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willy windows

Franchising anyone ???

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willy windows

Hi All,

 

This is my madness:

I'm thinking of setting with a WFP set up, Car with 25l containers, Gardiners Clx 27/extra section as well- can't afford more than 1 pole too start, backpack on a trolley . Buying a small established round, buying water as making it is not an option and see what happens. Other option is: buy into a franchise, more expensive, but a little back up if things go pear shaped, I guess !

Would this be madness or does it have any merit ?

Thoughts on franchise most welcome !!!

 

P.S. Had nice reply from darren, Green Pro Clean.

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Part Timer

No one on here can tell you what to do, only you know your financial situation and only you know the area you intend to work, or you should do. As far as I know there aren't any members on here that have gone down the franchise route. I looked at it and the ongoing cost related to a franchise was a no go for me personally. 

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Adman

On your own - more risk / less cost, franchise - more cost / less risk.  Depends on how much money you have and how much of a risk you want to take.  An extra benefit of a franchise is that you can spend more time working and developing the business rather than sorting out marketing/admin and other non-value added stuff that you'll need if doing everything yourself .  I enjoy doing that stuff tho, so depends on what you want to do...I also want to own my brand so I can do what I want with it in the future. If you buy into someone else's it will never be yours and you have no control over it...

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AJ Fry

Hello mate, Ive recently started out myself and seriously looked at going down the franchise route. I very nearly signed up. The pro's for getting a franchise for me would mainly be the ready made work your walking into so from day one you have a guaranteed amount of work. Also going under the wing of an established local company that have your back and train etc would have been invaluable. Also being part of a team in some way appealed to me although i appreciate you'd still work independantly. 

 

The reason I went out on my own however is that I am willing to put the hard yards in first in the early years to build up my own business that i have control of. As mentioned you'll have ongoing monthly royalties that I knew after a while i'd begrudge paying, after a year or two you'll have built up a business comparable to your franchise and have no royalties putting a big dent in your take home.

 

Be very careful of the small print too as there were some terms in the franchise contract making it very difficult for me to leave the franchise in the future and start on my own in the local area, which i understood to protect the franchisor but i wasn't willing to accept.

 

As mentioned the fact that 90% of people on here have gone it alone say something  

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willy windows

Hi to all,

 

Many thanks for the replies so far.You guys are making some valid points that I shall have to think about.!

I haven't  got the time to to slowly build up a round as me or  my job  will break !

Has anyone started out Buying a small round and taking it from there as at least I'd have some monies coming in .

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Green Pro Clean Ltd

There is always two sides to a coin.  

 

(Hindsight is a beautiful thing)  

 

Going it alone will suit many as many of us got into window cleaning on a very low budget - the hours are long, the slog hard and the rewards worth every bit of sweat and doubt and dark days you have on your way to becoming an established window cleaner capable of supporting yourself (and family) from your window cleaning round alone.   To any that think this can't be done you are sorely mistaken as there are dozens of lads (and lasses) on this forum alone that have done just this.  

 

Going a franchise route will suit some and if you choose the right franchise from the start then you'll never look back.  Downside is initial buy in and some may say the ongoing royalty, however, the only reason you could consider the royalty fees a downside is if you don't consider what you get in exchange for them.  For example, an initial customer base right off the bat, say £2k of established work.  If you bought that from an existing round that would cost a minimum of £6K right away, or same from a canvasser.  Most (not all franchises) include state of the art systems - Again £3K plus right there. so that's £9K plus of your money right there already.  Next a decent franchise has someone to run web pages for you as well as your social media pages and look after you customer enquiries, takes care of all your ongoing advertising and continually spends and invests to generate more work for you.  Why wouldn't they? After all the more you earn the more they earn.  They'll have some plan in place to cover you for vacations or if heaven forbid your off injured.   They'll provide as much training as you need as after all your representing their brand and they want your clients to be as happy as possible cause that way they stay.  Then there's the little stuff, the uniforms, the hand tools and bits and bobs and on and on it goes.  Many franchises will upgrade your equipment every 9 -12 months (as this is a tax benefit to them) and will always work to bring you in as much business as you want.   Then when you're ready to add another van they'll plough all their effort into training your staff, filling tat van with clients and on it goes.  

 

Now someone mentioned above some franchises are quite difficult to leave and with some this can be true but why would a franchise want it to be easy?  They have invested time effort and resources into making you a success.   It's also a two way street, if they're looking after you properly why would you want to leave?  Leaving is not as complicated as you think for many though.    

 

Example:  Franchise fee.  £10K upfront plus £10K deferred payment.  

 

The deferred payment is only ever payed if you leave the franchise and even then only should you decide you want to take the customers with you that you have serviced under the Franchise banner so the fee is £10k or 3 x the monthly value of the round (just as if you were to buy it outright) whichever is the greater figure with the Franchisor having the option to charge the full exit fee, part or even none at all.  The Franchisee has the right to either pay the fee and take the clients with them, or not pay it and move on to pastures new without those clients.  

 

I know several franchisees from up and down the country where in year one alone they're doing £50K turnover and even a few that do £70K for a certain franchise in Southampton.  These numbers are possible when working on your own but not likely anywhere near as quickly. 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

If you are a skilled seasoned window cleaner with time on your side and cash behind you then a franchise may well not be the best choice for you.   If however you are new to the business looking to grow as quickly and as efficiently as possible and want the support of an experienced brand then a franchise could well be the right move for you.  

 

McDonalds, Starbucks, Subway, Dominoes are some of the biggest franchise operations in the world with small national operators like Green Thumb and Chem Dry also being worth a look but in no other industry will you find a franchise opportunity with such a low buy in fee (risk) for such potentially high rewards as you will in window cleaning.    

On 20/10/2018 at 12:50, Adman said:

On your own - more risk / less cost, franchise - more cost / less risk.

 

 

It's only less cost if you're going to start with a budget set up and generate all your clients for free by knocking doors, dropping leaflets, etc.   Otherwise the cost can be very similar.  

On 21/10/2018 at 07:23, AJ Fry said:

As mentioned you'll have ongoing monthly royalties that I knew after a while i'd begrudge paying,

 

Why would you if they are doing everything they should to support you properly?

Edited by Green Pro Clean Ltd

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Green Pro Clean Ltd
On 21/10/2018 at 07:23, AJ Fry said:

after a year or two you'll have built up a business comparable to your franchise

 

There are lads at 'Perfect' doing £70K per year after a year or two - I doubt that after a year or two an inexperienced window cleaner is going to be at that level on their jaks. 

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Adman
27 minutes ago, Green Pro Clean Ltd said:

 

It's only less cost if you're going to start with a budget set up and generate all your clients for free by knocking doors, dropping leaflets, etc.   Otherwise the cost can be very similar.  

 

 

 

Taking the van and set up out of the equation (as you need them either way and costs should be the same via either route like for like) then a franchise will cost you more initially and ongoing than the usual start up route.  You may however make more profit due to a higher turnover with a franchise.  I'm not knocking franchising, it's a great business model for both parties done right.

 

 

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Green Pro Clean Ltd
1 minute ago, Adman said:

Taking the van and set up out of the equation

 

Not taking them out at all -  Yes either way you need a van.   However as stated above several franchises upgrade your system and equipment every 9 - 12 months for you (for tax benefits reasons) so you have the advantage of having continually new equipment without the cost of paying for it yourself.    Yes higher turnover will pay a part but that will be higher customer numbers that have all been supplied for you. 

 

I reckon in all honesty it would take you at least 5 years of slog (and a lot more hours in the evenings) from starting out to reach the level that top franchisees are at within just a year or two.   Also franchisees pretty much get to down tools when day is done and a minimal amount of weekly paperwork -  going solo your 'spare time' is chewed up knocking doors, dropping leaflets, making phone calls, working out your advertising and so on.  

 

For many a 'turnkey' operation will be a very attractive deal  for the rest the 'going solo' route will be the preferred choice.  It is, and it always will be a matter of horses for courses.  

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Adman
2 minutes ago, Green Pro Clean Ltd said:

 

Not taking them out at all -  Yes either way you need a van.   However as stated above several franchises upgrade your system and equipment every 9 - 12 months for you (for tax benefits reasons) so you have the advantage of having continually new equipment without the cost of paying for it yourself.    Yes higher turnover will pay a part but that will be higher customer numbers that have all been supplied for you. 

 

I reckon in all honesty it would take you at least 5 years of slog (and a lot more hours in the evenings) from starting out to reach the level that top franchisees are at within just a year or two.   Also franchisees pretty much get to down tools when day is done and a minimal amount of weekly paperwork -  going solo your 'spare time' is chewed up knocking doors, dropping leaflets, making phone calls, working out your advertising and so on.  

 

For many a 'turnkey' operation will be a very attractive deal  for the rest the 'going solo' route will be the preferred choice.  It is, and it always will be a matter of horses for courses.  

Cool, so franchises upgrade your kit for free every year?  That's good of them, I didn't realise that...

 

At the end of the day, a solo operator who is turning over £50k Is highly likely to have had less initial set up costs and less ongoing costs than that of a franchisee turning over £50k.  It is also highly likely that the franchisee will have got to £50k faster than Mr solo.  

 

Both operators will have different opportunities and things to consider going forward from £50k too which is something people should think about when considering both options. 

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Green Pro Clean Ltd
17 minutes ago, Adman said:

Cool, so franchises upgrade your kit for free every year? 

Some do, not all, so if contemplating find out if they do or not first! 

 

Also remember that when Mr Franchisee takes a two week vacation he will have some arrangement in place to help keep his work ticking over and an income coming in (usually a seasoned loan employee) 

 

When Mr Solo takes a two week vacation he is around £2085 pounds out of pocket on 'unearned' revenue. 

 

Sure he could lessen the burden by working a weekend or four extra and shifting all his rounds about but I know which I'd rather have.  🙂

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Dave Shaw

Window cleaners have two options, either work for yourself or work for someone else. Franchising is somewhere in the middle for people who want more than just a job but haven’t the get up and go to do it for their self. In reality your a highly paid employee without any of the benefits and declares their self as being self employed. If it was me I would look at renting or subbing some work, just enough to cover your finances. That way you would have the instant income that franchising would give and the time and freedom to build your own round.


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Teaboy

Opinions on this thread are interesting personally I don’t get the franchise model for the franchisee totally the wrong business for it to work.

We don’t work on brand, we work on people and faces etc
( predominantly at the moment)





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The profit comes at the same point for both parties whereas the benefit is year 1 for the franchisee and say year 3 for the franchisor

That can never be a good combo because at year 1 why does the franchisee need franchisor


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