Choosing a franchisor is akin to choosing a life partner. It’s best to learn all the nuances – like, leaving the cap off the toothpaste, drinking straight from the carton, or hanging the TP roll upside down – before you sign a contract. This post is the first in a multi-part series in which we explore vital – not always intuitive – nuances about home cleaning franchises and the best questions to ask to uncover them quickly.
Q1: Is there a minimum required marketing spend?
Many franchise agreements contain legally-binding terms requiring minimum monthly outlays for marketing. Some take it even further, dictating exactly where and how you must spend the money.
Here at MaidPro, we believe strongly in the power of marketing. We work with you to generate a recommended budget and tactical plan. But, that recommended budget and plan will be derived, first, from provable facts and performance metrics around what works in the home cleaning business and, second, your own creativity and knowledge of the local market.
We give you access to contemporary tools (such as marketing Big Data), offer expertise and custom advice, but we stop short of demanding that you spend a certain number of dollars each month on marketing.
Q2: What is the frequency of royalty payments?
All franchisees pay royalties — a percentage of earnings or some other relevant measure — in return for branding, operations know-how, systems, support, and so forth. What can vary is how often you need to worry about calculating and paying those royalty fees.
Virtually every other home cleaning franchisor we know requires weekly royalty payments. Often, the burden is on the franchisee not only to pay weekly but to figure out what is owed. Not true at MaidPro. First, we offer state-of-the-art Cloud-based software — custom built for home cleaning businesses — to assist you in managing virtually every aspect of your business, from job scheduling, to HR and employee training, to financial management and performance metrics. One outcome of this capability is that our franchisees never need to worry about royalty fee calculations and reporting. We invoice for royalties once at the end of each month and give you an entire additional month to pay, which also gives you more flexibility in managing cash flow.
Q3: What is the minimum franchise term? What happens if, some day, I decide the business isn’t working for me?
Almost every franchisor across all industries requires you to sign a 10-year legally binding agreement. You can decide to quit (or have your agreement cancelled due to default), but you’ll still be legally liable for minimum royalty fees across the entire 10-year term.
MaidPro’s approach is friendlier. First, we rarely make mistakes in choosing our franchise partners. We have a thorough and highly accurate vetting process and strongly encourage all new potential franchisees to interact deeply with our teams in Boston and with other franchise owners prior to making any long-term commitments. Beyond that, we offer a unique 90-day out clause — you can back out of your agreement within the first three months for any reason with no obligations.
Stay tuned for Part 2 in our series in which we’ll look at requirements around staffing and spending for supplies and other investments.