Why join a cleaning franchise?
29 March 2016
A business model that has been making inroads into the UK economy for years, franchising offers serious benefits to small business owners in the cleaning industry, explains Sam Haythornthwaite, digital business manager of Daltonsbusiness.com
What is franchising?
Franchising is an arrangement whereby an independent business owner pays a larger business for the right to trade under their brand in a defined territory. The franchisee retains full control and ownership of their own business, but agrees to pay an ongoing fee to the bigger business in exchange for support, experience and marketing power.
More bang for your marketing buck
Are you struggling to gain new customers? You’re not alone. If you’re an independent with a smaller advertising budget than national businesses, it can often feel like an uphill struggle to secure the best marketing coverage. The franchising model levels this playing field; many franchise networks will pool their advertising budgets, enabling each operator to act as a much bigger business and buy impressive nationwide advertising campaigns that they would struggle to afford on their own. In fact, the combined purchasing power of a large franchise can often result in cost savings for each franchisee.
The benefits don’t stop at advertising, either; whether you’re looking for new van signage, leaflet printers or employee insurance, the group purchasing power of a franchise network can help you drive your business forward and get more out of every hard-earned pound.
Learning from the experience of others
Unsure about a potential new supplier? Struggling with cash flow? Need help finding the best staff? If you’re running your own cleaning business, you’ll know that each new day is a step into the unknown – particularly during the first few years of trade. Inexperience breeds uncertainty, and it’s this uncertainty which can be stressful and costly.
When you join a franchise network, you join a team of owners across the country, all of whom are running their own businesses and facing similar day-to-day challenges. The benefit of being able to bounce an idea off a fellow franchisee that has walked a mile in your shoes can be transformative, both professionally and personally.
The power of a big brand
Another advantage of running a franchise is customer’s trust. Many new domestic and commercial customers feel more confident booking a recognised cleaning brand, particularly if they have never worked with a cleaning service before. Franchisees who invest in the best cleaning brands can benefit from people’s trust in this sense of scale, while still being free to deliver a high-quality, personally-accountable service.
How much should I pay for a cleaning franchise?
The cost of joining a cleaning franchise ranges from £1,500 to £50,000 or higher, depending on the way the franchise is structured. Some franchises will expect a high up-front fee, but will demand lower ongoing costs. Others may have lower costs but may not provide the same package of benefits. A franchise agreement is a long-term deal, so it’s important to pick the group that’s going to suit your long-term business needs best.
How to choose the right franchise network
The maturity of the franchise network matters; if you are taking on a territory in a network that already extends to hundreds of franchisees, you will be able to draw on the experience of hundreds of business owners in a similar position to you, but you may struggle to grow the business if nearby territories are already occupied. If you’re looking for a high-growth business, you might be better placed to go with a younger franchise network, perhaps securing an option on the neighbouring territories, but bear in mind that you might not have the same depth of experience and advice available to you in this kind of situation.
It’s also important to get clarity on precisely what level of support and training you can expect. If in doubt, ask for testimonials from existing franchisees in other areas. A franchisee who has been through the startup process will be able to give you a good idea of what you can and can’t expect in the first few months.
Due diligence is vital whenever you are making any investment, and a franchise agreement is exactly that – you’re investing in the brand and systems of an organisation which you will depend on for many years to come. You need to conduct thorough research on the franchise you are about to join, and always take professional advice before signing on the dotted line.
Daltonsbusiness.com is a website for buying or selling businesses and franchises