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This No-Degree-Required Side Hustle Has So Much Potential — But Almost Nobody's Using It This Way Although not typically thought of as a part-time business model, franchising offers a turnkey side hustle, leveraging brand recognition and support to generate additional income with a comparatively lower risk profile.

By Adam Povlitz

Key Takeaways

  • With low startup costs, economic resilience and structured yet flexible business models, commercial cleaning franchises represent a compelling option for entrepreneurs.
  • Embracing green practices and smart technologies can set franchisees apart in the commercial cleaning industry.
  • Building a network in the local community can enhance business prospects through referrals and collaborative opportunities
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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The side-gig economy (or gig economy) refers to a growing labor market characterized by the popularity of alternative jobs or freelance work, as opposed to traditional, 9-5 office (or permanent) jobs. For many, side gigs are not just a way to earn extra cash but a financial lifeline.

Platforms such as Uber, Airbnb, Upwork, and Etsy have streamlined the process of finding and offering freelance work. These digital marketplaces effortlessly connect supply with demand, providing workers with flexibility that traditional jobs cannot match. The popularity of smartphones and widespread internet access has also empowered potential side-giggers to convert their spare time into economic opportunities with just a few taps on a screen.

In an economic landscape marred by rising living costs and stagnating wages, side jobs offer a viable way to make ends meet. Moreover, the demand for a more flexible work-life balance has become increasingly important.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

Stable, recurring income

Commercial cleaning franchises, which offer a blend of structured business systems and operational flexibility, have experienced consistent growth, partly thanks to their resilience against economic downturns. Businesses, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions must always maintain clean health, safety, and aesthetic environments. As a side hustle, providing cleaning services through a franchise offers a stable, recurring income with the potential to scale operations as desired.

Side gigs also serve as low-risk platforms for budding entrepreneurs to test and refine their startup ideas before scaling them into full-fledged businesses. They provide a playground for innovation where mistakes are less costly and valuable lessons can be gleaned. This 'try before you buy' approach to entrepreneurship has generated a diverse and dynamic business landscape, with many successful startups owing their origins to side endeavors.

The allure of franchising

Franchising offers potential business owners a unique opportunity – to start a venture under the umbrella of a reputable brand with an established and successful business model. This approach reduces startup risks associated with brand recognition, customer acquisition, and operational strategies. In commercial cleaning – a service in constant demand – the franchise model provides comprehensive training, ongoing support, and, often, a guaranteed territory.

Additionally, commercial cleaning has been lauded as a viable side-gig venture with:

  • Low overhead - Franchising offers the advantage of lower overhead costs compared to starting a business from scratch.
  • Freedom to make your hours - Set your hours, work from anywhere, and choose how much you want to work.
  • Lower risk with a proven business model - Franchises have a proven track record of success. According to the International Franchise Association (IFA), franchises account for over $2 trillion in economic output in the United States alone.
  • Opportunity to create residual income - One of the best things about residual income is that it provides a steady income stream, even when you're not actively working. This can be a great way to save for retirement, pay for college, or enjoy your free time.
  • Tax advantages to benefit your bottom line - One of the most significant tax advantages of owning a franchise is deducting business-related expenses from your taxes. This includes rent, utilities, marketing costs, and employee salaries.

Related: These 7 Side Hustle Franchise Types Can Earn You Full Time Cash

A commercial cleaning franchise as a mobile business

One considerable advantage of a commercial cleaning franchise is the low startup cost. This is because you do not need to purchase any equipment or inventory. You simply pay a franchise fee and purchase the necessary cleaning supplies. This can save you a substantial amount of money compared to starting your own cleaning business.

Another advantage of a commercial cleaning franchise is the lure of being a part of a sustainable and innovative industry. Commercial cleaning increasingly leans toward green practices, leveraging eco-friendly products and methods. Innovative franchisees can differentiate themselves by tapping into the growing market segment that values sustainability. Additionally, integrating smart technologies for scheduling, customer relationship management, and operations streamlines processes, providing higher efficiency and better margins.

Market demand and economic resilience

Commercial cleaning franchises have experienced consistent growth, partly thanks to their resilience against economic downturns. Businesses, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions must always maintain clean health, safety, and aesthetic environments. As a side hustle, providing cleaning services through a franchise offers a stable, recurring income with the potential to scale operations as desired.

Related: Discover Which Brands Have Ranked on the Franchise 500 for Longest, Earning a Spot in Our 'Hall of Fame'

Networking and community building

Commercial cleaning franchises often operate within localized community networks, enabling franchisees to establish relationships with other local businesses. This network can be a source of referrals, collaborative partnerships, and community goodwill, valuable assets for any side business.

The side-gig economy is an increasingly diverse and multi-faceted system that offers something for everyone, including those who may be attracted to the structure and support of a franchise. A commercial cleaning franchise is an accessible, flexible, and resilient side hustle that can serve as a stepping stone to full-scale entrepreneurship or as a standalone income stream.

As with any business venture, potential franchisees should diligently research and choose a franchise that aligns with their goals, ethos, and lifestyle to ensure the hustle is worth their time and investment. A side hustle in the commercial cleaning franchise sector can shine with the right strategy and a commitment to quality service.

Adam Povlitz

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Chief Executive Officer & President of Anago Cleaning Systems

Adam Povlitz is CEO and president of Anago Cleaning Systems, one of the world’s leading franchised commercial cleaning companies, and a leader in technological advances relating to business operations and facilities services with over 1,800 franchisees across North America.

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

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