Cleaning Up: From Homes to Clothes, Franchising Has Got the Goods

Franchising can provide an opportunity for you to clean up. Whether it's inside your home or the clothes on your body, there are many choices.

Busy Americans are driving explosive growth in the cleaning industry. With little time of their own to clean, U.S. consumers are spending more than $9 billion a year on residential cleaning-a figure expected to grow at a rate of more than 20 percent a year.

Consider these stats from Merry Maids:

* Currently, there are 22,000 U.S. cleaning service providers, with the category projected to grow by 20 percent within the next 10 to 15 years.

* Keeping a clean home is more and more difficult for today's homeowners because families are overscheduled and homes are much larger.

- Americans work nine weeks more than their European peers.

- Women spend less than seven hours per week cleaning their homes (vs. women in the 1960s who cleaned an average of 27 hours a week).

- Homes built in 2004 averaged 2,400 sq. ft. while 1973 new homes averaged 1,660 sq. ft.

- Nineteen percent of homes built in 2003 had more than 3,000 sq. ft. compared with 7 percent in 1986.

* Home cleaning industry sales are near $24 billion.

Consequently, cleaning and maid services are among the fastest-growing industries in North America, and opportunities to own a cleaning business are available worldwide. Commercial cleaning services are always in demand too, and companies and services that specialize in cleaning-related repair and restoration services are attractive options for those considering a home-based, low-investment business.

"Having someone else clean the house has become commonplace for middle class American households. An entire generation of young people has grown up without watching mom or dad clean the house," says Don Slifer, vice president of market development for Merry Maids. "So the market for house cleaning services can only continue to grow. And because trust is such an important element in the buying decision, the known brands will continue to dominate the market. There's no reason to wait to buy a quality house cleaning franchise."

And it's not just homes.
Ken Levinson was working as an accountant in the 1980s when he noticed his co-workers swarming the company's parking lot at lunch each day to buy food from a truck. That's when the light bulb went off. Levinson realized there were many other products and services that could be brought to workplaces in a similar fashion-for example, shirts, pants, dresses, and shoes. After some research, Levinson started his own dry cleaning pick-up and delivery system. He founded Pressed4Time in 1987 and today there are more than 180 U.S. franchises operating.

Pressed4Time franchisees set up pick-up and drop-off schedules with local businesses, delivering clothing and other items to local dry cleaners where they are cleaned, mended, or altered. They can also take care of shoes, handbags, and luggage that may need repairs. The company says its franchisees serve more than 50,000 customers every week.

As a whole, cleaning services are generally immune to economic swings and are not affected by seasonality. So if you're looking to invest in a service-oriented business with potential for growth, it's an area where you could clean up.

Published: September 14th, 2006

Share this Feature

Comments:

comments powered by Disqus
Golden Corral
ADVERTISE
SPONSORED CONTENT

Franchising Topics »

Featured Opportunities

SiempreTax
SiempreTax+ is a low-investment tax franchise opportunity. SiempreTax+ specializes in tax return preparation for individuals and small businesses in...
Ziggi's Coffee
There's nothing quite like the perfect cup of coffee. It wakes you up and gets you on the right path. Now, you've got the chance to build a lifestyle...
Kona Ice
We have a question for you. What determines the success of a franchise? Is it luck? Coincidence? Kona Ice was ranked #1 New Franchise in Entrepreneur...
CoCo Crêpes, Waffles & Coffee
Coco Crepes, Waffles & Coffee is a place that feels like home. Our mission is to satisfy our guests' cravings with delicious Crepes, Waffles...
ZIPS Dry Cleaners
ZIPS, since 1996, began as eight dry cleaners in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., metro area and has grown to more than 40 stores. Find out more.

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

The only publication dedicated exclusively to the hottest topic in franchising - Multi-Unit and Multi-Brand Franchisees.

Subscribe to Franchising.com Express

A Franchise Update Media Production
Franchise Update Media | P.O. Box 20547 // San Jose, CA 95160 // PH. (408) 402-5681
Copyright © 2001 - 2017. All Rights Reserved.

In Loving Memory Of Timothy Gardner (1987-2014)