Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online
September 2013 A Clean Sweep

Converting For The Future

Conversion makes sense for the business-savvy owner looking to stay one step ahead of the curve.

September 9, 2013

The American dream.

According to Merriam-Webster, the American dream is defined as “an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity,” or “the prosperity or life that is the realization of this ideal.”

There are numerous ways that this dream or ideal can be accomplished, and it’s very likely that no two people will agree on exactly what the American dream is.

That is part of its appeal; the dream is different to everyone.

But there are many with the will and the desire to pursue this ideal that will point to ownership, whether it be a home or otherwise, as the goal.

More will say that owning their own business and being their own boss is the ultimate sign of achievement.

There is no wrong definition, but there is something to be said, an acute sense of accomplishment, for anyone who can say: This is mine. I own it. I run it.

So what happens when the dream begins to tarnish with time and an unstable economy?

A Helping Hand

Believe it or not, many businesses, even in an industry that is dubbed “recession-proof,” will fail or not perform up to their potential.

Whether the owner isn’t as business savvy as they need to be, or they don’t know enough about the particulars that go into the cleaning industry, something is holding them back.

It isn’t unheard of for owners to grow frustrated and despondent when their dream isn’t living up to its perceived possibilities.

Rather than throw in the towel, there are ways to boost a business’s potential without losing control of something that has been growing from the seed of an idea.

Conversion.

ServiceMaster Clean has developed what they are terming a conversion program, which is almost exactly what it sounds like: A program to convert your independent business into a franchise.

The program takes cleaning businesses that may need a little extra help, whether on the business end or the knowledge end of things, and puts them under the umbrella of an already successful company.

Converting makes a once independent, island of a business part of a bigger picture.

A Support System

Becoming part of a franchise system, such as ServiceMaster Clean, the formerly independent business and its staff and owner have a myriad of opportunities at their fingertips.

The parent company allows converted businesses to become a network, borrowing and lending the knowledge that each respective owner is already in possession of and allowing that knowledge to grow.

There is training involved to become a part of the ServiceMaster Clean family, but there is no such thing as too much training.

The training is two weeks and two-fold: Production and management.

Production: One week of training in the processes, equipment and techniques that business owners should know, or that they might need a refresher in.

Because the cleaning industry is constantly evolving, constantly keeping up on the new techniques, technologies and procedures to make buildings cleaner and healthier is always a good idea.

Management: One week of training on the business.

The idea of this second week is to assist owners with recruiting, hiring and training employees.

It also addresses reading and understanding financial statements, as well as a quick rundown of marketing and sales.

A Step Ahead

Converting from a small business to part of a franchise system is neither a step back or regression from the American dream of ownership.

Conversion makes sense for the business-savvy owner who is looking to take their business to the next level and stay one step ahead of the curve, without sacrificing the quality that the customers have come to expect.

The conversion allows an owner to transition from working in the business that they likely started from the ground up, to working on the business, and allows them to refocus their energies into expanding their business and ensuring that the quality is always where it should be.

Being backed by a well-known and respected name also gives owners a path towards adding value — which will make the business easier to sell down the road, should the owner want to sell — and removes any fear the owner could have about growing their business.

Through training and networking, owners can learn the right way to grow their business without overextending their reach or making decisions that will be detrimental to growth and value in the longrun.