What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Cleaning Franchise

From support, marketing and training to past and potential future performance, there are a lot of things you'll want to know before you buy a cleaning franchise. You'll find much of the information you need from the franchisee or reseller, but it also pays to talk with competitors and current franchisees to get a better understanding of the opportunity.

Ten Questions to Ask Before Buying a Franchise Business

1. What is the franchisor's track record?

While there are plenty of up-and-coming opportunities in a range of industries, unless you're willing to take on a good amount of risk it's best to go with an established and reputable franchisor. Before you buy a cleaning franchise, you'll want to know about the franchisor's reputation, brand presence and the success rate among their franchisees. If the franchisor has been in business for more than a year or two, this information should be easily accessible on the franchisor's website and from industry-specific resources. 

2. Who are the board members, directors and other executive leaders?

You want to know who you're going into business with and how they manage their company before you buy a cleaning franchise. At a minimum, you'll want to know about the executive's experience in the industry and their experience with franchising. Are the franchisor executives founders of the brand? Are they well known in the industry? Do they practice innovation as part of their business model? Get to know who's behind the scenes before moving forward.

3. What is the business philosophy of the cleaning franchisor?

Review the franchisor's mission statement or other information about what the company stands for and how they conduct business. Does the franchisor's business model include community outreach efforts? Do they recognize and celebrate the achievements of their franchises? Is a commitment to franchisee success a foundational element of how the company operates? These are important questions to ask before buying a franchise business because you want to know as much about the company culture as possible to determine if the opportunity is a good fit for you and your business goals. 

4. How many franchises does the company have?

The math here is simple—if the company has numerous franchises, the chances for success are much greater than if the company is just starting out or only has a handful of franchises. Besides how many franchises, you'll want to know the areas where these franchises operate to determine if certain markets are better than others for the franchise. 

5. What are some success stories of the company's franchises?

An established cleaning service franchisor should have plenty of success stories to share. Whether these success stories are available on the company's website or you talk with franchisees directly, you'll want to learn about their challenges and how the franchisor has helped them create a profitable business. From questions about buying a cleaning franchise business to why the franchisee chose the franchisor, you'll gain a lot of insight regarding the viability of the franchise and what you can expect by examining success stories

6. What are the costs, terms and conditions of the franchise opportunity?

While there are plenty of questions to ask about buying a franchise, the costs and the terms of a franchise agreement will ultimately be critical to your future success. For established franchisors, these details should be available on their website or included with a franchisee information packet. From licensing fees to operating expenses, you'll want to know as much as possible about how much investment your new endeavor will require. 

7. Is the cleaning business franchise well-known and affiliated with other well-known brands?

The popularity of a franchise brand affects everything from marketing efforts to how easy it will be to get up and running. Does the brand have a presence across the country or just in select markets? Does the franchise have a unique approach to doing business that makes them more desirable than others in the industry? Knowing how popular a brand is before you buy a cleaning franchise is important simply because a well-known brand will stand a much better chance of success. 

8. How easy is the process for acquiring a franchise and getting up and running?

Investing in a new endeavor is stressful enough without the added pressure of learning difficult processes or creating a marketing strategy from scratch. Does the franchisor provide adequate information about all aspects of the franchise, from startup to creating a long-term business? Is the acquisition process straightforward and easy to understand? How involved is the franchisor in the franchisee's ongoing success? If acquiring a cleaning franchise is difficult and stressful, imagine how challenging the rest of the journey could be. 

9. What support does the franchisor provide?

If you're buying a cleaning franchise business, you'll need guidance and support from the start. Does the franchisor provide support during startup, and if so, what kind of support? Will the company help with marketing, training and other important aspects of your business? What resources does the franchisor provide for managing your business and controlling costs? Any franchisor you're considering should show they are focused on the success of each franchise by providing a variety of support. 

10. How do I get customers?

One of the most important questions any potential franchisee should ask, “how do I get customers on the books?” is a major concern. What amount of advertising and marketing does the franchisee provide? Does the franchisor offer resources regarding best practices and proven strategies for getting and keeping customers? Will you have access to other franchisees to tap into their experiences and knowledge? A franchisor that is truly interested in your success will provide a variety of resources to help you build your business. 

The Maids was ranked No. 10 on the Top 100 Franchises for Less Than $100,000 in a 2019 list published by Entrepreneur Magazine. The Maids was also recently ranked No. 69 in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500® list. To find out more about buying a cleaning franchise business with an established franchisor, request franchising information from The Maids and find hundreds of opportunities across North America.