You’re finally ready to take on a new challenge, and buy a cleaning franchise where you will work as your own boss!
You are not alone in choosing the franchise model – franchising generally is big business in Australia. According to the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA), the sector’s sales turnover in 2014 was estimated at $144 billion.
If you’ve never run your own business, you will have a learning curve to negotiate, but you will likely find that your previous work and life experience has given you useful transferable skills. You will also have the support of your chosen franchisor as well, which is the beauty of the franchise model.
Here are a few tips to help you build and run a successful commercial cleaning franchise.
- Get the set up right – fully implement all the franchise systems and processes in your business. After all, these are what you are paying for, and what has made the franchise successful in the first place. Stay on top of admin tasks, including timely invoicing, and keep your equipment in good condition.
- Know your rights and obligations to the franchisor – both understand and practise them. It is in your interest to keep the brand name reputable.
- Go the extra mile for customers – provide a personalised, friendly service that your customers will value and that builds goodwill. Consider whether you can do something complimentary each time you visit, such as water the plants, or freshen up the flower vase.
- Build trust with your customers – be punctual, deliver what you promise, and be polite. They are trusting you in their workplace – ensure their trust is validated.
- Keep in touch – send out regular newsletters or emails to subscribed customers, providing useful information, including specials. Send customers a hand-written Christmas card, and consider a thank-you card for larger cleaning jobs.
- Keep your website up-to-date – nothing turns a potential customer off more than an outdated website. As well as providing the facts about your business, offer information on a blog that will help people with cleaning tasks. Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly, as an increasing number of people use mobile devices today to find information.
- Solicit feedback and act on it – ask your customers for feedback and act on it if something needs remedying. Don’t make the same mistake twice!
- Ask for customer testimonials or referrals – mouth-to-mouth advertising is invaluable when building a business. If your customers are happy with your work, ask them if they will provide you with a testimonial or a referral to a colleague. Consider whether you can reward customers who successfully refer you to another client by offering a discount, a movie ticket or perhaps a thank-you card and box of chocolates.
- Support your local community – by donating to charities or sponsoring community groups in the local area, you can promote your business and build goodwill that hopefully will lead to more customers.
- Attend all training opportunities – take advantage of every training opportunity to further your knowledge, and apply it to your business. Stay up-to-date with technical and product assistance from your franchisor. Attend industry events and network with fellow franchisees.
As you venture on the journey with your new cleaning business franchise, be persistent, work hard, seek advice where required, and above all, enjoy being your own boss!