You don’t have to be a member of a franchise in order to cookie-cutter the same ingredients for building
Successful national and international retailers, manufacturers and franchise organizations are the perfect example of this topic. The franchisor has typically spent a lot of time and money creating a system of delivering products and/or services perceived by consumers as being desirable and uniquely identifiable. Doing so is time-consuming and costly because it involves a great deal of trial and error to create and fine-tune the ideal business model which becomes its brand. 

This “brand” becomes represented by the company’s name, logo, trademarks, service marks, products and/or service offerings, consistency, value, image, reputation, marketing programs, design styles and, yes, even its community involvement. To protect their brand, franchisors maintain very tight reigns on those to whom it grants franchises through very strong contractual agreements. Franchisees may not deviate from the franchisors mandated methods or operation without prior written permission and doing so is grounds for termination of the franchise.


Read the above paragraph again. You don’t have to be a member of a franchise in order to cookie-cutter the same ingredients for building, positioning and protecting your company’s brand. Here are ten important elements that need to be addressed in order to become “the brand” cleaning company in your market:

It goes almost without saying that your brand will be influenced by the quality and perceived value of the service you deliver, including the training and professionalism of your employees.


  • Is the service always delivered with the same consistency and dependability on each cleaning visit? A high level of consumer satisfaction is important in developing a rock-solid reputation.

  • Are your employees always neatly groomed, uniformed and cheerful?

  • Are vehicles, whether company- or employee-owned, kept clean and looking respectable?

  • is your company’s culture focused on maintaining a pleasant work place for all employees?

  • In turn, are employees nurtured in taking pride in their work and in pleasing their clients?

  • Do you follow a strict, formal, multi-step selection process based on quantifiable criteria when recruiting new employees?

  • Do you have a formal training program, including written and/or other materials?

  • Do your employees receive compensation equal to or, preferably, higher than what other quality cleaning companies are offering in your market?

  • Do your advertising materials and messages reflect a positive and professional image consistent with that of a first-class, number one ranked residential cleaning company?

  • Do you provide clients with collateral materials which spell out terms of the relationship that realistically address issues that might arise during the relationship?

  • Can you show a prospective client a portfolio at your first meeting which might include items such as client references, business license, and certificate of insurance, membership in BBB and/or Chamber of Commerce, and even newspaper clippings about your company?

  • Does your company have a professionally designed logo and color schemes which the consumers in your market will come to automatically identify with your company? Have you applied for trademarks or service marks?

Space does not permit us to delve at length into this topic, but it is intended to inspire owners to think about this issue. These are the kind of elements that have helped build national and international franchise networks. They can also help you to build a strong, recognizable image for you in your community.


With 18 years in the cleaning industry and 45 years of experience building his own businesses, Gary Goranson was one of the first business consultants to serve the residential cleaning industry with real experience and solid credentials. Visit him at