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