The thing I love about Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual list of Top 500 Franchises is the exposure it gives to so many different industries, concepts, and brands. If a prospective franchisee approaches his search with an open mind, this list can lead to a lot of interesting and unexpected opportunities.
Case in point is the commercial cleaning franchise business. The janitorial business is not something that I had ever considered. But after reading about Vanguard Cleaning Systems, the #1 Homebased Franchise and #1 Low-Cost Franchise in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2011 list, I have a whole new appreciation for this business opportunity.
Vanguard Cleaning Systems offers 2 kinds of franchises, namely the Master Franchise and the Janitorial Franchise.
1. The Master Franchise is appropriate for someone who wants to focus on building a commercial cleaning business in a given region. This involves marketing the business to corporate clients to secure regular cleaning contracts, as well as marketing to potential janitorial franchisees who will service these contracts. This option really appeals to former executives and entrepreneurial types who want to focus on marketing, strategy, and operations.
This is a very challenging dual-role because the master franchisee acts as the CEO of a local commercial cleaning business, as well as the representative of the Franchisor within his territory.
The master franchise option costs anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 depending on the territory — so this is not the homebased and low-cost franchise referred to in the list. But considering the unlimited potential to grow the business in a very stable industry under one of the industry’s leading brand names, I think this amount is still very reasonable.
2. The Janitorial Franchise is appropriate for someone who wants to work hands-on in his own cleaning business, servicing the corporate clients secured by the master franchisee. Since the job is done primarily at night, the janitorial franchisee has the option of keeping his day job. With the investment starting at $8,800 and up, the janitorial franchisee becomes the owner of his own homebased business that is part of one of the leading names in the commercial cleaning business.
The fee pays for the initial training as well as the equipment needed to run the business. But more importantly, it provides a steady source of corporate customers, invoicing and collections services for these customers, and customer service support.
Since the success of the janitorial franchisee is dependent in large part on the ability of the master franchisee to secure and keep corporate clients, any prospective franchisee must carefully conduct his due diligence on the master franchisee as well.
Vanguard Franchising Systems has been in business since 1984, and they currently have 53 Master Franchisees and over 2,000 janitorial franchisees. There are still many lucrative territories available.
Learning about Vanguard and the commercial cleaning franchise business opened my eyes to a whole new world of options. Potential franchisees really owe it to themselves to learn about different franchise industries, and not limit themselves to the usual suspects. There are a lot of hidden gems beyond fast food, and Vanguard Cleaning Systems certainly seems to be one of them.
To read my review of Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems, click here.
Are you a current master franchisee or janitorial franchisee of Vanguard Cleaning Systems? Is your Vanguard Cleaning Systems franchise profitable? Do you work for the Vanguard Cleaning Systems franchise organization? Can you share anything about the profit potential of the Vanguard Cleaning Systems franchise?