They haven’t been around for decades like some systems, but that doesn’t mean younger brands aren’t thriving thanks to a combination of finding a market, knowing their product, and first class corporate support.
Everyone knows the British Columbia coast is beautiful – and wet – thanks to a steady supply of rain in Canada’s westernmost province. That means a sort of damp paradise attracting the growth of unwanted moss, lichens, and algae, all of which can cause trouble for the home owner, especially when it comes to the roof.
That’s where Budget Roof Cleaning comes in. “We clean roofs,” says Nick Michaloski, President and Founder of the company. “Moisture causes the problem. It’s a British Columbia thing, stretching from the Fraser Valley to Vancouver Island.”
Michaloski began Budget Roof Cleaning in Chilliwack, British Columbia in 2011 after looking for, but not finding, someone to clean the shingles on the roof of his house. He started franchising in 2015, and now has four franchises – one each in Comox and Victoria, both on Vancouver Island, and two more in Langley and Surrey, suburbs of Vancouver. Further expansion, says Michaloski, will take Budget Roof Cleaning elsewhere in British Columbia, and later into the Pacific Northwest in the United States.
The cost of a franchise is between $25,000 and $35,000, and franchisees will need another $12,500 for equipment and supplies, and must have a vehicle. Training takes place in Chilliwack and lasts two or three days, with franchisees getting hands-on equipment instruction and learning how to quote the price of a job.
A Budget Roof Cleaning franchise would be good for anyone, says Michaloski, suggesting it would be attractive to those who want to work for themselves, or those who are retired, but want to stay active. Active is key, he goes on to say, because franchisees will have to climb onto roofs themselves alongside whoever they hire to work with them. Michaloski says he’s looking for self-starters who have a positive attitude and sales skills, and some business background would be helpful.
The benefits of investing in a Budget Roof Cleaning franchise are numerous, says Michaloski, noting that there are 37,000 houses in Chilliwack, and he can clean 250 to 300 roofs a year. “The opportunities are unreal. A roof should be cleaned every seven years because moss, lichen, and algae can cause real damage.” There’s also the low cost of entry, he continues, a good ROI, and the choice of working either part time or full time.
They’re a fact of Canadian life, and can be as small as an ant or as large as a raccoon. But their size doesn’t matter. No one wants them on their property.
Mark Amery found that out when he started working in pest control as an 18 year old. And by his mid-20s, he also discovered the time was right for him to start his own company, eventually selling the business to a large corporation – although he didn’t leave the market entirely. Last year, he began Toodaloo Pest and Wildlife Services in Vancouver because, as he says, creatures that bite and chew and destroy property will never go away.
Toodaloo’s President and Founder only began franchising in January of this year, but there are plenty of opportunities already available, he says. “It’s non-stop. It’s just go, go, go.” The company has two franchises already in Thunder Bay and Hamilton in Ontario, with three or four more lined up, although the major expansion plans cover Vancouver and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Toodaloo targets all sectors of the residential and commercial markets.
Amery says he thought the system would attract mainly men as franchisees, but he’s found that almost half of those interested in Toodaloo are women. A franchise costs $40,000, exclusive of a reliable vehicle the franchisee must provide. Training takes two weeks – about one week is hands-on and the rest of the time is spent on business matters. Many of those interested in Toodaloo have a background in pest control, says Amery, although it’s not required. What he does want, however, are investors who like working outside, don’t mind getting dirty, and who have the communication skills to grow their business.
Toodaloo works from the same platform as Amery’s other system, Gorilla Property Services, meaning that a pest control franchise can be run from a smart phone. There’s no bricks and mortar location, and all marketing is done online by Toodaloo. As for the benefits of a franchise, Amery says it’s low risk, high reward; there is an outstanding technical platform; and franchisees receive great marketing and brand support.
This system started in Ottawa and is designed to make life easier for homeowners and pet parents. A unique service blend of house cleaning, pet sitting, and home checks means that there is never an off season as there is demand in every month of the year.
Rebecca Page is the founder of Concierge Home Services, and her background in human resources is the perfect match for a business that relies on its staff to provide service delivery to clients. “Our Franchise Partner Toolkit has it all laid out,” Rebecca explains. “From job ads to screening surveys, to employment letters, policy manuals, and an online training platform.”
Franchise partners also have access to other business tools, such as a custom online quoting form, and scheduling software that assigns staff to client bookings, and runs payroll reports. The two-week training period allows for a thorough learning of these tools, as well as role-playing to get comfortable with using them. There is also a module on marketing, so that new franchisees understand how they can reach prospective clients. Clients are typically homeowners from ages 30 to 65, who are busy raising families, building their career, or enjoying an active retirement. In all cases, they value the focus on customer service and professionalism of Concierge Home Services.
As a home-based business, this franchise is a good fit for people who want to run a business and maintain a healthy work-life balance. No storefront, no retail hours, and limited weekends make it an ideal franchise for parents. Rebecca notes that “a few of our franchise partners have children, and they can have their normal school routine on weekdays before turning their attention to their clients and staff.” Concierge Home Services has six locations operating in three cities – Ottawa, Toronto, and Milton. They are looking to expand to other centres in Southern Ontario, such as Guelph, Pickering, and Kitchener-Waterloo.
By David Chilton Saggers