ServiceMaster Offers Opportunity For Entrepreneurs In Current Economic Climate

Lower Start-Up Costs and In-House Financing Make ServiceMaster Franchises Appealing to Entrepreneurs Looking for New Opportunities

October 16, 2008 // Franchising.com // MEMPHIS, Tenn.- A difficult economy often leads to growth in the franchise industry, as corporate downsizing can result in entrepreneurs starting their own small businesses. But with the current financial climate and some banks restricting their lending requirements, some would-be franchisees could have trouble getting financing.

Memphis-based ServiceMaster, however, is one company which sees opportunity in the current economic conditions. ServiceMaster operates several franchise businesses that require a relatively small initial franchise investment. And, since the company is one of relatively few to operate its own in-house financing arm, would-be small business owners can work directly with the company to start a business.

"Since many of our franchises are mobile, on-site businesses, starting a franchise doesn't require a big investment in equipment," said David Messenger, the vice president of market expansion for ServiceMaster. "Compared to some types of franchise businesses, like retail stores or restaurants, the initial start-up costs for a ServiceMaster franchise are comparatively very small. In addition, some of our franchised businesses can be operated out of one's home."

Messenger said start-up costs for a ServiceMaster franchise generally range from $50,000 to $100,000, where the start-up costs for a brick-and-mortar franchise business could start at $1 million. With franchise financing available through ServiceMaster Acceptance Company, which will finance up to 80 percent of the initial franchise fee and start-up equipment for credit-qualified prospects, would-be small business owners have a great opportunity to get started with a new business for a relatively low initial investment.

"For entrepreneurs interested in the service sector, we have financing available for a relatively small start-up cost, even in these tough economic times," Messenger said. The franchise businesses with financing available through ServiceMaster Acceptance Company include ServiceMaster Clean, commercial cleaning and disaster restoration services; Furniture Medic, on-site furniture repair; Merry Maids, maid service; and AmeriSpec, home inspections.

"We're very pleased to have this financing available for applicants who meet our profile for successful franchisees," said Mark Peterson, corporate treasurer at ServiceMaster. "We're excited to be able to assist these franchisees grow their businesses and to become part of the ServiceMaster family."

ServiceMaster has been in the franchise business for more than 55 years. ServiceMaster Clean, Furniture Medic, Merry Maids, and AmeriSpec combined add approximately 200 new franchises each year, and ServiceMaster has provided in-house financing through the ServiceMaster Acceptance Company for more than 20 years. For more information on starting a ServiceMaster franchise, visit http://corporate.servicemaster.com/franchise.asp or call 800-338-6833.

About ServiceMaster

ServiceMaster currently serves residential and commercial customers through a network of more than 5,500 company-owned locations and franchised licenses. The Company's brands include TruGreen, TruGreen LandCare, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic, and AmeriSpec. The core services of the Company include lawn care and landscape maintenance, termite and pest control, home warranties, cleaning and disaster restoration, house cleaning, furniture repair, and home inspection.

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