According to research by domestic cleaning company Molly Maid UK Ltd and Ipsos MORI, 1.53 million households in Great Britain (6%) spend a total of over £1.6 billion a year on outside help to clean their homes.
The domestic cleaning market is expanding all the time for a variety of reasons. An increasing number of working people have less time to devote to household chores. Recent decades have also seen a shift in priorities, placing greater emphasis on leisure and family time. And while years ago having a domestic cleaner was seen as the preserve of the most affluent in society, it’s become much more accepted as an option for ordinary people.
So if you’re thinking of going into the domestic cleaning business, it’s clear there’s a growing demand. However, the market is quite competitive. One way to give yourself a head start is becoming a domestic cleaning franchisee.
But before you take the plunge, you should consider whether you’re suited to the business. You don’t need any specific qualifications, and domestic cleaning franchisees come from all walks of life. However, a customer service background or management experience might be an advantage.
Because of the nature of the work, you’ll need good interpersonal skills. You’ll have to maintain a high standard of professionalism. It’s important that people trust you to take good care of their homes and meet their own exacting standards. So you need to be sensitive to clients’ wishes and offer them a personalised service.
It’s also important to be prepared to accept criticism in good spirit. Remember the old saying, “the customer is always right”, as it’s especially apt for the domestic cleaning business. If you don’t meet the client’s expectations you need to put the situation right immediately without argument or protest.
Building the right team is essential. Your reputation will depend on the quality of work carried out by your employees, so it’s essential you hire the right people and use your management skills to make sure high standards are met consistently. There is often a high turnover of staff in domestic cleaning businesses, so you’ll need to refine your recruitment process. Look for recommendations and references when vetting potential employees.
As a franchisee you’ll probably be given an exclusive territory in which to work following market research by the franchisor. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t base your business from home to keep costs down. However, you’ll need a car to travel as you’ll spend much of your time visiting clients and canvassing for business. Some franchisors might have certain stipulations regarding the cars you and your staff use but there are options you can look into such as lease hire.
There are obviously petrol and insurance costs to consider. Depending on the nature of the services you provide you might also need to buy or hire equipment. However, your franchisor might provide uniforms, stationery and certain products as part of the franchise deal.
While franchising can get you an immediate foothold in the market, you will need to pay the franchisor an initial lump sum as well as ongoing fees. You will also need a certain amount of working capital to get the business up and running. Research all your options and find out what the various franchisors can offer you for your money.