You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Franchise Players: Before You Buy a Franchise, Talk to Former Employees Bruno Lima didn't just talk to other Anago franchisees before franchising – he reached out to ex-employees.

By Kate Taylor

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Bruno Lima with his wife and baby
Bruno Lima

Franchise Players is Entrepreneur's Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email ktaylor@entrepreneur.com.

When Bruno Lima began looking into franchising, his friend who had worked at cleaning services franchise Anago only had good things to say. But for Lima, that wasn't enough—and it shouldn't be enough for you either. Speaking with both the owner of Anago and former employees no longer on the franchise's payroll, Lima was able to hear both sides of the story before signing a franchise agreement. Here's what he's learned as a cleaning systems franchisee.

Name: Bruno Lima

Franchise owned: Anago, in Salt Lake City, Utah

How long have you owned the franchise?

It has been a little less than a year, as the business opened on June 1, 2013.

Related: Franchise Players: Franchising Gave This Young b.good Owner Real-World Experience

Why franchising?
It's a great way to start a business with a proven concept. I had constant access to the help of the company's headquarters. They were there for every step I needed and provided support to back me up and guide me through the process.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I was attending Brigham Young University in Utah studying Manufacturing Engineering.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

I knew someone who had worked for one of their franchises who had nothing but good things to say about them. I decided to look into them and really liked the way they were set up and how their system was ran. Anago was very open from the start and they were willing to help me with any information I needed about their company and how to improve my franchise.

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

$1,000 for an office down payment.

$1,500 for advertising expenses

$1,000 to travel to the company headquarters to see what the company is like

$5,000 for office set up and employee expenses

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?

I called a franchise owner from Anago Cleaning Systems and asked him about his experience with the brand. I also spoke to ex-employees from Anago and see what they had to say, that way I could get both sides of the story. Really exploring the experiences of past and present employees helped solidify my decision.

Related: Franchise Players: The Sweet Success and Brand Support of a Cinnabon Franchisee

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

Trying to keep ourselves from growing faster than we can control was a challenge. I didn't want to stretch ourselves too thin. Just like any business owner, I would like to grow and expand, but I would like to keep it within our means and still produce great service to our customers.

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?

Do your homework. Study out the franchise that you're interested in, how long have they been in business? How well are the franchise owners doing? How long before I can get my return on investment? Then look at both sides of the story, the good and the bad. That's how you get the complete story.

What's next for you and your business?

We're running some television and radio ads this upcoming month, trying new marketing ideas to grow our business at an acceptable rate. Eventually through business growth, we look forward to adding more employment as the business expands.

Related: Franchise Players: A Pet Care Franchisee Changed Her Life at 21

Kate Taylor

Reporter

Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.

Personal Finance

How to Get a Lifetime of Investing Experience in Only One Year

Plus, how day traders can learn a lesson from pilots.

Branding

94% of Customers Say a Bad Review Made Them Avoid Buying From a Brand. Try These 4 Techniques to Protect Your Brand Reputation.

Maintaining a good reputation is key for any business today. With so many people's lives and shopping happening online, what is said about a company on the internet can greatly influence its success.

Travel

Save on Business Travel with Matt's Flight's Premium, Only $80 for Life

This premium plan features customized flight deal alerts and one-on-one planning with Matt himself.

Science & Technology

Here's One Reason Urban Transportation Won't Look the Same in a Decade

Micro-EVs may very well be the future of city driving. Here's why, and how investors can get ahead of it.

Marketing

I Got Over 225,000 Views in Just 3 Months With Short-Form Video — Here's Why It's the New Era of Marketing

Thanks to our new short-form video content strategy, we've amassed over 225,000 video views in just three months. Learn how to increase brand awareness through short-form video content.