MaidPro

 1 MaidPro Owners

Residential cleaning franchise MaidPro offers franchisees proven systems,

a positive culture and a flexible operation.

By Jim Harris

In the years since MaidPro co-founder and co-owner Richard Sparacio helped start the company, he has learned the many upsides of the residential cleaning industry. When he first entered the industry, though, the idea of starting such a company didn’t seem to be the most exciting franchising opportunity.

“As I talk to people in other businesses about what they do, the advantages of home cleaning as a franchise opportunity become clearer and clearer to me,” he says.

“When you get down to it, residential cleaning is very attractive because there’s a low investment to start, flexible hours and high growth potential.”

These and other advantages of operating a home cleaning service helped to draw Sparacio and longtime friend Mark Kushinsky – MaidPro’s other founder and co-owner (on the left in the photo above with Sparacio) – into the business. Kushinsky, who at the time was regularly working night and weekend shifts in the MaidPro Fact Boxretail industry, approached Sparacio about starting the business after he had a bad personal experience with a service he hired to clean his apartment.

“They did a horrible job,” he says of the cleaners he hired. “It was a negative experience all-around. The person who showed up, and the way they cleaned, didn’t seem professional.”

After looking into the industry further, the pair learned that other cleaning companies also lacked professionalism. Sparacio and Kushinsky continued their research and discovered the positives the industry offered, such as the opportunity to work daytime weekday hours. Home cleaning also does not require carrying a high product inventory, and perishable items – such as food – are not used. “My bad experience triggered us to look into the business, but it was the positives around it that really made us want to start our own company,” Kushinsky says.

Additional benefits of franchising a home-cleaning business include recurring revenue from regular customers. “This is a business that has a lot of momentum, because there are a lot of people who are growing up without learning how to clean a home,” Sparacio says. “Home cleaning for many people is less a luxury than it is a need.”

Strong Systems

Kushinsky and Sparacio opened a location in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood in 1991, which they operated for more than five years before selling their first franchise. MaidPro began further franchising operations in 1997.

Early focuses for the business included building internal systems that enhanced MaidPro’s professionalism and service level. This included a field service software program the company eventually spun off into its own business, which it sold in 2010.

“We are highly focused on making the business efficient so we can spend time building employee and customer satisfaction,” Kushinsky says. “We built our own software application at a time when there wasn’t anything else on the market. That application helped us so much, other companies that were looking at similar software wanted to buy it.”

After selling the software, MaidPro developed another proprietary system in-house that is used by its 225 franchise locations in the United States and Canada. The company also assists franchisees with marketing efforts, which Kushinsky says is another of the company’s main strengths.

“One of our skills as a franchisor is how we personalize what we do for each franchisee; we don’t have a one-size-fits-all marketing approach,” he says. “We have a great, clean brand that has a human and quirky feel. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and try to have a lot of fun with our marketing.” 

The friendly nature of the company’s marketing extends to its corporate culture. “Happy employees equal happy clients, so we put a lot of effort into making sure our business has a friendly, family feel,” Sparacio says, noting this includes sponsoring franchisee and employee trips and other special events.

MaidPro maintains its tight-knit community and culture by growing at what Kushinsky calls a modest and controlled rate. The company typically adds 20 to 25 new franchisees a year, a pace it expects to maintain for the next three to five years.

The company is also adding services to its portfolio. This includes laundry and organizational services. “We plan to have a few associated brands, and will most likely be a multi-brand franchisee over the next few years,” Kushinsky adds.

‘A Flexible Franchisor’

All new MaidPro franchisees are given extensive training from the moment they sign a franchising agreement. “Franchisees are welcomed into the MaidPro family and first introduced to their peer performance group, business coach and marketing coach to begin building relationships,” Kushinsky says. “Once they have formed these bonds, they will begin learning the system at home through webinars, MaidPro University and the like. This sets the table for their training at the MaidPro home office while giving them a flexible on-boarding into the MaidPro culture.”

New franchisees are assigned a coaching team that includes a point of contact for business questions as well as a marketing coach, digital media specialist and a cleaning expert. Franchisee support groups and workshops are also available as resources, Sparacio notes.

Franchisees are given a degree of autonomy in their daily decision-making. “I think we are a flexible franchisor,” he adds. “Most of our franchisees are entrepreneurs who want a level of freedom not only in terms of their time, but also when it comes to how they run their business. We try not to control things we shouldn’t.”

Sidebar:

Positive Press

MaidPro’s friendly and flexible approach to franchising has earned it a number of recognitions from industry publications in 2017 alone. These include:

* Being named one of the “Top 10 Best Franchises to Buy” by Forbes.        

* Recognition as a Top 10 Franchise for Franchisee Satisfaction, Top 100 Franchise, Top Multi-Unit Franchise, Top Low-Cost Franchise and Top Franchise for Women by Franchise Business Review;

* A “Top Company Culture” award from Entrepreneur;

* Recognition as one of Boston Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work”; and

* Top 100 franchise nods from Franchise Gator and Entrepreneur.

 

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