Cleaning Franchise Advice
Tips to Help Effectively Research Cleaning Franchise Options
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Cleaning Franchise Advice By Robert Edwards
Not too long ago we did a video that looked at cleaning franchises both from the master franchise perspective as well as the individual unit franchise. This time we will focus on the dynamics of an individual unit so this will be for the folks investing $10,000 or less on a cleaning franchise.
As always I'll give you the good and the bad of each situation and we will look at several other cleaning franchise options that you may not be aware of.
Now by far the most publicly visible cleaning franchise model is where the master franchise sells unit franchises to aspring cleaners who want to own their own business. You have probably seen these ads locally selling cleaning franchises for anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000.
How this franchise situation works is the master franchisee purchases the rights to set up a regional office that sells individual unit franchises to you. Simultaneously they also secure cleaning contracts for you to service. There are many franchises out there using this model in the commercial cleaning space like Jan-Pro, Jani-King and Anago.
This can be a quick and easy way for someone to get started in their own cleaning business. It's not ideal, there are some trade-offs but it is certainly the path of least resistance to get your own business running.
In an ideal world both the master and unit franchisee benefit. Let's look at the reasons why.
The Master Franchise owner retains most of the money you invest to buy this franchise so they make money from your investment. They will also retain a portion of the money that the customer pays when you perform the cleaning.
So you might ask why the heck would I do all the cleaning work and pay someone on top of that? Well you don't have to, there are other options. But the rationale behind buying the unit franchise and paying royalties will make sense for some people based the benefits that you receive. Lets look at those benefits. Firstly the master franchise owner is taking care of the insurance which can be difficult and prohibitively expensive for a new start up business to obtain. Next the administrative tasks such as customer phone calls and client billing are handled by your master franchise owner. Its also often hard for a new business to get rolling if you have to wait 30-60 days to get paid which are usually the terms on commercial cleaning accounts. Your franchise however will cover you and pay you sooner. Next they will land all the contracts so you aren't having to cold call to businesses in your area to try and obtain cleaning contracts. The master franchise also presents a well known brand name that most businesses will be familiar with as well as a professional image. You will also benefit from business systems and processes to help you be more efficient. So there are benefits but for those benefits you will pay money.
Now lets compare that with what to expect if you start your own cleaning business. First you will pay no fees. No few thousand upfront and no ongoing royalties. Now that money could be used to help you get set up in your own cleaning business. But as always there are trade-offs and the benefits you would have received as a franchise owner will not be applicable. So you will need to negotiate your own insurance, you will need to handle all the billing, paperwork and phone calls for your business. You will have to generate all your own cleaning accounts so it can be more difficult to obtain cleaning contracts, and you will be inventing your business systems and processes as you go.
So is starting your own cleaning business possible? Of course it is. But depending on your capabilities and your situation going solo may not be the best choice.
Now if you do decide to invest in this type of cleaning franchise a word of caution. This relationship only works if you find an ethical, fair and productive master franchisee. They will give you solid contracts, keep you busy, and pay you fairly. If you get an unethical one they will underbid on jobs making you work for extremely low pay, they will churn franchisees meaning just burn them out then sell another franchise. Do your research, Google the franchise owners name and business name see what comes up. Speak to several existing franchise owners and don't invest a penny before you are comfortable. Don't be pressured into signing.
In addition to the master and unit cleaning franchises there are other options. I will show you two of those today. These opportunities are one step above just taking cleaning contracts and can be expanded with more trucks and employees. With these cleaning franchises you will own and control your own cleaning contracts with the assistance of the franchise, as opposed to only performing the work. You also have umbrella liability insurance, workers comp. and National Marketing campaigns provided by the franchise so it's closer to starting your own business, however you still have the support of a national brand in areas where it's difficult to get started on your own.
The first option is a company called Chem-Dry. This is a higher investment however instead of being like a sub contractor for the master franchisee, this is 100% your own business and you own your cleaning contracts. Chem-Dry is very established, they have over 3500 franchises worldwide who perform mostly residential carpet cleaning as well as some specialty cleaning like grout. With 10-15K down and good credit history Chem-Dry will finance the rest. Now unlike being a sub franchisee the Chem-Dry opportunity is scalable, meaning you can increase the number of trucks, hire employees and more and expand in your territory. The average amount of time franchisees stay with Chem-Dry is 19 years! That's an indication that people are happy. Additionally there are no franchise royalties just one flat fee, and the earnings are quite impressive.
Another possible alternative cleaning franchise is ServiceMaster Clean. ServiceMaster is also a higher investment however once again this is your own business - not subcontracted. For as low as $8000 and good credit ServiceMaster can get you started in your own residential and commercial janitorial business. ServiceMaster Clean has many national accounts including McDonalds, Nike and many more. They are also very well established with over 4500 franchisees in operation. Again you own your own contracts, this is a scalable business and ServiceMaster Clean provides the support in many areas that are hard to do as an independent cleaner.
Those are just two of the many cleaning franchise options in that investment range. If you have a minimum of $10,000 to invest and would like to see what franchises are available in your territory in your price range click the link above to learn more. We work with hundreds of franchises, and can educate you on the differences and help you find the best one. There is no fee for our service as we receive a referral fee from the company if and when you buy a franchise.
If you would like to discuss any of these franchises further or see which are available in your territory give us a call consultations are always free or visit our Franchise Directory