Franchising is a proven way to accelerate success in starting a maid service business, but the truth is that franchising is not for everyone.
Green house cleaning franchise Better Life Maids suggests some insightful questions that a potential franchisee should ask themselves before choosing to franchise or open an independent business.
Better Life Maids President and Chief Experience Officer Matthew Ricketts poses the following questions to prospective franchisees to help them determine if franchising is right for them.
“1. Are you more interested in creating a brand of your own, or are you ready to build upon a proven business foundation?”
If a prospective franchisee wants to build their own brand, that is a very specific mind set, and perhaps franchising is not the perfect fit. It may be that they will be more interested in the climb of building a business from scratch, testing and evaluating their own ideas. While this is a tougher road, it can be rewarding in other ways beyond just the financials. On the other hand, if they are ready to get started with a proven system, and want the guidance and support that franchising provides, then perhaps they should continue to explore business options that meet their personality type and skills.
“2. Are you financially prepared to start your own business?”
Starting any business can be expensive. Franchising has the added cost of a franchise fee on
the front end. You can think of this fee as a full service consulting and coaching service. All of the tools necessary to succeed in a business model are usually included in this fee. It varies from franchise to franchise, but the Better Life Maids franchise fee starts at $14,500 and includes an established brand and business identity, unlimited home office support and guidance, franchise level website and web marketing support, sales training and support, software licenses and support, technical tools, extensive initial and ongoing training, and a protected territory. If a prospective franchisee were to instead start a business from scratch they will still have many of these costs. They will need to establish a brand identity (think logo, color scheme, fonts, pictures) that represent their brand, build a website, find and buy the right software, and learn from their own mistakes. Either way they will need to plan on investing their time, and capital into the new business venture. One of the main reasons small businesses fail is that they are under capitalized. Franchising tries to address this by qualifying franchisees and making sure they are a good fit for business ownership.
“3. Do you prefer to be a Chief or an Indian?”
Most people like to think of themselves as the chief, but the truth is that while leadership can be learned, it is not a perfect fit for everyone. A prospective franchisee needs to know if they want to manage every little detail of the business from the way things look and feel, to the way employees dress, developing their own corporate standards. If so, franchising will be a tough go, because most of these critical components are laid out for you. Franchising is best suited for people who are willing to follow a system. That does not mean that franchisees can’t help make the system better and suggest incremental, and even sweeping improvements, it just means that they need to be well suited to working within a structured frame work. The maverick entrepreneur is hardly the right fit for franchising, even if he can make a lot of money in the business, it won’t fill his other desires and needs for running and creating a business.
“4. Are you willing to work hard?”
Just because the franchise has all the details laid out, does not mean that new franchisees will not need to work hard to be successful. They might not need to be up till 2 AM in the morning building their mission statement, logo, website, etc… However they will still need to pour a great deal of energy into running a successful franchise business. If they are used to, and like working a 9 to 5 schedule, punching a clock and going home, then they should seriously evaluate if franchising or being a business owner of any kind will be a good fit. A new business owner will have to make sacrifices to make their new business a success, probably in form of long hours during the start-up phase. Franchising will certainly take some uncertainty out of the process, but no matter what their is no substitute for hard work.
“5. Are you open to new ideas and new ways of doing things?”
Probably a big reason the franchise system a prospective franchisee is choosing was and is successful is that it challenged the status-quo, and in doing so created a blue ocean of new opportunity. If a franchisee is set on doing things their own way, they will not completely buy in to the training and expertise that the franchise system provides. If a prospective franchisee has been doing something a long time and has their own ideas on how to do it best, than franchising might not be the best fit. If however this is a new industry, or they are willing to have an open mind and learn new things, franchising can provide a great opportunity.
Better Life Maids is a green house cleaning service founded in St. Louis, MO. It has created a unique marketing partnership with Better Life a natural household cleaning products manufacturer. Together they are working to create the first national name brand in natural household cleaning products and green house cleaning services. Better Life Maids is expanding in select markets through a franchise development system. For more information visit http://www.betterlifemaids.com or http://www.cleanhappens.com.
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