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15 Jan 2024

How Profitable Are Commercial Cleaning Franchises?

One of the most prevalent industries in the franchise sector right now is commercial cleaning. The opportunities in the industry are also quite varied in terms of franchise ownership, and that means this industry appeals to a wide segment of people.

At MFV Expositions, we always see a good turnout at the commercial cleaning booths at our franchise shows. It’s a consistent industry because commercial buildings always need to be cleaned.

About Commercial Cleaning Franchises

Commercial cleaning is part of the overall janitorial services industry, comprising 70% of the business that happens in this sector. According to IBISWorld, industry profit has remained constant at 6.7%, which indicates a strong-performing industry.

According to Statista, the market size of the janitorial services industry, of which the largest sector is the commercial cleaning industry, is valued at nearly $90 billion. What’s interesting about that figure is that only 25% of the commercial and industrial operations outsource their cleaning. As people retire and hiring becomes more difficult, opportunities for commercial cleaning franchises are likely to grow.

How Commercial Cleaning Franchises Operate

In most commercial cleaning franchises, there are single-unit, multi-unit, and master franchise opportunities.

A single-unit franchise is just that – you own and operate one unit. Multi-unit franchising is when you own more than one unit. A master franchise is when you assume the role of franchisor for a number of franchises in a territory and your job is to recruit and train franchise owners.

Each type of franchise ownership comes with different revenue streams and is worth discussing upfront with a franchisor.

Opportunities in the Commercial Cleaning Franchises Sector

Today, the Jan-Pro cleaning franchise is the largest company in terms of franchised establishments (10,000), however, many other commercial cleaning franchises are serving the industry as well. These include:

  • Coverall cleaning franchise. While Coverall saw a 7% drop in the past three years, they still had 7,679 units to start 2023. Franchising since 1985, they boast a strong presence domestically and internationally.
  • Stratus Building Solutions franchise. Stratus recorded 3,464 units as of 2023 which is an increase of 70.6% in the past three years. They launched in 2006 and boast 80% recurring revenue.
  • Anago cleaning franchise. Anago started 2023 with 1,835 units, a 7.2% increase in the past three years. They offer master and unit franchises and have been franchising since 1991.
  • Cleanest Restaurant Group franchise. This franchise launched in 2017 and has been franchising since 2022. They are a new and emerging franchise with plenty of open territories in major markets.

A good resource for exploring commercial cleaning franchises is the Franchise 500 ranking produced by Entrepreneur. (The above information came from this site!) This annual list comprises ranked and non-ranked franchise opportunities in this sector and is a good place to research commercial cleaning franchise costs and commitments.

However, the best opportunity to engage with potential franchises is at a franchise tradeshow.

Meeting Commercial Cleaning Franchises at Tradeshows

There is only so much information you can gather by reading online snippets; nothing truly replaces the opportunity to spend 10 or 20 minutes talking face-to-face with someone who is part of the franchise development team. The information they can convey to you in a matter of minutes will far surpass the information you will accumulate through hours of online searching, and those personal conversations also give you a feeling about the franchise team you’ll be joining.

Questions to Ask Your Cleaning Franchises

When you meet with janitorial cleaning franchises, here are some good questions to ask that will give you an idea about how the brand operates and what the franchisee-franchisor relationship could entail:

  • Training. Find out what kind of training program they offer, and how training continues throughout the term of your franchise agreement.
  • Marketing. How does the franchise market your business to potential customers? And what is your role in marketing your franchise?
  • Territories. Ask how territories are determined and what kind of exclusivity or protections are offered.
  • Growth opportunities. Even if you’re not planning to own more than a single unit, ask what the opportunities are to grow with the franchise. Your goals may change as you become more comfortable in the franchise routine.

You’ll have other questions to ask as well, but this is a good start to cover some of the bases when meeting franchisors for the first time.

Attending a Franchise Expo

If you want to get some face time with commercial cleaning franchises, you can request attending information from MFV Expositions. We have been hosting franchise expos for more than 30 years, and we invite you to attend the franchise show nearest you to start your journey toward franchise ownership.
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