NIC Services Group have capped a strong year of franchise growth with their November training course seeing new franchisees from Birmingham, East London and Milton Keynes join the business. The network now stands at more than 40-strong.
Keeley Cooper, Carole Chimombe and Anwar Miah have all joined the well-established management franchise as the market for cleaning and associated services is growing at a faster rate than the economy overall.
The facilities services sector has grown consistently throughout 2013 and the predictions of many economists that services would lead the UK out of recession appear to have been realised. Dan Archer, franchise development director for NIC, said: “The UK service sector is growing at the fastest rate for more than 16 years and our franchisees are seeing the increase in both enquiries and contract wins that this growth brings.”
Archer is referring to the Markit/CIPS UK Purchasing Managers’ Index which said that growth in October was the strongest since 1997 as levels of incoming new business rose at a survey record rate.
He went on to say: “The commercial cleaning and facilities services market has traditionally performed well in economic downturns, the service that our franchisees provide is essential to their clients – not optional. A dozen new franchisees in the past year and strong sales performance from our network is a sign that the economy is moving into recovery and businesses are starting to thrive rather than survive.”
Keeley understands the market better than most of the company’s new franchisees, having worked for NIC back in the 1990s. She said of her decision to start her franchise: “I have been saying to friends and family for years that I was going to start my own business; the timing couldn’t be better for me.”
Archer concluded: “Most franchisees do not have the level of experience in our sector that Keeley does but as the business is a management franchise, hands-on experience of managing teams of cleaners is not essential. Our training course assumes no previous experience in any element of the business. Some franchisees come from substantial corporate businesses and others have skills acquired in other industries managing large teams. The one thing that they have in common is a desire to be the MD of a substantial stable business-to-business service provider.”
NIC Services Group was established in the 1960s and has been franchising since 1995, meaning the business has grown through previous downturns.