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Top cleaning franchises in the UK in 2021
Find out everything you need to know about starting your own cleaning business, including low-cost franchise opportunities and more
Low cost franchises
Local cleaning franchises
How does a cleaning franchise work?
Franchisors in the cleaning business provide everything you need to start and establish a profitable company in your local area.
This includes full training in all aspects of the concept, branding, a tried and tested method of operation, plus initial and ongoing support in areas such as finding your first customers, retaining clients and growing beyond the start-up stage.
Your initial franchise fee may also include specialist equipment and software such as Genio, which can aid successful cleaning business management.
Some cleaning industry franchises that offer a commercial cleaning service have national contracts with companies that their nationwide cleaners service, giving them an additional, ongoing revenue stream on top of the customers they’ve managed to attract through their own marketing activities.
What kind of buildings will I clean?
A franchise owner cleans anything from flats and houses to offices and commercial workspaces. There are also window cleaning and oven cleaning franchise opportunities.
However, not every franchise opportunity requires you to do it yourself. You may wish to in the start-up stages, before employing staff to carry out these tasks once you’ve become established.
Other cleaning franchises are what’s described as ‘management opportunities’, which means from day one your role is to oversee the running of the company, including administration, marketing and supervising the cleaners.
What do you need to know before you sign up to a cleaning franchise?
While the following isn’t an exhaustive list, here are some of the key things to consider before you invest in a cleaning business:
• The history of the cleaning company.
• Details of the cleaning company’s key personnel and their franchising experience.
• The cleaning company’s plans in the short, medium and long-term.
• What the initial investment is.
• What you get for your money.
• Ongoing costs and working capital requirements.
• How soon you can potentially make your money back.
In addition, we strongly recommend you pay a lawyer who is familiar with the industry to review the franchise agreement before you sign it and enlist the services of an accountant who can check the financial information about the opportunity.
Are cleaning franchises a good investment?
Is it worth starting a cleaning service business? In our opinion, the answer is yes.
In today’s society, many people are time poor, which means they’re more likely to use a domestic cleaning service to keep their homes neat and tidy than spend potential leisure time doing it themselves. In the commercial cleaning industry, offices and places of work need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
It’s also worth remembering that if your cleaning business delivers an excellent service you will profit from regular, repeat custom. And once you have built a reputation in your trading territory for providing such a service, you’ll benefit from word of mouth recommendations from happy customers.
Combine these elements with franchising’s track record of success and you could be onto a winner.
Top 10 popular cleaning franchises
Owners of cleaning franchises don’t just clean houses and offices.
What is the best cleaning franchise opportunity? Click here for our round-up of some of the top cleaning franchises that are currently looking to recruit franchisees across the UK.
One of the most well-established brands in this sector is Merry Maids. The Merry Maids franchise opportunity provides franchisees with a five-year agreement, which is renewable at no extra cost and operates a simple three-step model:
1. Local marketing to attract customers.
2. Serving customers professionally.
3 Providing excellent customer service.
Another popular house cleaning service is Molly Maid. Established in the UK in 1984, the company operates in the domestic cleaning industry. It offers a management franchise, which means you employ staff to clean customers’ homes, and can be run from home.
If it’s domestic cleaning of carpets you want to do, check out Servicemaster.
How much can you make with a cleaning franchise?
It depends on the time and effort you put into your venture, as well the overheads incurred and your ability to follow the tried and tested system of operation.
When you contact them, the franchisor of the cleaning business will explain to you the earnings potential of the opportunity it offers.
In order to have a clear idea of your return on investment, you need to determine what the figures are based on. Are they estimated earnings based on a company-owned cleaning business or average profit figures of franchisees running cleaning businesses in territories of a similar size and make-up to the one you’re considering investing in?
Buying a domestic cleaning business franchise gives you more chance of success compared to starting your own independent cleaning business.
According to the 2018 British Franchise Association NatWest survey, the commercial failure rate of franchisee businesses across all sectors is less than 10 per cent, while approximately 50 per cent of all independent start-ups fail within five years.
The study also stated that 60 per cent of established franchises turn over more than £250,000 and 93 per cent of franchisees said they were profitable.
Guide to starting a commercial cleaning franchise from scratch
The first step is to decide whether you have what it takes to be a success in the commercial cleaning business. While franchisors show you how to run a company efficiently, they’re not responsible for the performance of commercial cleaning businesses in the network. That’s your task.
Buying a cleaning franchise isn’t buying a job, so you must be self-motivated, tenacious, resilient, able to master sales and marketing if you have no previous experience of these disciplines and possess good people skills. Effective commercial cleaning franchisees are also focused on delivering first-class customer service.
Next, research the various commercial cleaning businesses available. How much do they cost? What do you get for your money? How much money can you make and in what
It’s also a good idea to talk to existing franchisees about the brand to get a first-hand understanding of what the cleaning business entails and whether it met their expectations.
You must ensure your values align with the company’s and that you can see yourself in a long-term business relationship with the cleaning business brand, its network and its head office team.
Once you’ve made the decision about which cleaning business you want to invest in, it’s training time. The franchisor will give you all the knowledge you need to make a success of the cleaning business and support you along the way.
It’s important you follow the system that’s been set out, as franchised cleaning businesses are based on consistency. By doing so, you’ll be following a proven path to being a successful business owner.
Do you need an LLC to start a cleaning business?
Some cleaning businesses insist that franchisees set up a limited liability company - or LLC - while others are happy for them to have sole trader status or work as a partnership with someone else.
While an LLC can be a tax-efficient way to structure your company, if the decision is yours, you may wish to take advice from a suitably qualified accountant at the beginning of your journey.
What coverages does your cleaning business need?
Public liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance and buildings and contents insurance are the main types of coverages you’ll potentially require.
Company use vehicle insurance and insurance that covers you for theft of equipment may also be needed.
Before you buy any of the above, check to see if they’re included in your franchise package.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a commercial cleaning business?
Raise your profile by approaching the local media with your story: you’re an entrepreneur setting up their own company with the aim of providing the best service in the area and creating local jobs. The head office support team may be able to help you with this.
If they’re unable to, the most efficient way of doing this is by writing a press release, which describes the company and includes some compelling quotes from you, the owner. Don’t forget to include your contact details, as the journalist tasked with writing the story may have some questions they need to ask you.
Providing good quality images with the press release will increase the chances of your story being published.
To get the best results, use a public relations professional or agency, who will be able to advise on the angle of the press release, write it on your behalf and determine what media organisations to target.
In addition, targeted and proactive marketing is crucial if you want to hit the ground running.
You may wish to offer a discount offer for the first 20 customers who sign up for your service, for example.
Above all, the best way to get off to a good start is to provide a service that delivers what it promises - every time. This will help build your reputation in your trading territory and establish firm foundations on which to build a successful company.