ServiceMaster in Manchester wins prestigious franchise award

A cleaning company launched from a couple’s conservatory 30 years ago has won its current boss a major industry award.

CJ Micallef, the daughter of the founders of ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Manchester, has won a Great British Franchisee Award – the highest honour in the franchising world.

The Great British Franchisee Awards

Organised by franchising staple whichfranchise, Great British Franchisee status recognises the ‘crème de la crème of Britain’s franchisees’ for excellence in their industry, customer satisfaction and growth, and, in many cases, how the business owners coped during the pandemic.

The awards, now in their third year, have seen ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services franchises awarded each consecutive year, with CJ Micallef joining Chris Blewitt and Siva Kugathas as GBFA awardees from our network, and 14 of Britain’s finest franchisees this year.

How it started

ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Manchester has grown from one couple’s dream, thought up in a conservatory, to a thriving business that employs more than 300 staff with a turnover of more than £3 million, and CJ expects to hit £4 million soon.

When CJ’s parents bought the franchise to provide cleaning services in the city centre and South areas of Manchester in 1992, it took a year to make a profit.

It went on to become the top ServiceMaster franchise four times in a single year, and CJ’s parents won the HSBC-backed Franchisee of The Year Award from the Daily Express in 1999.

Going above and beyond

They took the bold step of expanding their territory during the recession of 2008 and were rewarded with a loyalty that has seen many of their cleaners remain with them for more than 10 years.

“As a sector with a high staff turnover rate, achieving such feats of employee dedication within the cleaning industry is exceptional, “says CJ.

“We deliver cleaning services to more than 200 customers on 265 sites a day – and that will rise to 664 sites from this year, following our success in winning a contract from another large housing association.

“We were hit hard by the pandemic. Almost 60% of our client base suspended operations overnight and many of those clients didn’t reinstate cleaning services until June, which meant we lost more than three months’ revenue.

“The short-term impact of COVID was further compounded by the loss of more than 10 contracts totalling half a million.

“Operating under uncertain and fluctuating circumstances, we rose to the challenge. All of our Head Office staff returned from furlough and we restructured our team at director level.

“To accommodate our growth, three full-time mobile cleaners provide vital cover for our growing customer base and we now have a fleet of 17 vehicles.”

About CJ

CJ, who joined the company after working for McDonald’s, Sainsbury’s and Starbucks, says her parents started the business after spotting a gap in the market.

“Cleaning was classed as a commodity, had little personalisation and value set upon it, and cleaning staff were viewed as invisible, as opposed to an individual with a purpose.

Therefore, my parents decided to create a niche in the market centred around quality cleaning services rather than price.

We’re now a business that other ServiceMaster franchisees turn to for support, advice, problem-solving and knowledge.”

Some words from our team

Guy Strang, Brand Leader for ServiceMaster, seconds this, saying “CJ is central to the work of CS Manchester.”

“Not only has she continued to grow the business, but she has consistently invested in new technology and systems that allow her and the Manchester team to work smarter and faster to provide their clients with the best possible contract cleaning experience every single time.

A key strength of being a part of a franchise is belonging to a network of like-minded business people. As a pillar of our network and their local community, CJ and the CS Manchester team are a source of constant inspiration and support to their peers.

Quite honestly, it is difficult to summarise all the contributions that CJ and the team at CS Manchester have made in their local area.

Be it, employment, charitable activities, or developing individuals in their business and personal lives, working for the betterment of others is at the heart of what CJ and CS Manchester do day in and day out.

However, one thing it is not difficult for me to see is that all of this makes CJ worthy of recognition and such an award.”

CJ says that she would like to thank her team and dedicate her award to her staff.

“We couldn’t have achieved this fantastic award without our amazing team who work tirelessly day in and day out to deliver quality services for our customers,” she says. “This award is for them!”

“When you have a great team it’s easier to lead, I’m thankful and grateful that we have great motivated colleagues to work alongside.

Without their hard work, determination, commitment, and effort the company would not be in the strong position it is in.”

Want to grow your own successful commercial cleaning business?

If you’re looking for a fresh start and would like to join a franchise network full of the UK’s best and brightest, get in touch with our friendly franchise sales team today to see learn about ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services opportunities near you.