July 06, 2010 // Franchising.com // Ann Arbor, MI – As more and more people are turning to professionals for cleaning help, residential and commercial cleaning companies are growing exponentially. Molly Maid, the leading residential cleaning franchise with thousands of signature navy and pink cars on the road, is responding to a rapidly growing interest in their brand.
Molly Maid President Kristi Mailloux provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions by potential franchisees.
Q: Is now a good time to start a business with the current economic climate?
A: Now is the perfect time for franchising. Unemployment is high, which means franchising is a great alternative to re-entering the job market. Molly Maid has done very well through this recession as well as previous recessions – we have been around for over 25 years. We're adding more customers and our sales for 2010 are even stronger than 2009. Credit is still tight, but we are a low-cost franchise and we provide third-party resources that can help with financing.
Q: A successful business is all about acquiring customers and retaining them. What is the Molly Maid strategy to customer acquisition and how do you stand out from the competition?
A: Molly Maid has continually increased our marketing team support, revamped our consumer website and invested in an interactive marketing strategy to be optimized for search when customers and franchise candidates search for us. Expertise in these areas has more than doubled online leads for our franchise owners. We also regularly host conference calls sharing best practices as it relates to providing great customer service to meet the needs of our customers and retain them.
Q: What traits does a successful Molly Maid owner possess?
A: Our business model is ideal for executives who run the business and hire employees to do the cleaning. Some key characteristics our most successful franchise owners share include resources and energy to start a business, proven management skills, success-oriented attitude and exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. We also have successful military veterans in our franchise system and offer a $2,500 VetFran discount to those who qualify.
Q: Can I do this and keep my current job?
A: A successful Molly Maid franchise owner is solely committed to growing their business by leading teams, marketing, networking and building relationships with customers. Unlike most franchises, Molly Maid owners do not have to sacrifice family time or personal interests to be financially successful. The house cleaning franchise business runs on a predictable schedule five days a week. The simplicity of ownership — no expensive store front, minimal inventory and equipment—means there is much less to manage. Molly Maid's repeat business, strong national brand recognition, and simple model present owners with an opportunity for high income and the time to enjoy their success.
To date, Molly Maid has cleaned 17 million households around the world and performed 1.4 million cleaning jobs in 2009 alone. Molly Maid franchise owners don't actually clean homes, rather they receive training and support from the home office to recruit, train, motivate and manage employees to clean customers' homes in the utmost professional and thorough manner. Employees are screened and properly insured.
The average cost to open a Molly Maid franchise is approximately $165,000 with a franchise fee of $14,900.
Molly Maid, based in Ann Arbor, MI, is one of four service companies under Service Brands International. The residential cleaning franchise, ranked number one in the United States, was founded in 1979 and began franchising in 1984. Currently, more than 450 Molly Maid units are operating in the United States alone, with an additional 300 operating throughout Puerto Rico, Canada, Japan, England and Portugal. Molly Maid has consistently ranked well in Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 rankings, currently at number 81. Molly Maid has also been the recipient of numerous awards for entrepreneurialism, software innovation and humanitarian causes, including the Ms. Molly Foundation, which collects money and goods for safe houses and shelters for victims of domestic violence. Molly Maid is currently seeking franchise partners in strategic markets across the country.