A commercial cleaning franchise is one of the most popular and affordable options for those who want to start their own business. I can think of several reasons why many commercial cleaning franchises place near the top of every franchise list year after year. The low total investment required, recession-resistant nature of the industry, proven business model, and healthy number of strong franchise companies that are thriving have made the commercial cleaning franchise a true stand-out among many franchise options.
In Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2011 rankings of the top franchise companies, 7 commercial cleaning franchises ranked in the Top 10 of Low-Cost Franchises. 6 commercial cleaning franchises made it to the Top 10 of Homebased Franchises. And 7 commercial cleaning franchises placed in the Top 10 of Fastest Growing Franchises. And in the main list of the Top 500 Franchises, commercial cleaning companies took 6 places out of the Top 50.
One of the major players in this space is Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems (#11 in the Top 500 list, #2 in both the Fastest Growing and Low-Cost Franchises List, and #3 in the Top Homebased Franchises list).
I really like the business model of Jan-Pro because it offers 2 options to prospective franchisees, depending on their goals, skills, and financial ability to invest. These 2 options are the master franchise and the unit franchise.
1. Jan-Pro Master Franchise
Someone who desires an executive level position and job function should seriously consider being a Jan-Pro master franchisee.
A master franchisee acts as the regional franchisor within a given territory, meaning he or she sells franchises and supports the unit franchisees through ongoing training and other support functions that a franchisor would normally provide.
A Jan-Pro master franchisee also secures the commercial cleaning contracts that the unit franchisees will service, provides customer support to corporate clients, bills the client, collects payment, and disburses the appropriate amounts to the unit franchisees.
The Jan-Pro master franchisee establishes an office that is open during regular business hours and puts together a staff that will support both commercial clients and unit franchisees.
The Jan-Pro master franchisee has several income sources. Being the regional franchisor within his territory, he is entitled to the franchise fees and royalties from the unit franchisees. He also has a share in the commercial cleaning contracts, net of what is due to the unit franchisees.
This is one of my favorite franchise opportunities because the revenue potential is virtually unlimited, given the huge market for the service in every city. In addition, the business model allows for low overhead expenses because the office space does not have to be in a fancy office building, and the number of support staff can be increased gradually as the business grows.
To become a Jan-Pro master franchisee, one must have executive and/or sales management experience, liquid assets from $90,000 to $200,000 (depending on financing and the size of the metropolitan area), and must reside in or be willing to move to an available territory.
2. Jan-Pro Unit Franchise
The Jan-Pro unit franchisee is the business owner who performs (or hires other workers to perform) the cleaning function. The unit franchisee does not have to worry about personally securing cleaning contracts with large companies, and the associated paperwork that comes with billing and collecting payments from the customer. The main responsibility of the unit franchisee is to provide the commercial client with the best possible cleaning service.
Because of the decentralized organizational structure, a prospective unit franchisee of Jan-Pro must conduct careful due diligence on the master franchisee responsible for his territory because the success or failure of the unit franchisee is highly correlated with the ability of the master franchisee to establish and maintain good relationships with commercial clients.
If I were a prospective Jan-Pro unit franchisee, I’d spend a lot of time getting to know the master franchisee and his staff to assess their ability to secure and retain corporate clients, because that will be the lifeblood of my business. I’d talk to other unit franchisees in the territory to ask them about their experience and satisfaction with the master franchisee. I’d also inquire about the rate of turnover of corporate clients because a high churn rate suggests there is dissatisfaction with the company and/or the service.
The Jan-Pro unit franchisee undergoes 5 weeks of training where he or she learns everything needed to operate the franchise successfully, including all cleaning systems and customer relations training.
The following video was produced by Franchise Direct.
The total initial investment for a Jan-Pro franchise ranges from $3,145 (for a unit franchise) to $50,405 (for a master franchise, depending on the size of the territory). The franchise fee ranges from $2,800 to $44,000, again depending on the type of franchise and size of the territory. The ongoing royalty fee is 10% of gross sales. I am currently working on several exclusive interviews with representatives of Jan-Pro and their franchisees. Please check back soon to read the inside scoop on Jan-Pro from people with first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to be part of one of the leading names in the commercial cleaning franchise industry.
To read my review of Vanguard Cleaning Systems, click here.