The franchise tends to appeal more to women. In the cases of Merry Maids and Molly Maid, two thirds of their number are women. Ken Dennis, Merry Maids franchise sales director, explains,
"They tend to be professional people with children who've worked for corporate firms and now want to work from home, flexibly for themselves. We have ex-teachers, ex-bank and city workers, ex-paramedic nurses - all kinds of people."
Having management experience will be an advantage as you could be working with a large team. Without wanting to sound clichéd, you also need to be a people person. As well as managing your cleaners, you will need to present a personable face to your clients.
With all three franchises, you will be going into people's houses to find out what they are looking for in a cleaner. SelClene really only require you to meet the client to sign the papers but for Molly Maid and Merry Maids, you will be assessing the house to make a quotation - in effect, selling your services.
It’s important for them to feel that you will be as careful with their home as they are. This requires sensitivity and a gift for the personal approach - before and after you sign them up.
Sandra Redmond of Molly Maid in Wimbledon says, "You have to know a lot about people so that when they ring up they feel you know who they are. A good memory is very important."
You also have to be able to take criticism, both of yourself and your staff. If a client complains then it has to be sorted out immediately and with good grace. Your cleaners will be insured against serious mishap but it is the day to day things, where you haven't quite met the client's expectations in some way, which will test your patience.
Although SelClene is different as it guarantees you will not have to clean or iron, for the other two franchises you can't be afraid of being hands on. If you are short staffed or there is a big job on, you will have to roll up your sleeves and muck in. But most franchisees said they liked doing this as it builds team spirit and morale.