Before taking the big step to franchising your concept, your first need to open the business yourself. Test your assumptions with your own wallet! We did that with the first You’ve Got MAIDS in Orlando, Florida. It served as our Petri Dish to examine every manual, form, tactic, cleaning process, and advertising strategy. What we learned the hard way would go on to become the foundation of our Systems for Success in Maid University.
If your objective is to grow a coast-to-coast franchise, your new venture had better not be a fad. Fads do not pass the test of time. Think about the world’s first drive in theater in Camden, NJ. Drive-ins would not have made a good long term franchise for you to invest in because there are not too many drive-ins left. Drive-In was a fad industry. One industry that has passed the test of times is house cleaning. You’ve Got MAIDS currently has a house cleaning franchise in Cherry Hill, NJ that cleans homes very close to that first Camden New Jersey Drive-In Theater.
Your business concept needs to be replicable. We wanted to prove that the You’ve Got MAIDS office in Central Florida was no fluke, so we opened our second house cleaning office in Charleston, SC. We could have opened the second maid service office in Daytona, Tampa, or Merritt Island, Florida, but instead we choose Charleston 400 miles away. We wanted to make it difficult, and it did not disappoint us; but we learned how to make it work, and the rest is history.
A franchisor simply does not have a great deal of credibility unless they have opened successfully in multiple markets. Orlando is a bustling metropolis, bulging at the seams. Charleston is a sleepy little southern city steeped in tradition and charm, 180 degrees different from Orlando. Perhaps the credit should go to the Preservation Society of Charleston whose goal is to balance progress and preservation, and thanks to them their isn’t one building in downtown Charleston taller than the steeple on top of St. Philip’s Church. The fact that You’ve Got MAIDS could thrive in these two polar opposite markets, gave us that confidence needed to expand coast to coast.
To grow your business into a nationwide franchise the first thing is make sure your industry is not a fad. Next, test it yourself. Lastly, test your assumptions in multiple, diverse markets.