Will a Cleaning Franchise suit my needs?
In the third of our What Cleaning Service Would Suit My Needs? this week it is the turn of the Cleaning Franchise
What is a franchise?
A franchise is the practice of an individual buying the name, brand and proven business model from a successful business, with on-going fees for the continued use of the brand and business model. The franchisor owns the business, the intellectual property and the trademarks of the business. The franchisor expands their business by selling set geographical areas to the franchisee to operate in, following an operations manual of methods and procedures to replicate the original successes of the first business.
Franchising has been around in business for many years and was first sold as licensing agreements were the owning party would sell the right to use their branding to an individual. Business model franchising (full turnkey solution) is now the most typical arrangement and has grown massively since the 1950’s when Ray Kroc decided to grow the empire, we all know and love, McDonald’s, through a business model franchisee route. Since Ray Krocs proven world wide success of creating “The worlds biggest small business” many other businesses have followed suit – Subway, Toni & Guy, Dominoes Pizza, Signs Express and Spar to name just a few of the brands you may know
Cleaning services are very popular within franchising and many cleaning brands already exist such as Molly Maid, Time For You, Bright and Beautiful and Daily Poppins to name but a few but what does having a cleaning franchise mean to a homeowner looking for a cleaning service provider?
Like with a cleaning business many of the pros and cons will be similar with a cleaning franchise, such as a stand in cleaner if your cleaner is sick or on holiday, training and quality checking and of course the cons are there too like staff turnover and standard consistency etc but below are more franchise specific pros and cons
The Pros of using a cleaning franchise
- Big brand = Big success: Well known brands are perceived as trusted and reliable as they have stood the test of time
- A good franchisor should always be providing training and refreshes of training, so that you as the client, always have a good service using the latest products or the latest cleaning techniques for example
- Franchises tend to be throughout and area, region or country – so even if you move house or area, you should be able to stay with the same company
The Cons of using a cleaning franchise
- Big brand = Big expectations: A franchise that operates in Leicester may have different standard levels as a franchise in Glasgow both selling the same service or product. Although all franchises claim to sell a complete business operations manual, some may not rigorously enforce or check up on the standards and output of some of their franchises leading to different brand reviews and feedback up and down the country. Some franchisees may be not operate their business to the letter of the franchisors vision. Just because a cleaning company is part of a franchised brand, it doesn’t mean it is the magic solution; bad businesses and business leaders can exist in a franchise model just as they do in an independent business
- Costs – From all the competitor research undertaken it is found that franchises tend to be more expensive then both Cleaning sole traders and cleaning businesses. Most franchises don’t operate with a cost per hour to the client and tend to run “cleaning schedules” were they will state that a house, let’s say a 3 bed detached with 1 bathroom, would be a cost of £52 a fortnight for example.
- Contracts – The great majority of cleaning franchises (I’m yet to come across one that doesn’t) have cleaning contracts with their clients that can last 3, 6 and in some cases 12 months – If you are not happy with the standard or service it will either become a case of grinning and bearing whilst trying to sort it out with your franchisee to get the standard/service you want and were expecting or it will cost you money to get out the agreement
Checklist for a cleaning franchise
- What insurances does the franchise have and can they provide you with copies?
- Can they provide references and testimonials?
- How many branches do they have? How are they audited and checked for quality standards?
- How often do they receive training?
- How often do they undertake pricing reviews on their services?
- Does the owner/manager clean/ever cleaned?
- Are they a member of the BFA (British Franchise Association) ?
- How does the franchise stay in touch with its clients to give the feeling of local customer care?
Next week: Cleaning Agencies