There's no place like home - and for an increasing number of Americans, there's no business like home business. The rise of home-based franchise opportunities coincides with the shift to a service economy in the United States. As more households with two working adults struggle to make ends meet, a combination of factors has made working from home an increasingly attractive option.
Beyond the security of signing with a well-known brand name and a strong operating system, home-based franchises offer several advantages: 1) low overhead (no rent or real estate costs, as well as home-office tax deductions); 2) lower cost of entry (no need to outfit a building, with all the associated infrastructure and permitting costs); 3) no commute (no gas, wear and tear on your vehicle, or time wasted commuting - and no coffees and lunches to buy every day); 4) flexible hours; and 5) no difficult co-workers to face each morning.
According to Entrepreneur magazine's 2016 survey of home-based franchises, seven of the top ten concepts were cleaning-related: Jani-King, ServiceMaster Clean, Chem-Dry, Jan-Pro, CleanNet USA, ServPro Industries, and Coverall Cleaning Concepts. The other three were Snap-on tools and Matco Tools, and Jazzercise.
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For working families, a home-based franchise allows one of the parents to care for young children, or to rotate responsibilities if both are involved in the business. For retired or laid-off former managers and executives, it provides a chance to run a service-based business from home.
Why are commercial cleaning and related businesses so popular? Volume, need, and competition each play a part. "There is $200 of commercial cleaning per capita in a city, and no one has any more than 2 percent," says Jacques Lapointe, founder and chair of Jan-Pro. Also, he says, there is a lot of churn, especially for non-franchised cleaning companies, creating opportunity for well-run franchise operations to step in. Jan-Pro sells only to master franchisees, who manage unit franchisees from home. "Most of our unit franchisees are family members working two to three hours a night collectively, and make an extra $20,000 to $30,000 a year as added income."
Other popular categories in the home-based franchising business category include the following:
- Bookkeeping and Accounting - Padgett Business Services,
- Computer Service and Repair - Geeks on Call, Rescuecom, Computer Troubleshooters, Expetec Computer Technology, Concerto Networks
- Home Care Services - Home Helpers, Comfort Keepers, Visiting Angels, AmeriCare Alliance Homecare, Companion Connection
- Kids' Education & Tutoring - Club Z Tutoring Services, Mad Science Group, Young Rembrandts, Computertots, CompuChild, KidzArt, Abrakadoodle, Tutorioum
- Kids' Exercise/Fitness - Stretch-N-Grow, Kinderdance, StrollerFit, Gymboree
- Home Cleaning - Molly Maid, The Maids Home Services, MaidPro, Maids to Order
- Home Repair & Services - Mr. Handyman, House Doctors, Maintenance Made Simple, HomeFixology, Rooter-Man, American Leak Detection, The Crack Team
- Home Improvement - Gotcha Covered, Budget Blinds, Interiors by Decorating Den, Kitchen Tune-Up, Furniture Medic, PremierGarage, Archadeck
- Home Inspection - AmeriSpec Home Inspection Services, The HomeTeam Inspection Service, Pillar To Post, National Property Inspections, World Inspection Network, HouseMaster, The BrickKicker
- Lawn Care & Landscaping - Lawn Doctor, ChemLawn, Scotts Lawn Service, U.S. Lawns, Weed Man
- Pet Care - The Pet Butler, Top Dog Daycare, Fetch! Pet Care, Doggie Dreams Groomobile, Aussie Pet Mobile, Bark Busters, Pets Are Inn, In Home Pet Services