The initial costs range from around £7000 to £16,000 with recommended working capital in the region of £5000 to £10,000.
Most franchisees will start up from home so overheads are low initially but you will need to buy computer equipment and probably set up a separate phone line. All three franchisors will provide you with a certain amount of stationary, equipment and uniforms - where applicable.
With SelClene much of your time is spent going out and leafleting so petrol costs and wear and tear on your car need to be considered. Although the point of paying exclusive area fee, at £100 a month for 100,000 houses, means you will only be travelling within a certain area.
With Merry Maids and Molly Maid you will have to meet the cost of your staff's petrol - which is another reason to keep the territory compact. Additionally, the Molly Maid franchise requires that you provide small blue cars, which then have the Molly Maid logo put on the side.
Sherry Costello in Surrey says cars are her second highest expenditure. You are advised to lease hire rather than buy and she pays £185 (including maintenance and VAT) per car, per month. This is the only insurance you have to pay for, though, Molly Maid sorts out all the other insurance costs.
Most franchisees agreed that the highest expenditure was wages. "Maids might earn between £4 and £8 an hour depending on the area and their experience," says Ken Dennis of Merry Maids. You will automatically have to pay 20% more in London - but you will obviously be able to charge more for the clean as well.
Advertising, renewing equipment and chemicals are all ongoing necessary expenditure. With SelClene you won't be buying the cleaning equipment but you will be doing a lot of leafleting. Which brings an additional cost as you will probably want to bring someone in to help you out. This costs initially but will ultimately boost earnings as it leaves more time for marketing and promoting the business.
Finding the money to put an advert in the Yellow Pages can also be well worth the expense. Sally Firth of Merry Maids Oxford says their advert is the biggest source of enquiries. She has teamed up with two franchisees in adjacent territories to pay for it.