Home service franchises: a complete guide | Global Franchise
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Wednesday 10th August, 2022

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Home service franchises: a complete guide

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Home service franchises: a complete guide

Home service franchises come in many different forms, but all aim to improve the quality of life for clients with an approachable and user-friendly business model.

Home service franchises come in many shapes and sizes, but all prioritize one thing: improving the quality of life of clients by offering an approachable, user-friendly services business model that’s catered to repairing or maintaining various elements of the home.

Service brands can also deliver on various client requests that simply aren’t available through other opportunities. A home inspection brand may differ in its offering when compared to home painting services or a home improvement franchise, but all are grouped under the hugely successful and popular home service franchise banner.

Throughout the course of this essential guide, we’ll look at the popularity of home improvement organizations, why business owners are increasingly flocking to this hands-on segment, and how you can take advantage of the many services franchise opportunities in the market today.
More and more entrepreneurs are opting to open home service franchises as part of their portfolio, but it’s important to acknowledge that this kind of business opportunity has always been popular among franchisors looking to provide a valuable service to customers and franchisees.

Why are home service franchise brands in such high demand?

More and more entrepreneurs are opting to open home service franchises as part of their portfolio, but it’s important to acknowledge that this kind of business opportunity has always been popular among franchisors looking to provide a valuable service to customers and franchisees.

Franchising is often associated with the food and beverage or restaurant industries, but some of the top services franchises like Neighborly and Fibrenew have been operational for over 30 years.

During this time, the leaders of some of the biggest service franchises have learned the key to running a successful business: put people first. It doesn’t matter that many of the franchises within this industry focus on property and ‘things’; the human element is what has separated the best franchise owners from the rest.

“People turn to brands with longevity and history, brands they know and trust in times of crisis,” said Chris Wootton, franchisor and franchisee for home valet service, Poppies.

“Our 40-year heritage stood us in good stead! Having the ability and resources to flex our service offering and adapt to change is a further strength of a franchise network of businesses rather than single operators.”
As with almost every franchising sector, having experience within the home and property industry isn’t an absolute requirement for entrepreneurs taking the plunge into a plumbing business, or gearing up for an auto repair concept.

What do the top service franchises look for in new franchisees?

However, depending on how hands-on a franchisee chooses to be, it does help to have some kind of prior understanding of the processes involved, so that accurate consultancy can be provided to clients.

Naturally, a property maintenance franchise company will provide new franchisees with all the comprehensive training and resources that they might need to make the business thrive. Experience isn’t a must – it’s just a perk that could see faster returns than the completely uninitiated.

Once this has been established, though, the demand for home and property franchises is enormous, diverse, and ongoing. Based on Census Bureau data, there are more than 210.5 million homeowners in the U.S.; many of whom will be on the lookout for the right franchise –from lawn care franchises to kitchen tune-up operations – to help as their properties depreciate and require upkeep.

Something that all franchisors will look for in new franchise partners is enough capital to develop the franchise system thoroughly. This is the same regardless of whether you’re looking to open a home repair franchise or a more tech-driven operation providing home computer services – capital is king, and you’ll need to be able to afford things like the franchise fee, or build-out if fixed locations are required.

All of this will be encompassed within your business plan, which all franchisee candidates are expected to provide to give the franchisor an understanding of how they will run their own operation. This isn’t unique to the services industry, of course, but can instead be found across every industry that the franchising model occupies. Your business plan may include elements such as how you’ll incorporate effective marketing into your development, but don’t forget that certain elements will be explained as part of the franchisor’s extensive training.
In 2021, it’s impossible to talk about business development without touching on the impact that the coronavirus pandemic had industry-wide.

How to franchise a service business in a post-pandemic world

While it may be expected that home deep cleaning services and green home solutions saw an uptake in consumer demand, the entire home service franchise industry actually remained particularly resilient during this time of economic downturn and uncertainty. This is true for many of North America’s biggest brands, but it’s also a trend that can be traced the world over.

It’s always challenging to call any industry “recession-proof”, but the home services sector certainly comes close. People have been confined to their homes more than ever over the previous 12 months, and as a result, improvement franchises – everything from an oven cleaning franchise to a home car valet service – have seen unprecedented engagement.

“Clearly the homeowner or investor has identified that their properties are the financial foundation of their future,” says Warren Ballentyne, MD and founder of Gutter-Vac, a gutter maintenance franchise, “so the demand [for franchises] has increased significantly. The supply of these services has been drawn along.”At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Mike Bidwell, CEO of services franchise concept parent company Neighborly, wrote for Global Franchise about why this industry was continuing to prosper. He touched on the concerns that could arise as people return to offices – would consumers need the likes of home help services when they were no longer confined to homes?

Fear not: even as the world returns to normal, many businesses are looking at retaining remote working policies, because they’ve simply proved too beneficial to remove.

This is a rewarding business sector that’s here to stay, and no matter what type of business you choose to open in the home service franchising landscape, you can be assured that satisfied customers will always return to stand-out franchise brands.
A particularly exciting trend that the home services franchise industry is seeing now is an increase in multi-unit and multi-brand franchise ownership. That is, when a single entrepreneur or organization with lots of industry experience chooses to broaden their portfolio with further service-based franchise brands, or opens several franchise locations under a single brand name.

The rise of the multi-brand franchisee

A particularly exciting trend that the home services franchise industry is seeing now is an increase in multi-unit and multi-brand franchise ownership. That is, when a single entrepreneur or organization with lots of industry experience chooses to broaden their portfolio with further service-based franchise brands, or opens several franchise locations under a single brand name.

Franchisors are taking advantage of this trend by building their entire growth strategy around multi-brand opportunities. Home service organizations like Fantastic Services and My Home Services Group, for example, combine the appeal of many service businesses into one package, providing customer peace of mind alongside franchisee success.

This trend was discussed as part of Global Franchise‘s Multi-Unit Month podcast series, in which Andy Johnson, a Neighborly multi-brand franchisee, explains the reasoning behind his approach to running several services businesses.

Franchisors tend to like multi-unit or multi-brand operators, because they often have the capital to cover startup costs for several franchise units. The cost of entry to a brand isn’t as much of an issue for these kind of operators, and so the huge potential of a brand can be realized without too much concern being put on the initial franchise fee.
The earnings potential from home service brands can be very high, particularly for many of the reasons discussed above: the popularity and necessity of these brands, the established names of some players within this space, and the fact that home improvement services are often considered a form of essential business – even during times of uncertainty.

Should you invest in a home services franchise?

However, before you even get to the franchise agreement stage, you need to consider a few aspects. Firstly, does your dream of entrepreneurship align with the kind of services that these brands are providing? You don’t necessarily need to have prior experience – as we established, many service brands provide world-class training to get new franchisees up to speed – but residential properties and busy homeowners will be your life for the foreseeable future.

If you have a hankering for handyman services or an interest in the insulation industry, then owning a business in this booming industry could be a huge opportunity. Make sure to do your due diligence, and you could be part of one of the largest families of franchising networks around.

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