Starting a New Cleaning Business: Franchise vs. Independently Owned

Posted August 4, 2022

Starting a New Cleaning Business: Franchise vs. Independently Owned

It’s time to break free of being an employee and become something bigger. Owning a company provides many benefits and is an excellent option for many people, but what business to own is crucial to consider. When it comes to starting a cleaning business, potential owners have the option of creating their own business from scratch or buying into a franchise. Which one is the better option? Consider the differences and their impact on potential success before making a decision.

Starting a Business

Starting a business requires a significant amount of capital to get started, a plan for how everything will work, and a lot of hard work. It will take some time to get from the idea stage to open and ready for business, no matter what kind of business it is. For a cleaning business, it is essential to create a legal business, start marketing the company to find customers, hire employees to help with cleaning, and more. Each of these steps can take time, which means more time before the business can potentially start bringing in profits.

Using the Franchise Model

Using the franchise model, getting everything up and running can be more manageable. Franchisees will need to buy into the franchise, which in the cleaning industry is a relatively low start-up cost as compared to other franchises.  The owner then will have a step-by-step guide to help get everything up and running. The business can be up and running faster since the franchise company has already done all the basic legwork. Those interested in offering janitorial services may find it’s easier to get started by being part of a franchise instead of trying to create everything from the beginning on their own.

Ready to Operate

When buying property, you can choose to buy an empty parcel of land that needs to be built into a home, or you can buy a completed house. The latter is largely ready as soon as the seller gives the buyers the keys. The same analogy applies to starting a business. Starting an independently owned business is like buying an empty parcel of land – your business needs to be built from scratch and there are many things to do before the company is ready to operate. Buying a franchise, however, is like purchasing a completed house that is ready for move-in. Much work is done, so franchisees can be prepared to run faster. Franchises provide the opportunity to buy into a turn-key business – the hard work is done so that success can be seen more quickly.

Control Over the Business

Control over the business is one of the areas where an independently owned business has a greater degree of freedom.  The owner can choose how the business is run, the marketing and branding strategies, the choice of cleaning products, and more. With a franchise, the owner has less control because there are regulations in place that keep the franchise aligned with the broader company.  However, because a Franchise Owner is still in charge of hiring and managing their employees, culture is greatly influenced by the Franchisee. 

Reduced Risks

Risks are there for any business. The key is to reduce the risks as much as possible to help prevent situations that could cause the business to fail. Buying into a franchise helps with this. Owners have information about what to expect from the beginning, have help available to them throughout the time they own the business, and have resources available that independently-owned companies cannot access from the beginning. All of this helps to reduce the risk of starting a new business, which can mean the potential to be successful faster and avoid major issues that could cause the company to close.

How Everything Operates

How is the business going to operate? What are the rules for working with clients? How are issues like clients not paying promptly or canceling a contract handled? With an independently owned business, the owner must determine all of this for themselves. They’ll need to decide how they handle potential issues and devise a careful plan to help their cleaning business survive. On the other hand, with a franchise, the owner receives information about how everything operates. They’ll already have a plan for anything that could happen and someone to reach out to if they have any questions or concerns. It’s easier for the franchise owner to start operating their business because figuring out how it will all work is already done for them.

Brand Awareness and Marketing

When someone is ready to eat dinner, they can already think of plenty of places they want to go. They know the brands, so it’s easy for them to pick out somewhere to eat based on what they want that night. This is brand awareness, and it’s a crucial component of marketing today. A new business isn’t going to have any brand awareness from the start – it has to be built, which takes time. Marketing the company does help and can bring in new customers, but it’s going to take a while for people in the area to start recognizing the business name and knowing who to call if they need a janitor.

With a franchise, the brand awareness is already there. Customers have already heard about the company, so they may be excited to find out a new one will soon be operating in their area. With brand awareness already started, franchise owners may find it’s easier to get new customers, even from the beginning, because the company is already known. Having customers already aware of the business could help it be more successful from the start.

Purchasing Requirements

Janitorial companies will need to purchase many products before they can offer services. Some of these machines can be costly, so deciding what is required and what can be skipped for now is essential. Independent owners will need to figure out a list of what they might need and try out the products to see what works. Finding good products to buy can be a little trial and error, but it can mean wasting money before the business is up and going.

 On the other hand, franchisees receive information about what and how much to purchase. They know exactly which equipment to buy and how many supplies to have on hand from the start. Plus, since they are part of a franchise, they may be able to get discounts on the products they need to buy. Already knowing what to get makes initial purchasing plus future orders a lot easier to handle.

Training New Employees

A janitorial service may start with just the owner doing the work, but, eventually, hiring help is needed. When a new employee is hired, how is the training handled? There is a lot to cover, from how to do the work to handling customer service and legal information required to be given to new hires. Independent owners must figure out their training methods and be prepared before hiring anyone to help them. On the other hand, franchisees will receive information and assistance with training new employees to ensure everything is covered and the new employee is ready to work. 

Innovation and Change

Innovations occur throughout all industries, and the cleaning industry is no different. While franchises may not be at the forefront of designing new products, they do have the opportunity to take advantage of the latest innovations and have assistance keeping up with recent changes in the industry. On the other hand, owners who want to innovate may opt for an independently owned business, so they have the freedom to try new things and see what works for their business. The downside is that they may not have the capital to keep up with some of the most significant changes in the industry, especially at the beginning, which can impact their success.

Likelihood of Success

It’s crucial to consider the likelihood of success when launching a cleaning business or buying into a franchise. In general, most startups will fail within the first five years. The top reasons for failure include running out of cash, developing a product or service where there is no need, or losing to a competitor. Though every business has the potential to run out of cash, franchise owners do have help available to manage the funds properly, reducing this risk. There is a high demand for janitorial services, so depending on the location, that may not be a concern. With a franchise, losing to a competitor is a smaller concern, as well, since brand awareness is already developed, and marketing help is available.

Launching a new cleaning business allows one to make money and become the boss instead of working for someone else. Both an independently owned business and a franchise provide this opportunity, so consider what’s right for you. Keep in mind the benefits a franchise can offer, like giving you the opportunity to become a part of something successful from the start and making it easier to get the company up and running. You may have a higher chance of success in the long run. A Corvus Janitorial Systems franchise can help you start a business with lower upfront costs, more opportunities for long-term success, and a supportive and knowledgeable team looking out for you and your business along the way. Contact us today to learn how Corvus can help you become a business owner.

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Whether you are interested in a commercial clean or franchising opportunities, Corvus Janitorial Services is by your side.