Why did you choose franchising?
During my career I have been involved with secretarial duties progressing to PA with an oil company within the Aberdeen area. When the time was right my husband and I started a family and I dedicated my time to motherhood then, when the children were at school age, I looked at what employment would work around the family unit and Molly Maid fitted the bill.
I first joined Molly Maid in 2003 where I worked as a route manager and then progressed to senior supervisor. Completely out of the blue I was approached by Molly Maid Support Office in 2009 and asked if I wanted to purchase the Aberdeen franchise.
I saw this as an ideal opportunity for me to achieve my ambition to own my own business. Knowing the business from ground level to management I accepted the offer immediately as Molly Maid is recognised throughout the north east of Scotland as a leading brand in domestic cleaning.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Having been involved at ground level I knew the business with regard to the roles and responsibilities of assistants, route managers and doing in-home estimating; however, I needed to develop my knowledge and skills to assist with the Molly Maid systems for financial/reporting etc. Myself and my husband were invited down to Molly Maid Support Office for the signing of the franchise agreement and it was at this time we were given full training by various team members of Support Office throughout the week, which was to prove invaluable and enjoyable.
During my five years as a franchise owner I have had full support from my business advisor and when I need it support from IT and our 24-hour legal helpline.
What challenges have you faced?
Our most challenging aspects of the day-to-day running of the business is finding and retaining reliable staff. We see the staff as being the tools of our trade, the route managers and assistants are the ones that are on the front line dealing directly with the customers so it is important to get the right staff in place.
Retention of customers is key to any successful business and our staff know that this leads onto increased salaries.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life?
The answer has to be yes, I have grasped the opportunity and I look forward to getting out every morning meeting new and existing customers, dealing with the day-to-day running of my business, seeing team members smiling when we meet up and knowing that my family are 100 percent behind me in supporting my goals and ambitions.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Study the market that is available; ask the relevant questions regarding growth opportunities; look at the competition. If the answers you get are favourable and financially sound, GO FOR IT!
What are your plans for the future?
My current franchise agreement ends shortly and following discussions with Support Office and with my family I am delighted to extend it for a further 5 years. My plans now are to continue to build my business franchise in the north east of Scotland; my target is to increase the number of cars (routes) from five to six by Q2 2014 and aim for seven in late 2014/early 2015.
Would you do it again?
It’s a lot of hard work but well worth the effort. Seeing the business growing financially year-on-year and continuously expanding brings satisfaction that I wouldn’t have achieved had I remained as an employee. Therefore I have no regrets and look forwards to another 5 years continuing to build the Molly Maid brand throughout the Aberdeen area.