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Need to know: choosing a franchise in the cleaning industry

Need to know: choosing a franchise in the cleaning industry

Chris Wootton, managing director of domestic cleaning franchise, Poppies, lists three things to consider when choosing a cleaning franchise

Individuals invest in a franchise for a whole manner of reasons. Whether it’s for increased flexibility, the chance to give back to their local community, pursuing a dream or to benefit financially, they all have a common thread running through them – success.

Investing in a cleaning franchise is no different. You get the chance to achieve all of the above with the options of an owner-operator franchise where you become a cleaning operative or as a management franchise where you manage a team of cleaners. Chris Wootton, managing director of domestic cleaning franchise, Poppies, discusses a variety of ways cleaning franchises differ so you can decide what is right for you.

“For Poppies, in particular, prospects need to match their values to that of our franchise,” he says. “We consider ourselves a fair and ethical brand – our network of franchisees understand and appreciate just what an important part of our culture that is. Right from when we first launched in 1980 to the present day, our franchisees pride themselves on their commitment to their cleaning staff and customers. It’s what I believe what makes us different to our competitors and why we have franchisees and staff who joined us over 20 years ago still enjoying their work.”

Here, Chris lists three things to consider when choosing a cleaning franchise:

1. How will you employ staff?

When the COVID pandemic hit, the entire world went into panic mode. Businesses furloughed staff, people were required to work from home, and no one knew when the situation would become any clearer. In the cleaning industry, this situation caused a lot of distress as many cleaners are self-employed and rely on contracts with agencies to secure work. This posed a huge problem, leaving many without the safety of income or knowing whether they could afford to live. At Poppies, we employ our staff, so we could furlough our cleaners if we needed to. Staff were reassured that they would have a source of income and, most importantly, a job to return to. It has also meant we haven’t lost any valued staff who may have looked for employment elsewhere without the financial support of the furlough scheme. Whilst employing cleaning staff under a fair pay system may mean profits are lower, brands like ours benefit from a consistent workforce and lower recruitment costs overall.

2. Are they part of an accredited trade body?

Being a member of a sector alliance is a confidence booster for many prospective franchisees. Members are often expected to follow specific guidelines and work towards better practices across the entire industry. As well as Poppies being a member of the Domestic Cleaning Alliance, I’m in a specialist advisory role where I help to raise the standards of the sector. The panel is made up of solo cleaners and independent cleaning companies and I felt it was my duty, as both franchisor and franchisee of Poppies, to join. We work as a whole for the greater good of the industry and Poppies’ franchisees are grateful for any knowledge that is passed down, as well as making suggestions for me to take to the panel.

3. Are they a member of a franchise association?

Most franchises you come across nowadays will be part of a franchise association. Similar to the trade body, they hold franchisors to account on certain standards and can offer an environment to share best practice in franchising systems. Not only was Poppies a founding member of the British Franchise Association, but we are also considered to hold the fastest membership progression in history, taking just 10 days to get full member status. 

This trifactor of questions are a great basis for choosing the right cleaning franchise for you. For us at Poppies, a focus on staff wellbeing, solid partnerships and a quality system, all result in great client delivery. While our management franchisees make a good living, they’re more likely to tell you that what they love about Poppies is the family-feel community and work-life balance which is what our company values are all about.

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