Make a fresh start with franchising

There is rarely a good time to be made redundant, however when you are in your 50s it can seem even worse. MOLLY MAID Franchise Owners reveal how being made redundant created the opportunity for a fresh start.

When Shirley Reynolds and her partner Clifford Hudson were made redundant at the same time the fact that they were both unemployed created added pressure to find new jobs. "Clifford and I worked as managers at a golf and leisure club," recalls Shirley. "Everyone who worked at the club was made redundant when it was sold to a large corporate company, which decided to close the club down for a year to refurbish it. We both immediately began looking for similar jobs, however due to a combination of our age and the beginning of the recession we were unable to find anything.

"Clifford suggested that we started a business through franchising and we began looking at various franchises available. MOLLY MAID stood out because the company has been operating for 25 years and they provide a great support team. We were impressed with the staff when we visited the support office and felt comfortable with the company so we decided to invest in a MOLLY MAID franchise."

Although Shirley and Clifford launched their Godalming-based franchise during the recession in January 2009 they have seen their business flourish. "Before launching our franchise we had one week of training at the support office," Shirley reveals. "The training covered everything from the day to day running of the business to the practical cleaning. With the actual running of our business Clifford runs the office and I manage the staff.

"After four months of trading we were completely booked up so we had to take on another two employees and a second car. We are about to take on another two new employees as we are so busy. If our business continues as it has been in two to three years time we will have a good standard of living while earning a good income."

To ensure that Shirley and Clifford's business continues to grow, MOLLY MAID provides ongoing support. "The MOLLY MAID support office has been fantastic," explains Shirley. "They provide a business advisor who spends a day with us once a month to help improve our business. The support office has also helped by showing me how to do estimates for customers. As well as this, awareness of MOLLY MAID helps our business as it is a well known brand that has a reputation for providing a good service."

Having overtaken their year one target of £60,000, Shirley and Clifford are concentrating on building their business. "We want to have more cars on the road," Shirley says. "We are getting our third on the road now and by the end of April we want to have our fourth."

Shirley admits that when she and Clifford were made redundant they were both devastated, but becoming MOLLY MAID Franchise Owners was the best thing they have done. Shirley comments: "I really enjoy what I do. I like meeting different people and being out on the road. I also enjoy the job satisfaction I get from providing a good cleaning service."

Derin Ibrahim reports