Molly Maid, the nation’s leading home cleaning franchise, has appointed Meg Roberts to the role of President. Noted for her marketing acumen, Roberts was also considered for the spot due to her ability to develop and lead teams, communicate the residential maid service business opportunity to potential franchise candidates, and generate business leads for franchise owners throughout the Molly Maid system.
Meg has been with Service Brands International (SBI) since 2007 and served as Vice President of Marketing for Molly Maid and Mr. Handyman for the past year. Prior to this role, Meg directly led the branding efforts of Molly Maid as Director of Marketing. Outside of SBI, she managed accounts for PWB Communications and also spent five years supervising accounts at Energy BBDO. (Check out Meg’s LinkedIn profile at: www.linkedin.com/in/megroberts73)
Franchise Chatter (FC): Congratulations on your new role as President of Molly Maid. What are your major initiatives to help build upon the success of the franchise?
Meg Roberts (MR): Technology is at the forefront of our strategic initiatives this year and leading into 2013. Our website, public relations, and social media efforts continue to drive awareness of our services and deliver leads to our franchise locations across the United States. We will continue to invest in our website to keep the positive momentum going, in addition to promoting more than 200 markets still viable for new Molly Maid territories.
FC: What is your assessment of the current opportunity in the residential cleaning business, given the state of the economy?
MR: Molly Maid franchise owners are on track to achieve sales growth of 10 percent over 2011’s double-digit positive results. Whether it’s the busy family or an active senior or a young professional focused on their career and personal life, people have less time than ever before – and they don’t want to spend it cleaning their home!
Last year, our home service professionals completed nearly 1.6 million cleans and over 90 percent of our business is from repeat customers. An April 2010 Real Simple magazine article reported 43 percent of its readers would choose to outsource housecleaning over outsourcing laundry (17 percent), shopping for groceries (13 percent), doing yard work (10 percent), or paying bills (8 percent).
FC: What sets Molly Maid apart from other residential cleaning franchises?
MR: As a leader in residential cleaning since 1984, we have an amazing network of franchise owners who collaborate and share their best practices to continue building the brand and business in their local markets.
We also have the Ms. Molly Foundation, which no other maid service has to my knowledge. This 501c3 charitable organization has been committed to raising awareness, and over $1.3 million, to support victims of domestic violence since 1996. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and our franchise owners are hosting fundraisers and personal care item collections throughout the month to support more than 120 local domestic violence shelters and agencies around the country. I’m proud to be a part of this company that gives back so much.
FC: Why should someone interested in entering this line of business consider going with a franchise like Molly Maid, versus starting a small independent operation from scratch?
MR: Molly Maid has a proven operating model, a recognized brand, over 28 years of experience with a franchise system that embraces sharing and celebrating one another’s successes. We hear from franchise candidates that our existing owners are so helpful and willing to share information during the investigation process, and that culture continues with mentoring and on-going training and communication between franchise owners and our Home Office team.
FC: What are the main day-to-day responsibilities of your owner-operators, especially during their first few years in the business?
MR: Our franchisees receive a lot of support throughout the term of their 10-year agreement.
In the beginning, owners work closely with our Regional Service Managers (RSMs) and veteran business owners who run office training centers. Planning initial marketing and public relations campaigns to ensure potential clients searching for service can find you, as well as recruiting and training teams of home service professionals to clean customers’ homes, are critical to your success.
Maintaining our customers’ satisfaction early on lends itself to our franchisees’ on-going success, as 90 percent of our business is built on repeat revenue from recurring cleaning service. Our franchise owners monitor our customers’ satisfaction and offer a 24-hour re-cleaning guarantee if we don’t get it right.
Our team is right there along with our new owners as they ramp up their business.
FC: What are your top performing franchisees doing differently from the rest of the system that would account for their exceptional performance?
MR: Successful business owners share the following common traits:
- They have the resources and energy to start a business.
- They bring proven management skills.
- They are committed to providing the highest standard of service.
- They are driven to results through a success-oriented attitude.
- They understand the value of sales and customer relationships.
- They have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.
- They have vision and perseverance to achieve their goals.
FC: What kind of training and support can your franchisees expect to receive?
MR: We’ll share with you all you need to know, and provide on-going support throughout the life of your franchise agreement. If you follow our system, your potential for success is much greater as a Molly Maid franchisee.
You’ll operate your home cleaning franchise using proprietary software recognized by Bill Gates. We’ve placed FIRST two times in the Windows World Open competition. We are the ONLY COMPANY to receive this recognition on two occasions.
Right Start is our initial training program and new owners attend our enjoyable and extensive program taking you step-by-step through every aspect of starting your franchise including legal, finance, human resources, and marketing.
Every owner has an RSM, and whether in-person, on the phone, or during in-person meetings, your RSM is your steadfast supporter and coach. In addition to your RSM, support from our operations, marketing, and IT teams are available.
We communicate regularly with franchisees via webinars, e-newsletters, intranet communications, annual Convention, and during field visits to help hone their skills. Our Home Office team partners with franchisee committees to ensure our training is cutting edge in service quality, management techniques, and business operating systems to keep your maid service franchise relevant and profitable.
FC: With your extensive marketing background, what advice can you offer residential cleaning business owners to help them market their service more effectively?
MR: Offline or traditional awareness-building marketing drives online interest in our service. In fact, our navy blue cars still remain one of our best lead sources, and just recently, a franchise owner was impressed after finding an 11-year-old print marketing piece on his client’s refrigerator!
Once a potential client searches for Molly Maid on the web, we coach our franchisees to ensure they find optimized listings in the organic search area, as well as in the paid space. We also encourage local, nested social sites under our corporate umbrella account.
FC: What can you tell us about the estimated initial investment, royalty fee, and profit potential for a Molly Maid franchise?
MR: The initial franchise fees range from $44,800 – $64,800, depending on territory size. We require candidates to have additional working capital of $26,725 to $51,400 to cover the first three months of expenses, per Item 7 of our Franchise Disclosure Document. Our royalty fee is a percentage based on a calendar year sliding scale of gross sales, ranging from 6.5 percent to 3 percent.
FC: What are your growth targets for 2012 and beyond? Which geographic regions are you targeting for expansion?
MR: Molly Maid is targeting 12 new businesses for 2012 and an additional 12 next year. There are over 200 viable territories across the United States for traditional businesses, and we’re beginning to research opportunities to bring our model into smaller markets with similar demographics to our existing locations. Markets with multiple available territories include Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Long Island, and south Florida, specifically in Dade and Broward Counties.
FC: Is there anything else you wish to share about Molly Maid?
MR: Molly Maid is a member of the International Franchise Association (IFA) and participates in the IFA’s VetFran Program which provides a $2,500 discount on the initial licensing fee to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
For more information on the Molly Maid franchise opportunity, visit our website: http://www.mollymaid.com/cleaning-franchise.aspx.