Merry Maids UK has recently appointed a new Brand Leader, experienced franchise professional, Vikki Donnachie. Vikki, who has just completed her second week at ServiceMaster, will be officially taking over the reins from Steve Morris in January of 2022. Vikki joins Merry Maids with over twelve years’ experience in recruitment and thirteen years’ experience in healthcare franchising as Head of Kare Plus Franchising. What attracted Vikki to Merry Maids was the opportunity to use her years of franchising experience, but in a different environment, which will allow her to put her own stamp on the franchise network. Vikki added, “The fact that [Merry Maids is] a big organisation, but with a family feel, and the fact that there is scope for network development–” Furthermore, having spoken to other Brand Leaders within ServiceMaster, Vikki says that she has been assured of the career journey that a Brand Leader position offers and that this is in line with the path she sees herself on.
Having now completed her two-week training academy with Merry Maids, to get acquainted with the brand and its processes, Vikki feels well-prepared to tackle her new role. Speaking of her experience settling in at ServiceMaster over the past fortnight, she says, “It’s been really, really good! Everyone has made me feel really welcome. I feel like I’m fitting in, the processes are very similar, and certainly, what I would expect, I feel like I’ve been here for ages – which is always a good sign. And the days fly! There are not enough hours in the day, so that’s another good thing.” Vikki is now itching to get out and interface with the Merry Maids network and is looking forward to “Building a relationship with the franchise partners and getting them to buy into and trust [her], and then helping and supporting them to develop as much as they can.” With her experience in franchising, Vikki is aware that it is all about the people. Therefore, it is the network that is at the forefront of her mind going into her first month at ServiceMaster and the New Year. “What motivates me is seeing other people succeed. I love being a mentor, I’m not one for ‘it’s all about me’, I love to give people ideas and for them to roll with it, to be successful and for them to take the credit for it. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning: seeing people I work with and support doing well.”
Speaking of her plans for her first month at ServiceMaster she said, “Obviously the last two weeks I’ve been getting my head around the systems and so on and so forth, plus getting to meet the internal team. I think in January, the first thing is going to be to have verbal conversations and hopefully interactive conversations on Teams with all the franchise partners, just getting to know them, find out why they joined Merry Maids in the first place; what their motivators are; will they need my help and support? Ultimately, what their goals and aspirations are, because I think everybody is going to have different goals and plans. I want to try and find out what floats their boat and what motivates them, to build business plans to make sure that is what we are achieving. After that, hopefully in quick succession, to go out and meet them all face to face in their offices. But I know that is potentially going to be hampered at this moment in time.”
But Vikki is also thinking long term. She says there are two sides to how she sees herself progressing Merry Maids and the strategy she will use to realise this progress. She says “The first is to work closely with the existing network. Step 1 will be to work with the existing franchisees and try to explore new opportunities, alternative ways and ideas –fresh initiatives – to help boost the business. Her goal – to enable the network to get the best out of their investment and to build a really good relationship with us, because for me it is a partnership. It’s not a dictatorship, it’s a partnership. It’s all about making sure [franchisees] get as much out of the support that we give as well, whilst exploring other services and other offerings down the line.” Vikki says “The second part is to work very closely with franchise recruitment, to bring in some new franchise partners and some fresh energy.” Vikki feels well equipped to support the Merry Maids Franchise Recruitment team, drawing on her experience in franchising. She says “I think the Merry Maids network are poised for some great investors in 2022. Following on from recent investment from two new franchise partners, we plan to build on this success. Even during challenging times, Merry Maids has remained an attractive opportunity for those looking to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves. I like to think outside of the box, and think of different initiatives and different ideas.” As a result, Vikki has already been in conversation with the franchise recruitment team at ServiceMaster. She says “I’ve been working closely with Emma Chappell, Franchise Sales Manager already and sharing a few ideas and how I’ve done things previously. We’re both really excited about where we can take the Merry Maids network by working closely together and sharing our expertise. So, developing the existing network but bringing fresh investment in as well, is really, really important because we need people to bring in different ideas and initiatives. That’s what makes a successful network to me.”
Outside of work, Vikki keeps busy within her very own network and as a Mum. She says, “I live in a little country village so I love walking. I’ve got my dog – a cockapoo – I love getting out and about. I’m a horsey person as well and love just ‘the countryside’ shall we say? I’ve got a lot friends dotted around the country as well, so I love the social element of that; love a good night out; love a good party. Whether it’s a party in a kitchen or a party in a pub, I don’t mind. Aside from that, I’ve got an eleven, soon to be twelve, year-old daughter, who keeps me busy with netball, and dance, and gymnastics, and everything else. So it is ‘Mum’s Taxi, all aboard!’ most weekends. We like to be busy!” Ultimately, Vikki says she feels confident in her career journey and to be taking a new step with ServiceMaster, and is now eager to roll up her sleeves and get to work. She says, “I’d like to be here for the long-haul. I’d like this to be my last job now and I really want to make the most of it, and to grow and develop together.”
Though COVID-19 has provided challenges for us all, the importance and demand for cleaning services has never been more pronounced. Merry Maids is well placed to capitalise on this demand, and we are very excited to welcome Vikki on board to spearhead this. Therefore, on behalf of the ServiceMaster family of brands, we would like to once again heartily welcome Vikki and wish her the best for what promises to be a bright future with Merry Maids.