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Should you buy a cleaning business or buy a cleaning franchise? What do you need to know before you sign any contracts? If you are thinking about buying a franchise here are some questions to ask.

Should You Buy a Cleaning Business or Franchise?


Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: Should You Buy a Cleaning Business or Franchise?

Buy a Cleaning Business franchising“Should I buy an existing house cleaning business, and how much should I pay?” That’s the question we’re going to answer today.

My question to you is, why do you want to buy someone else’s business?

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Answer: Buy a Cleaning Business = Buy Success?

Buy a Cleaning Business leaving businessIs it because the business you want is flourishing? Are there a whole bunch of things that come along with the sale that will keep you from reinventing the wheel?

If that is the case, you can negotiate those details with the current owner.

But for the most part, here’s what I see. I see house cleaners getting out of the cleaning business and they want to sell their business to someone looking for a shortcut.

What that breaks down to is a client list not contracts. And a client list is not worth much because customers pay house cleaners for the most part on a pay-as-you-go basis. So, you’re not buying a years’ worth of contracts that are already paid for.

Choose Residential or Commercial Before You Buy a Cleaning Business

Buy a Cleaning Business residentialNow, if the seller has clients on a retainer and they’ve paid a year in advance, or if they are commercial contracts that is a different story.

But for the most part, maids go clean a house and they collect a check the same day.

And so, there’s no loyalty whatsoever. The loyalty is, “Oh, my house cleaner is now gone. I guess I’ll find out who my neighbor is using.”

You Can Buy a Cleaning Business But You Can’t Buy Loyalty

Buy a Cleaning Business trained employeesThe relationship was with the previous house cleaner. Not you. The exception is if you are buying a staff that comes along with the business who have relationships with the customer.

When You Buy a Cleaning Business Are You Buying a Territory?

Is there a territory that’s associated with sale? If you buy a franchise they will assign you a territory, and so you are only allowed to clean in that territory. When you buy a franchise, they guarantee you that no one else from that company will market in your area.

Buy a Cleaning Business franchise opportunityThe territory may not be close to where you live – so that needs consideration.

And there is no guarantee that independent house cleaners won’t come in and compete with you in your market.

So, what are you buying?
The relationship was with the previous house cleaner. Not you. The exception is if you are buying a staff that comes along with the business who have relationships with the customer.

There could be 35 other independent house cleaners that are in that same area that are marketing there, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Are you paying for the exclusivity? Because if you are, that might be something you want to rethink.

If You Buy a Cleaning Business Does it Include a Training Program?

Buy a Cleaning Business new cleanerIf you’re buying a franchise, the concept is that you’re buying an existing training program. Here’s where buying a franchise actually makes sense.

Don’t reinvent the training manuals, policies, and rules, and creating an entire coaching program for employees. If you can buy one that has a proven track record – that’s a great deal.

Before You Buy a Cleaning Business Check Out the Company Reputation

Buy a Cleaning Business pricesIf you buy a long-term, well-known business they may have a great business name. And it’s got great business reviews, they may also have a great marketing plan.

If it’s a franchise you’re buying they’ll have a marketing plan set up on a national level. That includes websites and social media and all that stuff, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for that.

And for that, there’s a hefty price for you to jump in and buy an existing business. But if you’re buying it from an independent, chances are they have a crappy website. They may have crappy social media, and that social media links back to them. It’s based on the friendships that they’ve made. So even if you buy the business you’re not buying their friends. You’re not buying their likes and their shares.

Are You Buying a Cleaning Business with Trained Staff?

Buy a Cleaning Business commercialIf you’re buying already trained employees, 15 or 30 people that already work well together, that’s worth some money.

To go out and find 30 new people that you trust, and then train them all, and get them all up to speed, that’s going to take time and it’s going to be costly. If you are able to buy that already then, booyah! That might be worth it.

Is the Sale Price in Line with Your Budget?

Buy a Cleaning Business spendingIf you’re thinking about buying a franchise, how much are you willing to spend? It’s going to come down to your price, it’s going to come down to your budget, and it’s going to come down to your operating capital.

And you need enough working capital to keep your business afloat in the event that half the staff jumps ship. You may need to hire a new team and put them all through training.

Even if you buy an operating business, there is nothing to keep the employees from leaving. You can’t buy loyalty.

Are You Buying a Cleaning Business Yourself or Going Through a Broker?

Buy a Cleaning Business buying businessHow much you pay for the business is going to come down to the terms you can hammer out with the seller. The prices vary all over the board.

Now, there are brokers out there who buy and sell businesses. My suggestion would be to call a broker and say, “Hey, listen. I’m thinking about buying this business. What is the going rate in my area for buying a business of this type?” And then give them the specs, and oftentimes they’ll do the research if they don’t already have it. And they can tell you a finite amount of money the business is worth.

If an expert brokers a deal for you they will make a commission that you have to factor in the sale price. But going through a broker may get you more money that you may be able to get on your own if you are unfamiliar with buying or selling cleaning businesses.

And only then can you make a decision on does that make sense for you.

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