Father and son team Tony and Richard Holdich opened their Hull, North & East Yorkshire branch of Minster Cleaning Services in 1994. Previously Tony, a chartered accountant, had worked for various companies in East Yorkshire and Richard, a biochemist, was working as a research scientist in the field of microbiology.
They liked the idea of owning their own business but, lacking the experience of setting a business up from scratch, decided that franchising was their best option. They chose a management franchise because they felt that this was best suited to their skills and backgrounds; they chose Minster Cleaning Services because it is a business built on a solid foundation of recurring office cleaning contracts, the company had been established for over ten years and it was building up a sizeable and highly successful network.
Today, the Hull, North & East Yorkshire branch cleans for more than 240 regular clients and employs in excess of 170 staff. Clients are drawn from the cities of Hull and York as well as from the towns of Beverley, Bridlington, Driffield, Goole, Howden, Malton, Market Weighton, Pocklington, Scarborough and Selby and the surrounding areas.
The size of their exclusive territories was also a major factor in Tony and Richard’s decision to join Minster, as Richard explains: “A large territory gives us plenty of scope to expand and, as an essential commercial service appealing to a broad range of organisations, office cleaning is less susceptible to fluctuations in trading conditions than many other industries. I like the fact that we benefit from the branch network but that we are a locally based and locally-owned company which completely understands the needs of the local market.”
Minster puts a great deal of effort into helping franchisees in all key areas of their business and Richard says that their marketing system has been invaluable in building their client base. A 2011 head office survey showed that many of their clients said that the branch provides an excellent service. Richard comments: “This is very encouraging and testimony to the efforts of all our employees. This information has helped us to gain a better understanding of our clients’ needs and target our marketing more effectively.
“Value for money is clearly important but we aim to give our clients a service which is second to none. Maintaining quality standards is vital when it comes to building long-term client relationships.”
Richard became sole franchisee when his father, Tony, retired in July this year. He says that he is seeing encouraging signs of growing business confidence in the area. Hull, with a population of more than 260,000, was recently designated as the UK City of Culture 2017 which, it is predicted, will inject £184 million into the city’s economy over the next five years. Hull City AFC’s return to the Premier League in 2013 has also helped to boost the local economy.
According to the Ekosgen Index of Economic Resilience, York, with a population of more than 200,000, has the most resilient economy in the north of England. The buoyant economy benefits from a mix of tourism, leisure, retail, biosciences, healthcare and medical industries, creative and digital technologies and the financial and professional service industries.
“We’ve been providing increased numbers of quotes in the last few months,” says Richard, “and by concentrating on specific sectors such as healthcare, where Minster has specialist knowledge, our marketing activity has become more and more effective.”