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M any business owners, especially small business owners, are looking for both the best in class services AND the most competitive pricing on commercial cleaning services. We get it, price is important to you as you need to keep operating expenses down. In talking to our clients and potential clients we find they often don’t understand the differences between a Janitorial Franchise vs a Local or Privately Owned Commercial Cleaning Company. Our team has this discussion frequently with potential clients that are going out for bids during our facility walk-through. It’s one we find clients are interested in understanding, specifically if they have had a poor experience with a Janitorial Franchise.

One question we ask, tell me about the other companies you are receiving bids from? Are any of them franchises?  I find that many business owners don’t know if the pricing they’re receiving is from a franchise or not. That’s totally normal because franchises don’t always market themselves as that. But here’s the thing, if our prices are being compared to a franchise, we will RARELY be the cheapest and we want to tell you why:

1. Customer Service – Our customer service is our best asset and we know it – we are a professional team and we care about our clients – they are our lifeblood. You will feel that energy from the moment you interact with us.

2. Sick Days Happen – Have a Plan – Someone calls in sick? We’ve got it covered. That’s not how it works for the franchise business. Since the cleaners are the individual contractors, and often they are very small teams (1-4 people), not a big cleaning company, they most likely will not have the staff to clean your building if they are sick. Which means, your business could suffer a no show.

3. Fair Pay – We pay our staff fairly and on time EVERY SINGLE TIME. When you talk to cleaners that work with franchises, you will find that they very often are not paid on time and it’s incredibly frustrating and unpredictable. Franchisees also get paid up to 60 days after they start cleaning a new account, which makes it hard for them to invest in the proper chemicals and equipment necessary to get started (see #4)

4. Chemicals and Equipment Provided – Franchises don’t provide the cleaning chemicals and equipment. It’s the independent contractors responsibility to buy this on their own dime, which means there’s little consistency on the products and equipment being used. We provide chemicals and equipment to our staff. We also service equipment as needed.

5. Request to Change Cleaning Crew – The franchise profits when you ask them to change the cleaning crew – here’s why, their cleaning crews are independent contractors, so every time the cleaning crew is changed out, the franchise has the independent contractor buy the account times 3 months – this amount varies depending on the franchise but this is pretty standard in that industry. So it’s VERY profitable for the franchise to change out the cleaning crew as often as possible. Do you see where I’m going here? It’s profitable for the franchise if you have to request to continuously change out the cleaning crew. Our cleaning crew does not buy accounts from us.

6. Proper Insurance – Franchises make their independent contractors pay for their own workers compensation, which means, often the people cleaning your building don’t carry it. This is bad for business but it’s especially bad for you.

7. Cleaning Staff Turnover – We have very low turnover of cleaning staff. We are a team and we operate that way and we are in constant communication with the individuals that work with us. We care about our cleaning crew and don’t miss an opportunity to let them know how valuable they are to our business.

8. Mid-Size Local Company – We are a local, privately owned mid-sized company. We carry all of the necessary insurances and have plenty of staff to support our business throughout the city of Austin and all surrounding areas.

Franchises are definitely not all bad, but it’s important to be informed as a business owner that not all cleaning companies operate the same, even though it may appear that way on the surface. Ask the right questions, be prepared and hopefully these tips will give you a place to start.