Cleaning Franchise or Independent Business?
Franchising is generally not as strong in the US cleaning industry compared to other service industries. Most cities have markets that are made up of approximately 10% cleaning franchises and 90% independent businesses. With a cleaning franchise you will be investing in a proven system that can increase your chances of success. However a franchise can also limit your growth as you become more established and some can bleed you dry financially.
This article sets out some of the advantages and disadvantages of cleaning business franchises.
A franchise can offer you great support during the set up phase and in your first year or so in business. Business owners with little experience basically get a full business startup kit, often with equipment, training and marketing assistance. On the other hand, independent operators have to go it alone and could struggle with many aspects of the business during this early phase. For independent operators, related experience and possibly some mentoring would come in handy along with extensive research into the industry.
Another great thing about a cleaning franchise is that it usually comes with an established brand name. Customers will immediately recognize the name and if your particular franchise has a good reputation then you can easily win clients based on name recognition. Look into a brands reputation beforehand.
Cleaning Franchise Route Can be Expensive
Franchises of course come with an expensive price tag. As a franchisee you will be locked into a deal with ongoing obligations in terms of having to pay ongoing fees and having to buy supplies from your franchiser or their affiliates. In the early stages of your businesses life when your cash flow is limited it may be more cost effective to invest the limited funds that you have into your own independent business instead of handing them over to another company.
A franchise can also limit your growth in the future as they can place so many restraints on what your business can do. While independent operators have the freedom to do whatever they like, some franchisees may miss out on opportunities due to restraints placed upon them by their franchise agreement.
Here is a good resource for advantages –
Going the franchise route offers no guarantee of success. Franchises fail all the time although overall they do offer entrepreneurs a slightly higher chance of success.
One common complaint of franchisees who failed is that the franchiser opened too many competing franchises in the area. There are many business owners who have been unsatisfied with their experience operating a franchise and you can find plenty of negative first hand experiences on the Internet.
In making the decision to take the cleaning franchise route or not you should give some thought to the market areas that you want to get into and their complexity. Basic household or office cleaning should be pretty straightforward. Unless you are interested in entering more complex markets such as industrial cleaning then you will be pretty safe taking the independent route.