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An Introduction to new Merry Maids UK Brand Leader: Vikki Donnachie

Merry Maids UK has appointed a new Brand Leader: experienced franchise professional Vikki Donnachie.

Vikki Donnachie joins Merry Maids with over 12 years of experience in recruitment and 13 years of experience in healthcare franchising as head of Kare Plus Franchising

Having completed her second week at ServiceMaster, she will take the reins from Steve Morris in January 2022.

We sat down with her to chat about her life, experience and plans for the future. 


The appeal

What attracted Vikki to Merry Maids was the opportunity to use her years of franchising experience but in a different environment, allowing her to put her stamp on the franchise network.

Vikki says, “The fact that [Merry Maids is] a big organisation, but with a family feel, and the fact that there is scope for network development” had been very appealing to her.

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 is in line with the path she sees herself on.


Getting settled

Having 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.”


Plans for the future

With her experience in franchising, Vikki is aware that it is all about the people. Therefore, the network 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,” she says.

“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 says,

“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, [I want to find out] 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 explore new opportunities, alternative ways and ideas –fresh initiatives – to help boost the business. 

[My goal is] 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.”


What’s on the horizon for Merry Maids?

Vikki says she 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.

“I’ve been working closely with Franchise Sales 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.”


Personal Life

Outside work, Vikki is also a busy mum.

“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 eager to roll up her sleeves and get to work.

“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 have 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 welcome Vikki and wish her the best for what promises to be a bright future with Merry Maids.


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Kingston Merry Maids Celebrating Award

Kingston Merry Maids are celebrating after picking up a prestigious award for their staff members.

Merry Maids of Kingston owner Gary Rolfe picked up the two awards at the national conference for ServiceMaster Limited held in June of this year.

Merry Maids of Kingston covers Kingston Upton Thames, Richmond, Wimbledon, Putney, Wandsworth, Kew, Coombe, Ham and East Sheen and has been operating since 2017.

Along with picking up Rookie of the Year, which celebrates outstanding new franchisees, the business has had notable steady growth throughout the previous 12 months.

Picking up these awards is no easy task, and ServiceMaster does all it can to recognise hard work and dedication from the franchisee.

The aim of the awards is not only to recognise the work that goes into franchising but also to recognise when a business has done something truly outstanding.

The conference was held in Leicester and consisted of networking events, presentations and talks, with the awards finishing the day off.

Managing Director of ServiceMaster Alan Lewin said:

“It was great to see so many of our franchise community and suppliers gathered together to engage in the Summer Summit event. I am always appreciative of the commitment that our franchisees and suppliers make in taking a day out of their business to invest time with peers, colleagues & the franchise support team at ServiceMaster.”

Recognising some of the less obvious, but culturally vital parts of franchising is imperative to ServiceMaster and the Summer Summit conference allowed this to happen.

Awards were given for not only growth, but also to those who have given back to their community, or employees of franchisees who have demonstrated their commitment to the brand attributes by engaging in initiatives and actions with colleagues and customers well beyond their job description, very often in their own time at their own expense.

“I’ve made a conscious effort to continuously hit targets throughout the last 12 months. It’s something that I find motivating and this month I hit £10k 3 months earlier than anticipated so I’m thrilled with that.

“It’s a great achievement to pick up the ‘Best Newbie’ award this year, and the next year will now be spent building on that,” added Gary

ServiceMaster has over 300 franchisees operating in close to 700 licensed areas under its brands, including Merry Maids, ServiceMaster Clean, TruGreen Professional LawnCare and Rosemary Bookkeeping. TruGreen has been recognised as a leading franchise opportunity in the Elite Franchise Top 100 franchises in the United Kingdom.