The Cleaning Sector: Focusing on the Franchises that Clean Up

The Cleaning sector offers a wealth of opportunities to business builders seeking either owner-operator or management franchisees. Adam Browning has a closer look at some of the franchises available

Commercial Cleaning

The commercial cleaning sector offers a range of white-collar management opportunities for business builders. With customers needing cleaning on a year-round basis, commercial cleaning companies provide a sought after and valuable service that yield consistent results for investors.

Jani King
In 2004, Jani-King was recognised by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top-10 franchise companies, alongside such global names as McDonald's and Subway.

As one of the largest and fastest growing franchised companies in the commercial cleaning sector, over the last 35 years Jani-King International has put over 10,000 franchisees into business worldwide. Offering a management opportunity that focuses upon building the business and managing cleaning staff, Jani-King utilises a dedicated sales-support team to provide contracts for the franchisee.

With this steady flow of new business, Jani-King guarantees franchisees an annualised turnover to a certain level, but looks towards targets of £1 million+. This guarantee provides franchisees with a powerful safety net: 'Subject to the franchise agreement, if Jani-King should have offered a franchise owner £22,000 of business by a certain month but has been unable to offer them any business, then Jani-King's guarantee is that they will pay the franchisee £2,200 per month,' reveals Director Paul Howarth.

The Jani-King name is a brand with real asset value, and with full training and support provided, new management-minded franchisees need no cleaning industry experience - just high ambitions.

A management franchise with high earning potential, Ecocleen has seen the opportunities that have arisen from the growing environmental awareness amongst businesses. Providing a more environmentally friendly solution to commercial cleaning, Ecocleen Regional Franchisees can earn over £100,000 a year. From an investment starting at £15,000, which can be assisted by up to 70 per cent bank financing, franchisees benefit from Ecocleen's 11 years experience in the market. The company's ISO 9001 certification means that both clients and franchisee benefit from a proven system.

With accredited trainers offering full training and ongoing support, franchisees have access to both expertise and resources to aid their business growth and to maximise its potential. As a business with high profit levels, franchisees benefit from exclusive regions while Ecocleen provide national contract leads and direct sales support.

The Cleaning Company
Uniquely in its sector, T.C.C Facilities Management (The Cleaning Company) is run for franchisees, by franchisees. The Cleaning Company offers franchisees a range of investment opportunities to suit both experience and available finances and adds flexibility with its in-house 'finance' package. The packages include a 'hands-on' operation at the minimum investment level while at the higher levels are full management opportunities.

With corporations, hotels, financial institutions and light industrial facilities among its commercial clients, The Cleaning Company guarantees its franchisees profit from day one. In order to let franchisees concentrate on developing their business, The Cleaning Company itself takes on every operational task on behalf of franchisees, including quotations, sales, scheduling, payroll, debt collection and business analysis.

With specially tailored training that includes both classroom instruction and on-site experience, the franchisee also benefits from a 12-month mentor programme. An established brand, The Cleaning Company guarantees franchisees the opportunity to grow their business to a turnover in excess of £250,000 pa.

As a leading franchised commercial cleaning company, Dublcheck has been listed as one of the UK's fastest growing companies by the Sunday Times Fast track 100. With over 12 years' experience in the industry, Dublcheck has developed a network of over 100 franchisees.

Dublcheck provides franchisees with a high level training and ongoing support to aid them in developing a substantial business supplying services to national high-profile groups and high-street establishments. These clients are brought to the franchisee by a dedicated sales team and under the 'Dublcheck Business Builder Guarantee', franchisees are guaranteed initial turnover, profit and growth. 'With our experience and track record,' reveals founder Carol Stewart-Gill, 'we can safely say that if you put the effort in and follow our system, with Dublcheck the rewards are there for everyone to see.'

Another benefit is a range of investment options that range from as little as £8,750 all the way up to £60,000. This diversity means that a Dublcheck franchise can appeal to those looking to run a hands-on business, while retaining the security of their current position, or to those seeking a £500,000 per annum management business.

Detail Clean
Bridging the gap between commercial and domestic cleaning companies, Detail Clean has taken the advantage by servicing both of these lucrative markets. With five years' experience in the industry, Detail Clean has developed a concept based upon 'a consistently professional service with impeccable reliability'. With a focus upon customer service, Detail Clean also provides its franchisees with a franchise package of the same quality standard.

Operating in exclusive territories, franchisees can expect to receive training and support including assistance in the pre and post-launch to vet, hire and train staff, begin marketing and supervise their first cleaning jobs.

Developed under the guidance of Franchise Development Services, Senior Franchise Consultant Paul Hague speaks highly of the franchise: 'Detail Clean has put considerable effort into developing its exciting franchise and I am very pleased to have helped the company through to launch. Its own business has done extremely well and its franchisees have a great opportunity to build very good businesses for themselves.'

Domestic Cleaning

The UK domestic cleaning services sector has grown by 91 per cent in the last three years, with the UK market currently worth around £2.86 billion employing nearly 200,000 people, according to franchisor MyHome. With the modern lifestyle of many people leaving no time or desire to clean, franchises in this sector have access to a huge and growing market.

Molly Maid
Founded in Canada in 1978, Molly Maid is one of the world's best-known branded domestic cleaning companies. Operating in the UK for 20 years, Molly Maid offers a management franchise with high profit potential. From an affordable investment that can yield high returns, the franchisee benefits from a proven system, low overheads and good cash flow.

Managing a team of trained cleaners, the franchisee concentrates on generating new business - all backed with Molly Maid's dedicated support team for the life of the franchise. As a brand with high recognition that represents a quality service, the franchisee's business is strengthened by liveried vehicles and uniformed staff that adds value and attracts customers willing to pay more for the best.

Spic and Span
Spic and Span is a ground floor management opportunity with proven profitability and the advantage of enabling its franchisees to free themselves of all clerical and administrative ties. Spic and Span uses its unique time saving management systems to take over the administrative and clerical needs of its franchisees, leaving them to focus upon growing and developing their businesses.

After seven years of success in the industry, Bristol-based Spic and Span launched its professionally put-together franchise package. Having found the solutions to enable franchisees to run an efficient and effective business, Spic and Span is an opportunity that can yield lucrative six-figure earnings.

Merry Maid
As part of the ServiceMaster Group, the Merry Maids franchise benefits from support and referral work that can be generated by the organisation's other franchises, including TruGreen and Furniture Medic. A management franchise, Merry Maid's franchisees hire, train, and manage their own staff who provide a professional domestic cleaning service. With one of the most recognised names in this industry, Merry Maids offers franchisees the chance to invest in a proven business model.

After a 16-year history of successfully operating in the UK, Merry Maids continually strives to secure its position as a market leader. Quality systems, software, and cleaning products are just some of the factors that let Merry Maids continue this.

RG Maintenance
A crossover franchise brand that provides a variety of cleaning and maintenance services, RG Maintenance (RGM) has the advantage of appealing to a broad range of potential markets. A leading service provider in East Anglia for 14 years, RGM offers franchisees the choice to invest and operate in either in a hands-on role or to build a management business. Both options, however, benefit from the RGM concept that allows three possible streams of income.

The three core markets that RGM specialises in are: Commercial/Domestic Cleaning, Grounds Maintenance and Specialist Environmental Services. Each of which can be tailored to the demands of the franchisee's territory. With three sources for business, RGM provides comprehensive initial and ongoing training as well as launch and marketing assistance to make the most of the businesses potential.

Specialised Cleaning

Having identified a niche market, many franchises have built their business concepts to provide specialist services to target clients. Providing essential services to both commercial and domestic customers, franchisees can benefit from regular repeat business.

As a top UK management franchise, Swisher's unique service benefits from no competition and continuous growth potential. Appealing to business builders, Swisher franchisees build substantial regional businesses managing teams of service staff who provide its high quality washroom cleaning service.

Swisher is seeking franchisees who have the vision, focus and desire to work hard and achieve considerable financial success. These individuals will be rewarded with extensive training and the best support ratios in franchising with two franchisees to each member of corporate staff. One of the most recognised names in the cleaning industry, Swisher is famous not only for its services but also the standard of its franchise packages. Winning the HSBC Award for Enterprise at the BFA's Franchisor of Year Awards, Swisher was also runner up in the Daily Express Brand Builder Award.

With over 23 million households in the UK, Cookerburra offers an oven cleaning service that has almost limitless potential. Using 'own-brand' chemicals and a unique cleaning system, Cookerburra can restore ovens and hobs back to showroom condition in under two hours.

Established in 1993, Cookerburra has put together a comprehensive BFA affiliated franchise package that offers two investment options. The first franchise option enables the franchisee to start as an owner operator, who can then gradually build to a managed operation with a number of employees and vans. The second option is a fast track to full management from the first day. The franchisee can then build the business to operate within the Multi Vehicle management model.

Whatever option, franchisees benefit from a powerful corporate identity that results in a high rate of repeat sales and very attractive profits.

Providing an invaluable and highly sought after service to all manner of catering establishments, FiltaFry offers a franchise opportunity with great potential. With little or no direct competition, FiltaFry provides a professional service for the onsite, micro-filtration of cooking oils and the highly efficient vacuum based cleaning of deep fat fryers. Naming many household brands among its client base, FiltaFry has proved itself as an integral business to the catering industry. Founded in 1996 as part of the Filta Group, FiltaFry began franchising the following year and has since become recognised as one of the leading service franchises in the UK.

With the UK network now nearing completion this may represent the only opportunity to join what has probably been the fastest growing franchise of its kind in the UK.

Over 30 years, Safeclean has developed its proven system and a network of over 100 operatives. It is one of the largest specialist cleaning companies in the UK, and a long established member of the British Franchise Association.

Franchisees provide a range of specialist furnishing care services to their customers that include Carpet, Upholstery, Rug & Curtain Cleaning, Leather Cleaning & Conditioning and Expert Spot & Stain Removal Safeclean has franchise packages to suit both hands-on single operators and business-building management franchisees alike. Both routes include the necessary technical training, products and solutions as well as marketing and business planning to make the business a success. Franchisees also have the advantage of Safeclean's unique relationship with parent-company Guardsman, which provides call outs to the customer's home at £35 per hour.