Martin Ferguson, of MJF Facilities Management, confident of future success

June 10th, 2013

Martin Ferguson, of MJF Facilities Management, confident of future success

IT'S 4am and the freezing winter's snow blanket has again spread itself thick.

Biting temperatures, thrown like an invisible veil, smother the air.

Amid the darkness, thousands of homeowners are safely locked away, hours away from waking up to Mother Nature's latest wintry installment.

But Martin Ferguson isn't.

He has a job to do, and the elements will just have to wait.

Armed with his ladder, he is preparing to start his usual round of cleaning windows.

Perseverance can be an overly-used cliché for attaining success, but for Martin, the years of braving the bracing weather conditions as a domestic and commercial cleaner were invaluable.

After starting in a profession he was first introduced into by his father-in-law, Martin is now the managing director of MJF Facilities Management, which he started in 2006.

It now employs 120 people and earlier this year announced plans to create about 400 new posts and add £1m a year to its turnover during the next five years.

The firm has risen quickly, and is now renowned across the UK after winning contracts to clean the Football Association's £105m St George's Park training centre, in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and carry out industrial deep cleaning for the New and Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), in Blyth, Northumberland.

No mean feat for a man whose working days regularly spanned more than 12 hours.

And Mr Ferguson, a former call centre worker, says he is delighted with the success, which more than makes up for all those early starts.

He said: "I started off cleaning houses one or two days a week and was up at 4am and finishing about 5pm.

It was something I fell into, my father-in-law did it and I followed him.

I went to college and university, and had a few jobs which, looking back, I don't know how I entertained, but this was something I could really get into.

You had to go out in all weathers and quickly got used to the near misses on the ladder in the snow.

The work ethic was intense, but when you work for yourself you have to keep going."

As well as continuing its office, commercial and industrial cleaning, MJF now works on carpet and upholstery cleaning, and Martin says he is committed to maintaining the swift momentum.

He said: "I'm delighted to see where we are, and you do sometimes look back and think about where you have got to.

But we know we still have a long way to go.

We want to keep creating the work and creating the new jobs, and the Narec project really shows where we now are.

That was one of our biggest projects, and we did the builders' clean and final clean, which was quite challenging, but ultimately rewarding as we now have a two-year agreement with them to provide high-level maintenance.

We have worked very hard for our success, and our reputation is built on delivering quality services."

Favourite North-East building and why?
St James Park. It looks magnificent on Newcastle’s skyline and I love going to as many games as possible.

What was your first job and how much did you get paid?
Paperboy. I got £7 per week. Seems a long time ago.

What is the worst job you've had?
I've had a few, but would have to say working a summer job before starting university in a naan bread factory is the pick of the bunch.

What would you cook for me if I came around for dinner?
If the weather is like it was last week, I would probably cook some steak on the BBQ accompanied by a couple of beers. Perfect.

What would your superpower be?
I'd love to be able to make time standstill. Would allow me to catch up on my workload and life really does go by too quickly.

Name four people, dead or alive, who would be at your perfect dinner party.
Bobby Robson, Valentino Rossi, Muhammad Ali and Richard Branson.

Most expensive thing you've bought - other than car or house - and how much?
Purchased a new motorbike last year on which I have a yearly trip in to Europe. It cost me £9,000.

Who is the best person to follow on Twitter and why?
I like to follow a lot of sports people as they are always positive, so I would say someone like Rio Ferdinand. More locally I would have to say it’s great following Alan Foster of Design 365, who looks after our website. He’s very entertaining.

Favourite book?
Really enjoyed Like a Virgin, by Richard Branson. Gave me some great ideas. I also like any autobiography by sports personalities.

When did you last cry?
At the birth of my second child.

What is your greatest achievement?
My children.

What's the best piece of advice in business you've ever been given?
I was once told that if I am too caught up dealing with day to day issues it would affect what happens in the future. This prompted me to build an excellent management team to allow me to focus on developing the business for the future. Staff are everything.

Favourite animal and why?
Tigers. My favourite animal in the zoo as a child and has stayed with me. Most famous person on your mobile phone. Now that would be name dropping.

What was the last band you saw live?
Recently took the kids to see Justin Bieber.

Describe your perfect night in.
Having friends and family round for food accompanied by a few bottles of wine.

In another life I would be...
Prime Minister. There's a few things I’d like to have a go at changing.

Who would play you in a film of your life?
Would want it to be someone from the region. Can only think of Jamie Bell.

What irritates you?
Negative people

What's your secret talent?
Getting people to do want I want of them without them realising.

Commercial Cleaning
Carpet Cleaning
Window Cleaning
Industrial Cleaning
Construction Cleaning
Facilities Management

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