As entrepreneurial opportunities, cleaning franchises have ample appeal. No two franchises are the same, however, so it’s smart to know exactly what you’re getting into.

What Do Cleaning Franchises Do?

Cleaning franchises provide various sanitation services for residential, business and organizational customers. For instance, you may offer home or office cleaning services that let consumers book your staff according to a predetermined schedule. Your business might also provide post-disaster cleaning and restoration to victims of events like fires or flooding. Some cleaning franchises even perform maintenance and upkeep services.

Are There Barriers to Entry?

cleaning-franchises-3Almost all cleaning franchises come with some form of startup costs. For starters, you must acquire cleaning equipment, consumable supplies and warehousing space in addition to having to pay for the franchise itself.

If you don’t plan on doing all the legwork on your own, you’ll need to hire and train competent employees. To work with some clients, you may also need to ensure that your staff members pass background checks.

Bear in mind that many cleaning franchises employ proprietary methods, environmentally friendly techniques or other specialized business models. If you’re purchasing an existing janitorial franchise that comes with client accounts, be sure to review the FTC disclosure document thoroughly.

How Does Geography Affect Cleaning Franchises?

geoLocation may have a unique impact on cleaning franchises compared to other businesses, but it definitely plays a role. Even though you’re not limited to a specific storefront or brick-and-mortar location, you still have to reach your clients.

It’s vital that you budget for transportation and asset maintenance costs. Depending on the nature of the equipment you use and the size of your staff, you may have to purchase specialized vehicles to get around town and service your accounts satisfactorily.

The Place of Cleaning Franchises Within a Larger Business Ecosystem

cleaning-franchises-2Cleaning franchises are subject to the same economic woes that other businesses face. For instance, the recession of the 2000s halted the industry’s trend of increasing total sales by 10 percent each year. Nonetheless, Entrepreneur reported that even in the face of such depression, cleaning companies exhibited some of the fastest expansion of all franchises.

So what does this all mean for your business outlook? It may depend on what niche you’re trying to fill. For instance, if you exclusively service schools and other government facilities, a bad economy probably won’t hit you quite as hard. If the majority of your customers are small businesses, on the other hand, you may suffer for lack of diversification.

Should You Specialize?

While offering a wide range of services is generally a sound business strategy, it doesn’t always work for cleaning franchises. Focusing on a single area of expertise, such as carpet or duct cleaning, may be a safer bet if your target market has sufficient demand. This is especially true if the playing field is already packed with generic providers before you decide to make your debut.