Tag Archive for: womens history month

Women’s History Month: Meet Merry Maids Marketing Manager Aaliah Chik

Meet Merry Maids Marketing Manager Aaliah Chik. 

Earlier month, we celebrated International Women’s Day by spotlighting some of the women who own and operate Merry Maids franchises across the UK.

As Women’s History Month continues, we sat down with the women who work behind the scenes in our ServiceMaster Brands UK franchise support centre to discuss their careers as women in franchising.

Including Merry Maids UK’s Marketing Manager, Aaliah Chik.

Meet Aaliah

Aaliah Chik joined ServiceMaster Brands UK in September 2022 as a Senior Marketing Executive for our Merry Maids and TruGreen brands.

As a champion and supporter of our franchisees, Aaliah loves marketing and being able to introduce the fun and importance of it to our networks of business owners.

“It’s great to watch franchisees see the results and power of marketing,” she says.

What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?

“To be confident in what you do, be bold and put yourself out there.”

What do you wish more people knew about being a woman in business?

“You can succeed and lead a very successful business. Be bold and know you can do it.”

“There is lots of support out there and build a great team that believes in your dream and will help you get there.”

“That’s the great thing about the franchise model: you automatically get that support.”

What’s an accomplishment or win that makes you especially proud?

“I’m fortunate to be in a role which I love and I get that winning feeling quite often.”

“I’ve recently joined the business and the new support tools and my new way of working have been well received.”

“It has brought in so much engagement from franchisees and customers alike, and we are already seeing the benefits of it, in such a short time frame. It excites me to develop this further and see what the future could bring.”

What has been a big goal in your career?

“My goal is to be the best at what I do and see that translate into the success of others.”

Want to find out more?

At Merry Maids, people are at the heart of what we do.

To see how some of those people could help you, find your nearest Merry Maids today to receive a free, no-obligation quotation on our bespoke cleaning services.

Women’s History Month: Meet Merry Maids Brand Leader Vikki Donnachie

Meet Merry Maids Brand Leader Vikki Donnachie

Earlier month, we celebrated International Women’s Day by spotlighting some of the women who own and operate Merry Maids franchises across the UK.

As Women’s History Month continues, we sat down with the women who work behind the scenes in our ServiceMaster Brands UK franchise support centre to discuss their careers as women in franchising.

Staring with Merry Maids UK’s Brand Leader, Vikki Donnachie.

About Vikki

Vikki joined ServiceMaster Brands UK in 2021.

Her role is to support and help our business owners to achieve their goals whilst supporting operational aspects.

From initial set-up, including recruitment, financial planning, goal setting and general day-to-day support to overcome any challenges they may face.

What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?

“Every day is a school day!”

“Never stop being open to learning and developing no matter how much experience you have or how long you’ve been doing something; there is always room for improvement.”

“Perfection is not the key to success it’s the willingness to adapt and learn at every given opportunity, especially when you face challenges. This is the key to overcoming them and developing yourself at every step of the journey.”

What do you wish more people knew about being a woman in business?

“The amount of support and opportunities which are available to women.”

“Franchising is a great way to be in business for yourself but not by yourself, we actively encourage all genders into the ServiceMaster network, and we are proud to have some amazing women flying the flag in business.”

What’s an accomplishment or win that makes you proud?

“I love working in franchising, I have worked in the franchising sector for over 16 years and I never get bored of helping and supporting people to build and develop successful businesses, along with giving people in their local communities the opportunity to be part of something great.”

“Supporting each other to be better and build a great national network is what I am very proud of.”

What has been a big goal in your career?

“I thrive off helping others achieve their dreams and aspirations. This is what has always given me the drive and ambition when it comes to my career.”

“This remains my goal and has constantly been with me since I stepped into franchising all those years ago.”

Want to find out more?

At Merry Maids, people are at the heart of what we do.

To see how some of those people could help you, find your nearest Merry Maids today to receive a free, no-obligation quotation on our bespoke cleaning services.

The Women of Merry Maids UK

Celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month 2022.

Today is International Women’s Day.

A day designed to centre women’s issues as part of Women’s History Month.

The theme of Women’s History Month differs annually, though the goal is to show how women help shape the nation and world at large.

The Merry Maids network includes many brilliant women who manage domestic cleaning businesses across the UK.

Each one of them brings something different. Be that the previous experiences leading them to where they are now or a unique outlook that helps them run a successful business.

Today, we’re spotlighting four of them.


Sue Smith – Merry Maids Tyneside:

Sue Smith has owned Merry Maids Tyneside for 28 years now. Before this, she worked in payroll for Safeway.

But with a young son aged three, Sue wanted to have her own business to manage her own time and childcare.

Merry Maids “was the perfect solution”, as Sue liked to clean and was able to incorporate this into her job.

Though she found Merry Maids and thought it was just right for her, Sue still had her reservations.

She was concerned that she was not the right sort of person to run a hands-on business, as she felt as though she lacked the confidence.

“I remember when I had to do the first callout it was terrifying,” she says.

But Sue found that she could do it, and has become confident running her business,

“I think the more you do it, the more you get used to it. If you push yourself, you can do these things, even when you think you can’t,” she adds.

Sue has found also herself becoming more and more involved with the local community and developing long-lasting relationships with clients.

“We’ve had some customers for years. I like dealing with it. Especially the older people that have always kept a nice house, and are now finding it difficult to do.

I think you get more satisfaction out of that kind of clean – when they’re so grateful for the difference you can make to their home.”


Nicola Morris – Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool:

Nicola (Nicky) Morris also started her Merry Maids business, Merry Maids Fylde and Blackpool around 20 years ago when looking for a fresh start.

This coincided with her husband changing careers, having been in the military, and with the two of them moving to a completely different part of the country with a young child.

Having spent most of her career “in the corporate world”, Nicky wanted something new, for herself.

So, she did a lot of research into franchises, and having spoken to previous Merry Maids franchise owners, found that she was happiest with the brand and company.

There was also the question of timing around her move, but ServiceMaster (Merry Maid’s parent company) were happy to hold the business until Nicky was ready.

This meant that when her move was completed Nicky was able to undertake her Merry Maids training academy and “hit the ground running after that.”

Though she’s had to put in lots of hard work, Nicky has found running her own business to be worth the challenge:

“It’s very rewarding to see what I’ve built up from nothing. When you initially start, like any business, you have to give it your all 24/7, especially for the first couple of years.

And moving to a new area with a young child was pretty difficult.

On the other hand, being my own boss gave me a bit of flexibility. It is your baby, really having a business and building it up. It is blood, sweat and tears that you’ve put into it.

So, it is different to a normal job. However much you might like the company you work for, it is very different.

When it’s your business, you do have an emotional attachment to it as well. But it’s worth it.”


Helen Bielby & Becky Hewitt – Merry Maids Sutton Coldfield:

Helen Bielby of Merry Maids Sutton Coldfield has a personal history with ServiceMaster and Merry Maids.

Back in the early 1980s, both of Helen’s parents worked in engineering and were made redundant around the same time.

So, they decided to pool their redundancy money and buy a ServiceMaster franchise – which used to involve our disaster restoration and clean brands under one umbrella.

The business stayed a family affair, with Helen and her nan helping out doing the cleaning. Her dad ran to the physical side of the business, whilst her mum handled the running and operation.

Then, in 1999, Helen’s mum decided that she wanted to buy a Merry Maids franchise as well.

At the time, Helen was at university and would still help out with the cleaning on her break days, and after university, she would help with the books alongside her job.

When Helen’s mum passed away suddenly in 2010, Helen had to handle both businesses:

“There was a point where we didn’t have any of the passwords to get into the ServiceMaster system. And ServiceMaster was great, and they sent people down from head office to help us get it all because we had to keep going.

And we had staff that we employed, we couldn’t close. So, you know, it was a nightmare, to be honest. I couldn’t run both businesses and have a foot in my full-time job. I could do Merry Maids because I’d done it for such a long time. But we realised we needed a secretary to help my dad do the admin on Service Master.”

They found Becky, who was working part-time as in conveyancing at a solicitor’s office.

“She had just had her hours reduced, and she was looking for something to make them up,” Helen recalls.

“We met, and we hit it off from the start, we became best friends very, very quickly. It let me get on with concentrating on Merry Maids, but because they were run from the same office in the same room, she would help me out with Merry Maids as well, which was huge for me.”

When Helen’s dad then decided he wanted to sell the Merry Maids, business, he suggested that Helen and Becky take it over together.

They have now been running it for the last 12 years alongside working other jobs and raising young children.

Though this has been difficult to manage, especially during COVID-19, the pair have been able to lean on each other and be at the forefront of making changes within the business to tackle whatever problems come their way.

Helen and Becky have needed to be adaptable and able to work under enormous pressure, but have been able to manage it together.


Beccy Pope – Owner of Merry Maids North Sussex:

Beccy Pope’s journey into the world of franchising was completely unplanned.

She began her working life as a student with the goal of teaching. But, whilst working three jobs Beccy realised she preferred to earn money.

So, she made a leap of faith, taking a job in the forensics industry doing finance and admin.

After building this business from the ground up along with the owner, she was headhunted as an Operations Director selling military software.

These two roles gave Beccy a good sense of the processes involved in running a company, and she found she loved building a business and running it how she wanted.

In 2017, Beccy had her daughter Isabelle and was faced with a choice as she was worried she was missing out on too much of her daughter’s early life due to the job she was in.

“I could be the mum that I wanted to be or the career person that I wanted to be, and nothing in-between. It wasn’t doable for me to do my job, and to be a good mum.”

So, in August 2019, Beccy purchased Merry Maids North Sussex. Though she faced some difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside the birth of her son Finley, Beccy is now both the businesswoman and mum she wants.

“I can be the mum I want to be, and I have the work that I enjoy.

I love going and meeting people. I met a mum a little while ago who just wanted us to go and hoover her floors and mop them because she couldn’t find the time. And that’s real life, isn’t it? My team leader Alex, she’s also got two little boys, and between us: We’re sailing this ship.”

As the newest of these women to the Merry Maids franchise, Beccy says she has received invaluable help and support from the other women in the network like Nicky and Helen, who have helped Beccy with various things during the setup of her business, even though online during the pandemic:

“Helen talked me through how she runs her online shop and was really friendly and positive. She was happy for me to use some of her work if I chose and to call her if I had any problems during or after set up.

Nicky has sent me a few letter templates which have saved me a lot of time too. Considering I haven’t even met these ladies, they have been very supportive!”

Beccy can also be found on her YouTube channel, Beccy Cleans, which showcases Beccy in action running her business, looking after her family and, of course, providing lots of useful cleaning tips.


Want to find out more?

As a leading British franchise, people are at the heart of what we do.

The women of Merry Maids have each brought unique contributions to our franchise network.

This month is all about celebrating them and shedding light on what they do. So, we hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about the women that make up the Merry Maid’s network.

To learn more about a professional domestic cleaning service near you, find your nearest Merry Maids today.

And if the stories of these women inspired you to make a fresh start, get in touch with our franchise recruitment team to learn more about Merry Maids business opportunities near you.