6 reasons to start a cleaning franchise

FranchiseSales.com looks at the growing cleaning franchise sector and what it has to offer potential franchisees

The sheer numbers of cleaning services operating today are proof it is a lucrative and popular business choice.

Cleaning franchises in particular take up a considerable share of the market, with the obvious benefits of designated territories and tried and tested business practices, training and support.

Cleaning franchises come in all shapes and sizes, from carpet cleaning franchises to commercial cleaning franchises to domestic cleaning franchises.

With the ever-growing number of companies outsourcing their cleaning, there’s plenty of business opportunities in the sector. And in our on-the-go society, it looks like there will never be a shortage of time-poor, cash-rich potential customers looking for domestic cleaning services. 

Domestic cleaning franchises are the most prolific, but other options include commercial cleaning and specialist services such as one-off domestic oven-cleaning and restorative services for carpets, drapes and upholstery.

More specialist still are franchises such as Sanondaf UK – who offer ‘touchless disinfection’ for clients such as the NHS and major private companies; and management recruitment franchises such as Dolly Char who match up self-employed cleaners with appropriate clients.

Whichever option you choose, there are some universal positives. Here are our top six reasons to start a cleaning franchise:

1) Low start-up costs

Most cleaning franchises have low initial franchise fees; the average figure is below £10,000.

And as they are predominantly home-based, cleaning franchises are cheaper to run, on a long-term basis, than other franchised businesses that need premises.

In fact, many franchisors in this sector claim their franchisees can start earning profit straight away. CleanHome, for example, state that their franchisees have positive cash-flow from day one, with customers paying 3 months in advance and a target turnover of £50, 000 in the first year.

2) No cleaning skills required

Firstly, running a cleaning franchise doesn’t mean you’ll have to pull on your marigolds.

Most cleaning franchises are management operatives where you will be organising a team of housekeepers or commercial cleaners and generating clients for their services.

Organisational skills are a must as well as good people skills and buckets full of enthusiasm.

Bright & Beautiful, for example, who won ‘Best Home Based Business of the Year in 2013’ offer a comprehensive package including cleaning equipment, staff uniforms, branding, marketing support, website, finance system and CRM.:

‘As the owner of a Bright & Beautiful franchise, you do not have to clean yourself, we have proven systems that you can use to train your team. Your time is spent managing the business from home and networking with other professional working people who need our services.’

3) Flexible

With a home-based/management style franchise, you will have more opportunity to enjoy that all important work-life balance.

You can grow your franchise to a size and functionality that suits your lifestyle and that means fitting it in around kids and other responsibilities.

However, if your aim is to put all your hours into growing a highly profitable business then, as your own boss, you can set your own goals.

In a commercial cleaning franchise like NIC, the emphasis is on attracting and retaining corporate clients. Franchisee Matthew Sammons says:

‘I achieved a £400k turnover in my first 9 months with an NIC Cleaning Franchise’.

4) Ethical

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of ethical and eco-friendly cleaning options and you also have this choice when picking a cleaning franchise.

Bright & Beautiful only use non-toxic products for a ‘healthy home’ and environment.

And the aptly named Ecocleen is a highly successful commercial cleaning service whose ethical image has been a large part of its growing success.

They say:

‘We love our brand and so do our customers. The name Ecocleen reflects our strong message and opens doors.’

‘All of our services have a "green" angle. For example by using biologically based products that are accredited well beyond the famous EU Ecolabel requirements, we can deliver a safe and secure service with a focus on the well-being of our staff, customers, the public and the environment.’

5) High demand

Labelled a ‘recession proof’ business, cleaning services will be required as long as dust keeps accumulating – i.e. indefinitely!

As an increasing number of families are becoming dual-income and our lives become busier than ever, a weekly cleaner has become more of an essential part of the monthly household budget, rather than a luxury used only by the wealthy.

Commercial properties, as well as public services such as GPs surgeries and schools have health and safety requirements to adhere to which, of course, include hygiene.

And restaurants and other catering establishments have a legal obligation to keep kitchen exhaust hoods clean – as well as high levels of general cleanliness.

It’s unlikely you will lack potential customers ¬– your job will be signing up as many as possible.

6) Rewarding

On paper, owning a cleaning franchise business may not seem like the most fulfilling job in the world but bear in mind that this is a role which involves interacting with people on a daily basis and creating positive outcomes for cleaners and clients as well as yourself.

Becoming a cleaning franchisee will require plenty of social skills (so extreme introverts need not apply!) and if this is a strength, it will be an enjoyable experience.

Jo Wilkinson, owner of the Lincoln Bright & Beautiful Franchise agrees:

‘The initial training course was informative and fun…it's great to know that there is such fantastic ongoing support from a fabulous group of inspiring and empowering women.’

Interested? Take a look at our wide range of cleaning franchise listings here.

Nicky Tatley

About the author

Nicky contributes articles to all titles in the Dynamis stable, primarily BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com and is a regular contributor to other business publications including Talk Business, Bdaily.co.uk and NuWire Investor.