We are not a cleaning franchise…
After talking to scores of facility managers over the years, one question that regularly pops up is this: “Are you a franchise company?” Now why is such a question raised so frequently? It seems that many companies have had an unpleasant experience with cleaning franchises. But why is this often the case? And in what instances does using a franchise make sense? What are the benefits of a locally owned, independent janitorial company?
Why franchises often aren’t a good choice for your janitorial
For better or worse, many franchise owners didn’t have the ability or means to enter the
business on their own. A franchise offers systems, processes, and help with growth. But for the companies who will hire them, there are some potential risks. Here are a few:
The reputation of the franchise company is not always reflective of the quality of the
Franchises offer an easy way to get into the business along with promises of good
returns. This increases the likelihood that many franchisees will start but not become a
solid, reputable cleaning provider.
Given the quantity of franchise companies, the ratio of good/bad contractors is low.
Franchisees are 1099 employees, which basically means the company you sign an agreement with are subcontracting the work and not maintaining control.
When does a cleaning franchise make sense for you?
There are instances where a cleaning franchise might work for your facility. First, cleaning franchises could make sense if you have multiple facilities spread out over several cities or states and you need a single point of contact for all of the locations. If there are multiple franchises of the same company, they can often partner together to service the various buildings. Secondly, there are some good, established franchisees, who are already doing well in your area and can add your building to their current lineup. These may be harder to find as you sift through the various franchises, but we want to acknowledge that they do exist.
The benefits of a locally owned, independent janitorial company
There are numerous benefits to a reputable, independently owned cleaning company. Here are a few that you should consider:
Longevity – Getting into the business is harder on your own, but the school of
experience and risk creates companies that will stick around for a long time.
Capacity – While franchises often tout the size of the franchise, it is actually
independent companies that clean most of the larger, more complex facilities. They
typically have greater financial and people resources than their franchise counterparts.
Competitive Pricing – Independently owned companies do not pay franchise fees. Therefore, they can keep costs lower, especially on larger accounts.
Customization – A locally owned cleaning company does not have to offer a cookie
cutter approach. They can customize the services, systems, and process to meet your
To recap, there are advantages and disadvantages to using a cleaning franchise. Consider the
unique needs and goals of your facility, along with some of the pros and cons listed above, and you will be in a better position to select the right janitorial company for your facility.