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The reality of ‘guaranteed income’ franchises: the Betterclean competitive advantage

Some cleaning franchises tell you they’ll ‘guarantee income’ – what they don’t say is that you’ll pay for the privilege.

Practices such as paying for a contract (effectively buying a job, not developing a business), the use of small print on such deals and the actual profitability of contracts arranged by someone else can all make an attractive offer quickly turn into an ugly reality.

That’s why our model is clear: franchise owners own their contracts, not head office, and negotiate directly on the terms they agree to. What we will do is provide national account customers too, meaning you win on both sides of the equation.

While the prospect of guaranteed income offered by some franchisors in the commercial cleaning marketplace can be enticing, it’s vital to consider the conditions that such claims may impose. Some of these include:

Accounts offered vs accounts received

There may be a difference between the accounts the franchisor promises to offer you and the accounts you actually receive, as well as the revenue that comes with them.

For example, the franchisor may promise to ‘offer’ accounts generating £4,000 in monthly turnover for the first year. To meet its obligations, the franchisor may offer the same accounts to several franchisees on a first-come, first-served basis. If you can’t accept an account because another franchisee accepts the account first, the franchisor may still have satisfied its obligation to ‘offer’ you turnover to a certain value.

Operating at a profit?

The franchisor may not tell you how it bids for cleaning contracts it offers to you:

  • They may offer your services at a lower rate than you would charge negotiating directly, and you may have no say in whether the amount charged is reasonable

  • They may not tell you about what special or additional services you must provide to the customers

  • They may offer you accounts well away from your normal operating area increasing your costs

Rejected accounts

If you do the sums and the contract doesn’t make commercial sense, you may reject the ‘offer’. The franchisor may not have to replace an account that you reject and has still ‘offered’ you that value of work.

Short-term accounts

Many of Betterclean's clients have been with us for many years; our business model is based on developing long-term relationships with our clients.

However, some clients prefer short-term contracts and regularly shop around for the best deal. If your franchisor 'guarantees to offer' you a certain value of contracts, you are likely to have to pay extra fees to replace one that has seen the client go elsewhere – consider the sustainability of that happening a few times.

When you are considering ‘guaranteed’ turnover think about what that actually means. At Betterclean our franchise owners are set up to negotiate contracts that work for them in their local markets. We do a lot of work to support them and to help the understand how to win competitive tenders, but we respect the fact that it is their business!

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