Despite experiencing exponential demand for its services, the leading home cleaning franchisor is still implementing new and innovative software, tools and techniques for its franchisees
It’s no surprise the focus on cleanliness and health for the past two years has impacted the products and services families buy, and case in point is the UK’s £3bn domestic cleaning industry. Aaron Watson, director of franchise development for industry-leading home cleaning franchisor Molly Maid, says he has never seen anything like it in his decade-plus time working in the industry. “Coming out of the first lockdown we believed our industry would boom, but the recent growth experienced at Molly Maid has surpassed even our wildest of expectations,” he says.
Molly Maid has been operating in the UK for nearly 40 years and internationally in Canada and the USA for even longer, and in that time has established a reputation as being the best in the industry. “It starts with the care we provide to our franchisees,” says Watson, “then the care that they provide to their teams of fully employed staff and finally the care provided to our thousands of customers.”
It’s a model that has allowed Molly Maid to not only become the most well known in the industry (something confirmed every year through independent research conducted by YouGov) but also the highest-ranked franchise in the sector. “Most people can’t remember how they first came to hear about Molly Maid – they just know it. New franchisees say it’s this brand recognition and how it helps them secure new customers that draws them to Molly Maid,” adds Watson.
Achieving record growth
This familiarity has helped their franchisees achieve record growth in new customers contacting them for service, as well as sales growth. In the final half of 2021, franchisees handled more than twice the number of service requests they were getting pre-crisis, and so far in 2022, there has been no let-up in sight. “We were stunned to see that demand for our services in January was what we usually see in the springtime, which is always a really busy period for us. This helped our franchisees achieve an increase in sales in January of nearly 50 per cent.”
This high level of growth means the company is looking for new and innovative ways to help franchisees manage and they are increasingly turning to new technology to do so. To help manage some 80,000 new customer service enquiries a year they launched a new cloud-based enquiry management software. Additionally, to help franchisees keep up to date on all of the exciting things happening in the company, they replaced their internal franchisee portal. The new franchisee portal is quite familiar to most of us in the UK though, because it is operated via Facebook, which is now Meta. Facebook’s Workplace software allows organisations who want to better connect with their teams a familiar and industry-leading way to do so. Watson says the company’s franchisees can also look forward to Workplace being rolled out with their teams of cleaners in the near future.
“I know it sounds cliché to say that we are ‘cleaning up’ but we really are,” says Watson.
At a glance
Number of franchised outlets:
Location of units:
Across the UK, from Scotland to the south coast
£18,975 (+ VAT) and £7,000 working capital (£10,000 of the £18,975 is allocated to marketing for the first 12-18 months)
Minimal required capital:
At least 30 per cent of the total investment (£7,975). The remainder can be funded through a business loan
Aaron Watson, director of business development. 01628 583765. awatson@ mollymaid.co.uk