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The business is very scalable and owners can increase their number of employees as their accounts grow, he said.
“Most staff are part-timers. Typically, the staff would have jobs during the day and then would come out and clean one to three buildings at night, depending on the size. That’s another attractive thing in this business. If employees are part-time and under 30 hours a week, there is no obligation of the employer to provide health care.”
In addition to recruiting new franchisees through Internet leads and franchise portals, ServiceMaster Clean is also interested in signing existing, independent janitorial companies with annual revenues of $300,000 to $1 million that want to continue to grow their business.
“We think we have something to offer them as well, ” he said. “With our experience, length of time in service, and brand recognition, we can provide them a pathway for the ServiceMaster team to bring them where they want to go.”
New franchisees attend a two-week training program at the company’s facilities in Memphis. The first week covers the management side of the business and they learn such things as working with a proprietary software system that allows them to input data that will determine the price of a cleaning job for a building.
The second week is primarily technical training for the production side of the business, even though owners aren’t typically doing the work themselves.
“They should know the cleaning processes and products, especially green, clean products,” Messenger said.
Finally, franchisees have follow-up with a business development consultant, who will work with them as long as needed.
Because of the size of the company, ServiceMaster Clean also offers franchisees some marketing advantages, Messenger said. The company is active at trade shows for organizations such as the Building Owners and Managers Association and International Facility Management Association, which keeps the brand in front of those who need its services.
Plus, the company also has a number of national accounts that new franchisees might tap into in their own markets once they establish themselves.
“Companies will have 200 units across the country and they want to leverage their buying power and have one company look after all those units,” he said.
ServiceMaster Clean counts among its national accounts entities such as AT&T Call Center, DaVita, Coldwell Banker, Wells Fargo, Red Cross, and U.S. Cellular.
“We have a national account team of six sales people—and that’s increasing—who are going after others.”