Our BIGGEST month on E-Commerce EVER

It’s no longer what you CAN buy online, it’s more about what you CAN’T. What can’t you buy online?

We all know that e-commerce has grown massively over the last 12 months due to the pandemic as people have had no choice but to shop online for their essentials, but what about domestic cleaning?

The Merry Maids online shop has helped customers to easily book their home cleaning requirements online with just a few clicks of a button. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s convenient, all to make it easier for customers to buy from us, to help our franchise owners to grow their investments.

We are pleased to report that March 2021 was our biggest month EVER. Still in a global pandemic, still in lockdown, yet more customers chose to buy from us online, than ever.

Why is this? 

Our customers TRUST us to do a good job and to keep them safe through proper hygiene measures

Our customers are looking for a CONVENIENT way to book, rather than waiting for a response

Our customers VALUE their time enough to buy it back by buying cleaning services

We anticipate online sales to grow further as this becomes much more normal in the future. As such, we offer the e-commerce system to all new franchise owners to use to help to grow their businesses.

It’s not only easier for customers, it’s easier for you too as they choose their desired services, on the most suitable day/time for them. There’s no admin involved and you can effectively earn money whilst you sleep, ahead of the service even taking place!

If you would like to join the e-commerce revolution with our market-leading e-commerce software, speak to a member of our franchise recruitment team today on 0116 275 9005 for further information on available territory and future training academies

 

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

Redundancy = Opportunity!

We have recently worked with the Chantry Group on a redundancy feature.

Steve Morris, Merry Maids Brand Leader tells us how his career in the forces, then systems, got him in to operating a Merry Maids business and then on to leading the franchise network.

You can watch the video as featured by the Chantry Group here.

If you have recently been made redundant, or are facing the possibility of redundancy, there are opportunities out there to do something for yourself, not by yourself.

We have many business owners who have joined us following redundancy and now are the proud owners of their own business, making money for themselves, not by themselves.

Ask to be introduced to our franchise partners who joined us following redundancy for why they chose to partner up with us and how it’s going.

If you’d like to discuss our opportunities in the network, give us a call on 0116 275 9005.

Research before starting your business

There are so many things to consider before starting a business. But first, you need to research a few different things to ensure that this is the right choice for you and it has an opportunity to succeed.

Lifestyle 

This is a big one. Most franchise agreements are for a duration of 5 years. This is a long commitment and you need to ensure that you can adapt your lifestyle to suit the needs of the business.

Finance 

There are costs associated with starting a business and it’s important to consider how you will finance these. If you don’t have cash to invest, you may be eligible for finance from your bank, another high street bank or from the Government Start Up Loan Scheme.

Premises 

Not all business opportunities require you to have premises. It may be possible to operate the business from home. However, if you do need premises you need to decide whether you will look at renting or purchasing.

Competitors, customers and demand 

You need to ensure that there is demand for the services that you are looking to provide and that there is room for you in the market place to differentiate yourself to stand out to your customers.

Staffing 

If you’re going to need to recruit staff, do you have access to that employee market? It’s important to be able to get the right employees to deliver your services and you need to ensure that you can pay them legally and the going rate for that role.

The above includes some of the operational matters that you’ll need to consider, but don’t forget you’ll also need to consider the use of technology and marketing to get the ‘ball rolling’.

If you’d like to talk through the above, along with the business model and our available territory – get in touch with our franchise recruitment team today on 0116 275 9005 or at franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk 

Recipe for Success

Joining a franchise with Merry Maids will give you the brand, tools and support to build a great business, but to have the total recipe for success you will need ambition, drive and passion.

Brand

We’ve built the brand up over 40 years in the UK, with strong ties to professionalism, honesty and integrity, customers love to invite us in to their homes to help them stay clean and hygienic. Up and down the country across all of our franchise outlets, customers expect the same great service from the brand they know and trust.

Tools 

We train you in all of the necessary business disciplines, provide you with the products and equipment needed to get started and give you a fully coordinated marketing launch to draw attention to your new venture. All to ensure that you have the right tools and you know how to use them.

Support 

We fully support you to grow your new investment by providing help in HR, admin, accounts, marketing, operations and sales. This support is on hand when you need it from a team of franchise and sector professionals, but also from a network of other Merry Maids business owners who have been there and done that themselves.

You 

You are who drives the train. The creator of your destiny and to do this, you will need ambition, drive and passion. We harness these qualities of yours and turn them in to success with the remaining ingredients of our recipe –  brand, tools and support.

If you would like to learn more about our recipe for success and how YOU are the special ingredient – contact our franchise recruitment team today on 0116 275 9005 

A sector that’s here to stay

There will always be a need for home cleaning. 

This has been highlighted especially over the last 12 months due to the pandemic.

Keeping a clean, healthy and hygienic home has always been important, but when the pandemic hit early in 2020, cleaning products were snatched from the shelves as if people didn’t have them already.

Why? 

Because cleaning was under scrutiny. Effective cleaning promised to keep the virus away, so all of a sudden most households tried to become professional home cleaners overnight.

But not everyone is capable or has the time to clean.

Many of the customers serviced by our franchise owners have a NEED for our services, rather than a WANT. This suggests that the needs will always be there as ill health and lack of time will unfortunately always be present. This demonstrates that we provide a valued service, one that can only grow in demand as more people WANT our services to give them back the time to do other things.

Invest in an opportunity that has opportunity.

If you would like to discuss the growing demand of the domestic cleaning sector and how investing in a Merry Maids franchise can help you to serve it, speak to our franchise recruitment team today on 0116 275 9005 today.

Spring in to Business

Spring cleaning season is now upon us and whilst ‘cleaning’ is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it’s a good opportunity to delve deeper in to starting a cleaning business. 

As cleaning has become a hot topic over the last 12 months due to the pandemic, and once again as we enter in to Spring, it’s a great time to make yourself known as a Merry Maids domestic cleaning franchise, able to give customers their time back, to do things that they love.

Many individuals are unable to or do not want to or don’t have the time to clean. That’s where our business services become essential.

With a Merry Maids franchise, you serve a growing market of customers who both ‘need‘ and ‘want‘ your service and we can help you to target BOTH.

Our comprehensive training academy is three-weeks’ long and teaches you all of the business disciplines required to get your new business going and keep going. We even provide a starter pack including products, equipment, uniforms, business management software and a marketing launch to get you started – all of which are included in the franchise fee.

There is no such thing as a ‘start up’ with a franchise business. We have done all of the hard work in testing the business model, establishing the brand and building all of the support required – so you don’t have to.

Whilst it’s always a good time to join our franchise, make the most out of the increase in seasonal demand due to the tradition of ‘spring cleaning’ by having a chat with our franchise recruitment team on 0116 275 9005 today!

 

E-commerce grew by 46% in 2020

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) E-commerce in 2020 grew by 46% whilst GDP declined by 1%. 

Businesses who were already online, or who were able to get online, faired better during the Coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately for our Merry Maids business owners, our E-commerce platform was already live and meant that we had already done much of the hard work, so that our business owners could reap the benefits when they needed to most.

When it was safe for customers’ to welcome us back in to their homes, they were able to via our E-commerce platform – The Merry Maids online shop.

Customers are able to book and pay for their clean online, in the comfort of their own home and convenience of their busy schedule. As such, our business owners receive the full booking information and all they have to do is deliver the cleaning service by their team of maids on the booked date – it couldn’t be simpler.

Our online shop allows customers to choose rooms and room sizes to be deep cleaned on a date of their choice. This booking is sent straight to the business owners’ business management system (BMS – which is exclusive to all Merry Maids business owners and included as part of the franchise fee).

We make it easy for customers to find us and buy from us!

If you would like to join an innovative franchise where market leading technology such as E-commerce is fully embraced, speak to a member of our franchise team today on 0116 275 9005. 

 

 

Merry Maids Franchise

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. 

 

 

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. 

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

Local support for your new business

If you’re considering starting your own business, but have concerns around the wider support available outside of the franchise, this blog is for you.

Your local government can provide specialist help in many areas of business including finance, growth, recruitment, technology, tax and more.

By the government supporting you in your new venture with funding, guidance and advice; they are helping you to succeed in your business, contributing positively to the local economy.

Here are some areas where they can help: (do check your specific local government website)

Finance

You may be eligible for a start-up loan of up to £25,000. Click to view the Government’s start up loan scheme here

If you need to raise money for your business, you may wish to find out more about venture capital schemes here

Growth

Through funding and research, Innovate UK helps to support small businesses to grow. You can view their website here

For support in growing your business locally, you can contact your local growth hub here

The business support helpline is also a great resource if you have any queries and they can be reached here

There may be government contracts in your area that you could pick up. You can check to see if there is here

Technology

For support in technology and FREE online courses to improve digital skills click here

Tax

The making tax digital service has been introduced to make tax returns easier. For further information on this you can visit the website here

Recruitment

Government funding may be available if you were to take on an apprentice within your business. You can find out more here

For franchise support, we’re here! If you’d like to learn more about our franchise opportunity, contact us on 0116 275 9005.

Age is nothing but a number

According to the last undertaken British Franchise Association survey in 2018, almost 20% of franchise units are owned by individuals under the age of 30.

This statistic goes to show that that age doesn’t stop entrepreneurs from achieving their dreams. This can be put down to more individuals looking to business ownership rather than employment to achieve their career goals.

It’s refreshing to see younger individuals trusting the franchise model, particularly for their first step in to entrepreneurship.

Here are some reasons why under 30’s have chosen to join our franchise:

  • Support received by franchisor and franchise network
  • Quicker learning experience because it is all set out
  • Less mistakes to be made because it’s a proven model (lower risk)
  • Some of the hard work is removed (brand already established, systems in place)
  • Structure is in place (franchise terms), but the possibilities are endless

Age has no bearing on whether you are awarded a franchise or not. Suitability is assessed on your ability to operate the business effectively. We are looking for motivated, driven individuals who are keen to succeed in business, regardless of their age.

Experience is not necessary to join our franchise so it makes for a great entry level in to business for those with fewer years’ experience in business under their belt.

For an introductory chat, contact our franchise recruitment team today at franchisesales@servicemaster.co.uk

Timescales to buy

Buying a franchise isn’t like buying a loaf of bread. It’s not just a decision for there and then, it is one for not only now, but also the future.

It will therefore be no surprise to you that we have had business owners join our franchise in a timescale as short as one month and as long as almost three years. Both of these are okay!

You need total ‘commitment to the cause’ to join a franchise. It’s a lifestyle choice and at times it can be difficult and you may indeed feel like giving up. The truth is, if you follow the model, put the work in to it and take the rough with the smooth, you can build a substantial investment for the future.

For 2020 we surveyed the timescale taken for each new franchise partner to come on board.

The longest period of time was 2 years and 4 months*

The shortest period of time was just 1 month*

The average period of time was 8 months* 

*it’s important to note that timescales do not include the due diligence taken and the onboarding process.

The fact is that there is no right or wrong amount of time to take in making this kind of decision. We’re here with you every step of the way and are guided by your timescales rather than our own.

We do however recommend that you begin the conversation as early as possible to make the most out of the journey.

To start yours today, contact our franchise recruitment team on 0116 275 9005.

2021 – What does it mean for Merry Maids?

If you are thinking about joining our brand this year, but have concerns over the current situation and the effect that it may have, this blog is for you.

In 2020, the Merry Maids franchise became stronger as it adapted to the ‘new normal’ and as such, pushed the business model to new heights. All businesses found their feet to remain open safelywhen allowed, following government guidelines to provide essential domestic cleaning services to those who rely upon it.

As we enter in to the third national lockdown, working in people’s homes, in particular, providing domestic cleaning services is permitted. The domestic cleaning service has been recognised as a safe, hygienic and essential service to be provided inside the home.

We expect more and more individuals to turn to domestic cleaning companies to ensure that their home cleaning is undertaken thoroughly to guarantee the home is a safe and hygienic place to be whilst advised to ‘stay home’. Not only this, families are under more and more pressure to home-school, work from home and carry out other household duties, as such, cleaning cannot possibly be done as well in the limited time remaining in the day. Thus, there becomes a need to hire a professional domestic cleaner to ensure that it not only gets done, but gets done effectively to protect the family.

Our online booking facility also reduces the number of visits to a customer’s property and the time spent within it, because the admin is done online and all that is left to do is for the cleaners to deliver cleaning services during the time slot chosen by the customer. No quotation visit required!

Trust plays a huge part in an individual choosing a domestic cleaning company at the best of times, but now due to the risk involved with not taking the proper precautions, it has never been more important to choose a trusted, reliable and conscientious cleaning company.

As you will already know, Merry Maids is a global, well-established domestic cleaning company with over 40 years domestic cleaning experience in the UK and is known for providing professional one off and regular domestic cleaning services. Merry Maids is a name that individuals know and trust.

This year, like any other year, our support as a franchisor continues. Business owners will receive unlimited support in not only all of the necessary business disciplines required to operate a first-rate Merry Maids business, but also updates and guidance on the current and ongoing situation with regards to the pandemic. A sympathetic ear is also always available from a peer network of existing Merry Maids business owners.

With the added learnings and experiences from 2020 across a wide franchise network, the momentum is already there to build on 2020 and to make 2021 a better year.

If you would like to find out more about our resilience as a brand and our plans for 2021, speak to a member of our franchise recruitment team today on 0116 275 9005.

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.  

The Importance of a CRM System

The importance of a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)

Whether you store customer data on a spreadsheet or via business cards, both are disorganised and likely a breach in GDPR.

If you are looking to get in to business, it’s a good idea to have thought about how you intend to store customer data to ensure that it is well organised and safe.

A CRM system can do this effectively for you, and also has many other benefits.

  • Data storage in compliance with GDPR
  • Data segmentation so that customers can be grouped
  • Anniversary and milestone tracking so they can be recognised
  • Lifetime and average value calculations so they can be recognised
  • Customer buying patterns so they can be remarketed to
  • Recording of contacts made so there is a contact history

& any, many more…

There are lots of CRM systems to choose from, so it’s important to choose one that most suits the requirements of your business.

If you decide to join our franchise network, our franchise owners benefit from a complementary and exclusive CRM system so you don’t have to worry about finding and paying for your own!

For further information, contact our franchise recruitment team on 0116 275 9005 today

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. 

Prospect Franchisee Certificate

As proud members of the British Franchise Association, we are pleased to share their Prospect Franchise Certificate, a free course designed to help you to feel fully prepared ahead of embarking on your new journey.

The British Franchise Association (bfa) is the source of impartial information on all things franchising. It’s the self-regulatory body for the ethical franchise sector, setting and maintaining standards which are respected around the world. 

The popular business model of ‘self-employment with support’ is favoured by many, and the course shares with you the hints and tips of becoming accepted in to a franchise so that you can start your new business.

Joining a franchise is a huge lifestyle choice, it’s a commitment over a term of 5 years (in the case of our franchise) where you will devote your working hours solely to the business to help it to thrive. There is a lot of hard work involved, so you’ll hear what franchisors look for in franchisees so that you can prepare and are aware.

Click this link to be directed to the Prospect Franchise Certificate

Upon completion, we’d love to hear about your experience studying the Prospect Franchise Certificate and further assist you to continue your journey in becoming a proud franchise owner with our brand.

Contact our franchise recruitment team on 0116 275 9005 for our network availability and next steps