admin – Your customers enter information for you, saving you time and resource to spend elsewhere
  • Agility – Digital technology allows you to be more agile, serving customers through changes in market or customer behaviour
  • Greater reach and service – You can reach a wider audience (territory) and serve more than 1 customers at once, meaning that customers don’t have to wait to be served and are less likely to go elsewhere
  • A range of payment options – No more cash on delivery (or post service), instead, cash is received upfront for the services improving cash flow and providing ease for the customer
  • Data – The data collected from online transactions is massive! It helps you to make data informed decisions in the future

With all of the above, and a world renowned franchisor who not only provides, supports and develops the e-commerce evolution, a Merry Maids franchise with our e-commerce facility is a positive step in the right direction when going in to business. Particularly as e-commerce is rated as one of the best business models for starting up.

If you’d like to chat more about our franchise and our e-commerce facility, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today on 0116 275 9005 / franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk