Is a Cleaning Franchise Worth It?

Owning a business is a dream for many, especially in today’s job market with a massive increase in layoffs.

However, starting a business from scratch calls for taking risks, being willing to spend money, and having a lot of patience.

Is a Cleaning Franchise Worth It

As an escape from the taxing job of starting a business from scratch, people often think of buying a franchise rather.

So if you are interested in buying a cleaning franchise and are wondering if a cleaning franchise worth it or not, then stick to this guide till the end.

What is a Cleaning Franchise?

What is a Cleaning Franchise

A franchise is a business model where an already established business decides to expand itself by offering entrepreneurs their franchise or the right to run their business as agreed by both parties in writing.

So in a cleaning franchise, you get to run a cleaning business, be it commercial, residential, carpet cleaning business, etc., with benefits such as enjoying a proven business model, built-in customer base, brand recognition, etc.

However, there is a limit to how much flexibility you can practice, and you have to follow the rules and policies set by the franchisor.

As such, you might be wondering if a cleaning franchise is worth it. Keep reading to find out the answer to this question.

Check Out Vanguard Cleaning Systems Franchise

Also Check Out The Maids Franchise

Pros & Cons of a Cleaning Franchise


  • You will be provided with support and training staff.
  • You won’t have to bear the risk and effort of starting a business from scratch.
  • The business might already be recognized and have a previously established national name.
  • You will buy a business that is proven to be successful.
  • The bank will be more willing to lend money for a successful business.
  • You will have access to a built-in customer base.


  • You will have to pay for ongoing marketing and advertisement cost.
  • You will have to pay royalties and other fees to the franchisor.
  • There might be rules and regulations that you would have to follow.
  • You would have to bear depreciation in case you decide to sell the business later.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cleaning Franchise

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cleaning Franchise

Buying a cleaning franchise might be just right for you in case you want to save yourself from the strenuous efforts required to put into a new business.

However, not every cleaning franchise may be worth it. So here are factors to consider when choosing a cleaning franchise.

How much will it cost?

One of the biggest factors to consider when buying a cleaning franchise is to check how much it will cost you?

Buying a franchise means paying an initial investment amount, franchise fees, registration fees, and whatnot.

After considering all the possible costs, you should see whether you can afford to pay for the franchise and if the cost is worth it. Some additional cost that you should look into includes:

  • Royalty fees
  • Marketing fees
  • Business registration
  • Insurance
  • ​Materials and Supplies 

Does the franchisor offer training and ongoing support?

Training the staff is one of the most time-consuming and expensive part of any business

Getting help with training and ongoing support helps the franchise ease into the process and confidently understand the business.

Not all franchisors offer training and ongoing support. As such, it is important to review what help you will be getting to set the tone for your cleaning business.

What is the failure rate of the franchise?

Sometimes things may appear all hunky-dory from the outside, but the reality may be different from what you see.

Before you decide to buy any franchise, it is important to look at its failure rate.

See how many outlets of the franchise you are eying open and close each year and compare it with the total number of outlets.

If the ratio seems big, then it might be a red flag, and if you see a positive growth rate, then it might be a safe investment opportunity.

Calculate the payback period

Sure a successful cleaning franchise model will allow you to make lots of money, but how much of it will you really get to keep?

If you have borrowed the investment money that is required to open a cleaning franchise, then in the initial years, a major chunk of your profit would go into repaying or recovering that investment amount, and only once you recover the investment amount entirely would you be able to enjoy the profit.

So calculate how long it will take to recover your initial investment amount and then invest in the franchise. A payback period of 4-5 years is decent.

How much will you earn?

This is obviously the most important factor to consider when buying a cleaning franchise.

According to ZipRecruiter, a cleaning franchise owner makes $80,000 annually on average.

So you should look for a franchise that can help you make this kind of money; otherwise, there is no point in buying a franchise for peanuts.

What services are offered?

Different cleaning franchises offer different types of services, with the most common services being vacuuming, sanitization, regular dusting, etc.

Customers are inclined towards choosing a service that can cover a wide range of cleaning services.

Hence, you should check what all services are offered by the franchise you are interested in, and if they do not offer the services that you are looking for, then you might want to look for an alternative.

Is Owning a Cleaning Franchise Really Worth It?

Is Owning a Cleaning Franchise Really Worth It

Whether owning a franchise is worth it or not depends on an individual’s unique requirements and preferences.

Finding out whether buying a cleaning franchise is worth it or not is contingent on many questions that you must ask yourself, including:

Do you want complete control of your business?

If you want to start a business because you want to be your own boss and have complete control over your business, then a franchise might not be right for you.

This is because a franchise may dictate a lot of terms and ask you to follow strict criteria or rules, etc.

The policies set by the franchisor may include your operational hours, how much money you charge, where you buy the supplies from, etc.

Buying a franchise might be good for you if you are willing to follow such policies.

Are you okay with paying a portion of your income each month to someone else?

Although each franchise agreement differs, most franchisors might ask you to pay them a monthly fee, start-up cost, or a percentage of your revenue as their franchise fees.

This might be the biggest factor for someone deciding whether to own a franchise or start their own business.

A great tip for you is to ask other franchise owners whether they are getting their money’s worth or not.

Do you want to set your own rates?

Most franchises dictate how much you can charge for a service and even what services you can offer. If you are uncomfortable with this, buying a franchise might not be the best option for you.

Are you willing to put in the effort required to start a business from scratch?

Starting a cleaning business from scratch and finding customers amidst fierce competition is the toughest thing to do.

If you want to save yourself from such strenuous efforts and want an already built-in customer base, then buying a franchise is a great option.

Are you willing to take risks?

It is a bitter reality that many first-time businesses fail within just a few years. When you start a new business, there is so much that you have to overlook, and you are responsible for everything.

A poor decision could lead to more outflow of cash than inflow.

Buying a franchise means following a set guideline that is proven to be successful, and the risk associated with buying a franchise is thereby less.

So if you are unwilling to take risks, buying a franchise is right for you.

Do you have patience?

Finding customers for a newly set-up business requires a hefty investment in marketing and a lot of patience. This translates to a long waiting period before revenue starts to come in.

However, if you choose to buy a franchise, you get access to a built-in customer base (assuming that the franchise already has brand recognition).

So if you do not have the patience and the money to bring in customers to your business, then the franchise is a better option.

You May Check Out 10 Best Janitorial Franchise

Cost of owning a Franchised Cleaning Business Vs Self Owned Cleaning Business

Cost of owning a Franchised Cleaning Business Vs Self Owned Cleaning Business

The cost of owning a franchised cleaning business Vs. Self-owned cleaning business varies greatly.

  • Initial investment: The initial investment to start your own cleaning business will be lower than buying a franchise. However, there is a high risk of failure associated.
  • Procuring equipment: If you start your own cleaning business, you can buy less equipment initially and add more as your business grows. However, in buying a franchised business, you will have to procure all the necessary equipment needed at once.
  • Advertisement expenses: The advertisement expenses will be high for a new business since you would have to put in more effort to bring in customers. A franchised business, on the other hand, has a built-in customer base; however, you will be required to pay monthly advertisement expenses, which are usually 3%-4%.
  • Business pricing: You can set your own prices if you start your own cleaning business and recover your expenses as per your choice. But in a franchise model, you may or may not have the liberty to set your own prices.

All in all, starting your own cleaning business will cost less, but there is a high risk of failure in it. Whereas buying a cleaning franchise will cost you more initially but comes with less risk.

Types of Cleaning Franchises

Types of Cleaning Franchises

Here are the most common types of cleaning franchises that you can choose from:

  1. Residential Cleaning Services: This type of service is also known as household or domestic cleaning services and involves cleaning the houses of individuals.
  2. Commercial Cleaning Services: This type of cleaning service is done for commercial spaces such as buildings, offices, churches, schools, etc., and involves deep cleaning.
  3. Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services: This type of cleaning includes washing clothes in bulk using detergents, soaps, softeners, etc., and dry cleaning clothes using high-end chemicals.
  4. Janitorial Cleaning Services: This cleaning service includes regular cleaning of public spaces such as buildings, schools, offices, etc.
  5. Sanitization and Disinfection: As the name suggests, this type of cleaning involves sanitization and disinfection to make spaces free of harmful bacteria and germs.
  6. Carpet Cleaning Services: This cleaning service involves vacuuming, shampooing, steam cleaning, etc., to clean carpets. A carpet cleaning business could also offer mending services, pest control in carpets, dyeing, etc.
  7. Pressure Washing Services: This type of service includes cleaning the exterior and the outside portion of the house with a jet of hot water coming from a pressure washing machine.
  8. Green Cleaning Services: In this type of service, cleaning is done using natural stuff to save the planet from harmful chemicals.
  9. Cars and Vehicles Cleaning: As the name suggests, this type of service involves cleaning your cars or other vehicles.

How Much Can You Make From A Cleaning Franchise?

How Much Can You Make From A Cleaning Franchise

Different cleaning franchises have different revenue and sales figure, and the money you make depends on the type of cleaning franchise and the brand you choose.

However, to give you an idea, on average, a cleaning franchise owner makes $80,000 a year. But a lot of portion of the revenue gets reinvested into the business through franchise fees, marketing fees, the salary of the employees, etc.

A better way to determine how much you can make as a cleaning franchise owner is by checking the profit margin. For a small cleaning franchise business, a profit margin of 7%-10% is considered decent.

What Are The Top Cleaning Franchises of 2023?

Here are the top five cleaning franchises of 2023:

1. Merry Maids

  • Estimated total initial investment: $89,616 – $125,023
  • Initial franchise fee: $37,500 to $51,500

Merry Maids is a residential cleaning service with franchises in over 480+ locations nationwide. Franchises can make up to $2 million from this franchise and can enjoy a vast built-in customer base. Merry Maids offer discounts to veterans, women, and minorities and is a great investment opportunity overall.

2. Chem-Dry

  • Estimated total initial investment: $67,645 to $178,907
  • Initial franchise fee: $23,500

The Chem-Dry is one of the biggest and low-cost carpet cleaning franchises in the world, with franchises making as much as $200,000 – $300,000 a year on average. Chem-Dry not only offers carpet cleaning services but also residential and commercial cleaning services. To own a Chem-Dry franchise, you need to have a net worth of $60,000 and liquid assets of $40,000.

3. Vanguard Cleaning Systems

  • Estimated total initial investment: Depends on the type of franchise and area of operation.
  • Initial franchise fee: $5,000 – $350,000

Vanguard Cleaning Systems offers commercial specialty cleaning and janitorial supplies. This company is known for using eco-friendly, green products and is one of the best commercial cleaning franchises to invest in.

4. PuroClean

  • Estimated total initial investment: $71,190 to $99,305
  • Initial franchise fee: $50,000

Puro Clean is not just a cleaning franchise, but it also offers emergency services such as clean-up after a disaster, water damage restoration, reconstruction services, etc. To own this franchise, you need to have liquid capital of $70,000 and a net worth of $200,000.

5. ServiceMaster Clean

  • Estimated total initial investment: $41,300 – $86,500
  • Initial franchise fee: $25,200 – $31,500

The ServiceMaster Clean has been offering commercial cleaning services for over 65 years, and today, it has more than 800 franchises in 12 countries globally. ServiceMaster franchise owners make $835,000 in sales on average, and is one of the most profitable franchises to invest in.

Wrap Up

So is a cleaning franchise worth it or not depends on many factors and varies based on the unique requirements of individuals.

So if you are someone who has the money to buy a franchise, is comfortable with lesser flexibility but is not willing to take many risks, then buying a cleaning franchise is right for you.

However, if you are someone who needs full control and is willing to take risks, then you can choose to start your own cleaning business.


How much does a cleaning franchise cost?

The cost to buy a cleaning franchise may vary based on what kind of cleaning industry you choose, brand, etc. However, on average, you can expect to spend anywhere between $20k to $100k to own a cleaning franchise.

What is the success rate of a cleaning business?

68% of new cleaning businesses survive for two years on average. However, after two years, the rate drops to 50%.

What is the most profitable type of cleaning franchise?

These are the most profitable cleaning franchise niche:

  • Pressure washing
  • Chimney cleaning
  • Pool cleaning
  • Air duct and dryer vent cleaning
  • Crime scene cleaning
  • Trash bin cleaning
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Disaster cleaning
  • Carpet cleaning

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