How to Start an Office Cleaning Franchise

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Owning an office cleaning franchise can sometimes involve getting your hands dirty.
Owning an office cleaning franchise can sometimes involve getting your hands dirty. (Image: floor cleaning #5 image by stassad from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Commercial cleaning franchises clean offices, retail stores, restaurants and other businesses in a variety of industries. Opening a cleaning franchise often means that you will be both managing employees who clean for you and doing some cleaning your self. The largest appeal of cleaning franchises is that the franchisor usually sells you new accounts and the business requires no sales skills whatsoever on the part of the franchisee. Cleaning franchise owners do need to have some management skills and be willing to get dirty if need be, but can expect to open their franchise for as little as a few thousand dollars.

Research the franchisors offering franchises in your area. There are dozens of cleaning franchise opportunities available today. The largest names in commercial cleaning include: Jan-Pro, JaniKing, Jantize America, System4, and Stratus. Check with these franchisors to see if they have franchises available where you live.

Head to the franchise office for a presentation. Select a few franchisors to interview with and schedule an appointment at their office. The franchisor should be able to give you a brief overview of the business as well as some sales literature to review. Before you leave the franchisor's office, be sure to get a franchise disclosure document from them. You will most likely have to fill out a franchise application to get this information.

Review the franchise disclosure document. A franchise disclosure document (FDD) is a legal document that every franchisor must give to prospective franchisees upon request. The document follows an format outlined by the federal trade commission. Each FDD has 23 items that must be disclosed to franchisees as well as a copy of the franchise agreement and addendums attached to it. Read through the FDD on your own and take a copy of it to your attorney for review.

Attend discovery day. Most, if not all, franchisors use a discovery day to educate prospects on the day-to-day operations of the franchise. These meetings allow potential franchisees to ask questions about the operations of the franchise and learn more of the details of the business.

Sign the franchise agreement and pay the franchise fee. Once you're comfortable with the franchise agreement and you understand the history and facts of the franchise as laid out in the FDD, set up another meeting with the franchisor to sign the franchise agreement. During this meeting, you need to pay your initial franchise fee. Some cleaning franchisors offer to finance a portion of their franchise fee for new franchisees so you may have to sign a promissory note as well. Once you've completed all of your documents, you must schedule a day for training so you can open your new franchise and get to work.

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