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Husband and wife team Alec and Betty Stephens have reported a 50 per cent increase in turnover for their East Sussex Merry Maids franchise. With sales up to £150,000 in their last year, the couple have hired an extra four staff to handle the additional business.

"Seasonally you would usually expect to lose some customers after Christmas as people start to watch their spending, which we expected to be the case this year," says Alec. "However, we have dramatically improved our retention and have also seen our word of mouth recommendations increase.

"We have also been able to increase our customer base due to improved transport links into Lewis, but this is an added bonus in an already good year for us. We have also carried out a successful marketing campaign locally and have been able to monitor the uptake from that which has been rewarding."


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