Learn About Starting a Vanguard Cleaning Service Franchise


Commercial cleaning is a growing, recession-resistant industry. Even when the economy is struggling, businesses need their facilities cleaned.

Starting a Vanguard Cleaning Systems franchise allows you to tap into that growing industry at your own pace. You can start small and build the business slowly as you gain confidence and familiarity with the industry.

About Vanguard Cleaning Systems Franchises

Vanguard Cleaning Systems was founded in 1984 and began franchising that year. The San Mateo, California-based company now has about 2,000 franchises and 10,000 commercial cleaning accounts.

The Vanguard franchise continues to see rapid growth. In 2012, the company ranked No. 4 on the Entrepreneur.com list of the fastest-growing franchises. The magazine also ranked Vanguard No. 6 on its list of low-cost franchises and No. 8 on its list of home-based franchises.

Vanguard offers two franchising opportunities:

  • The janitorial franchise program offers individuals the chance to operate a commercial cleaning franchise. No professional sales skills or business experience is required.
  • The master franchise program offers experienced business professionals the chance to own, develop and manage a Vanguard territory. Master franchisees are responsible for recruiting janitorial franchises, finding commercial cleaning customers and providing support for franchises in the form of training, customer service, billing and collections.

Vanguard is unique in that most janitorial franchises are started by people with daytime jobs. They start small and grow the business slowly on nights and weekends, without sacrificing a full-time income. Franchise owners can decide later whether to leave their day jobs and focus on expanding the business.

Cost to Start a Vanguard Franchise

Vanguard is a relatively low-cost franchise. The total investment starts at just $8,800 and can be financed with a low down payment. The maximum total investment is less than $40,000.

The bulk of that initial investment is the franchise fee. Vanguard's franchise fees, as of 2012, ranged from $7,650 to $37,000, according to Entrepreneur.com. Ongoing royalties were 5 percent and liquid cash requirements ranged from $2,800 to $9,000, according to the website.

Vanguard Franchise Training and Support

Vanguard offers franchisees two weeks of training either at the headquarters or a regional office. The training includes tips and techniques for skills such as work-loading and team cleaning.

Once you get started, Vanguard offers professional support, invoice and collection services, and a toll-free customer service line. The company also provides marketing support in the form of regional advertising.

Author: Ashley Smith

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