The consumer home services sector is experiencing constant acceleration in many sub-sectors including disaster services such as fire, flood and mold remediation, and recurrent services, such as home landscaping and residential cleaning services. There is much to praise about the recurrent services business model for obvious reasons. Technical skill is required for both services however only the latter has enjoyed the market dynamics to flourish within a franchised model. Still, at first blush residential cleaning services may not appear attractive to a prospective franchisee.
Don’t let these three common myths prevent you from missing a powerful entrepreneurial opportunity:
The consumer of residential cleaning service is a married female with children at home, a job and a mortgage…the one with the greatest likelihood of “messy” – a shrinking market. In fact research suggests that residential cleaning service consumers are equally likely to have cleaning help, whether under or over the age of 45. Advances in wellness medicine have had a huge influence on trends in aging, with the overall population seeing significant increases in the percentage of people 65+, and more projected over the next several decades. Because senior women are healthier and active longer they will work, volunteer, grandparent, date, travel and exercise in the over-achieving fashion of their younger counterparts as long as possible. Even as the population ages, demand for house cleaning continues to grow – “there’s no way I could meet all my other obligations without cleaning help” is the number one response house cleaning consumers of any age cite when thinking about someone else cleaning their home according to recent research.
People only clean houses for temporary income, while they find other work, so I’d just be training employees to lose them. More often than not, individuals seeking temporary income through house cleaning chose to work independently. However the job applicant applying for work at a professional brand is seeking the opportunity to improve their skills, a steady stream of customers without a personal investment in advertising, and the personal satisfaction of working for a recognized brand in their local communities. In fact, as a marquee name franchised residential cleaning services are better positioned to attract and retain long term employees than any other cleaning service model.
House cleaning is not a “professional” industry. To the contrary, residential cleaning is a widely respected and valued service and franchising in this industry has been catalyst to the overall elevation of professionalism in the last thirty years. Franchised cleaning services offer the greatest degree of professionalism in a consumer service and have advanced the overall industry image to command billions of dollars of revenue nationally. Trust is, as in all service industries, a critical factor in the consumer purchasing decision and trust is strongest when there is a company behind the cleaners – only licensed cleaning businesses with full insurances, background checks, training and development programs, quality assurances programs and fair labor practices can attract and retain the highest calibre cleaning technician.
Some emerging business models favor technology platforms to connect consumers with what appears to be a national or international brand employing technicians directly, yet may in fact be a network of sub-contractors dispatched at the bidding of a mobile app, something more and more common today in the residential cleaning industry. The sub-contractor model cannot provide the same consistent quality to ensure recurrent revenues, nor survive against increased demand for transparency in every industry, including cleaning, thus is not equipped to compete in any material way with franchised brands for recurring customer revenues. House cleaning services help people in very individual ways to achieve what really are very similar goals that are, at the root, are centered on consistency, thoroughness and trust.
Franchised brands are best positioned to succeed in this growing and lucrative industry.