If you’re considering starting a business, one of the primary decisions you’ll face is whether to pursue a franchise or strike out on your own as an independent owner. 

Both options come with unique benefits and challenges, so it’s vital to weigh your choices carefully and choose the one that best aligns with your goals.

To help guide you in your decision-making process, we’re going to break down the key differences between these two paths and provide valuable insights and advice for those ready to take on their entrepreneurial journey.

What is a Franchise?

A type of ownership that allows you to start a company using the name, brand, and business model of an existing company. 

Essentially, you’ll be purchasing the rights to use their established brand, systems, and marketing strategies in order to start your own cleaning company, as an example.

In exchange for this support, you’ll typically be required to pay an initial franchise fee and ongoing royalties to the franchisor, which can vary widely depending on the company and the level of support they offer.

Pros and Cons of a Franchise

It’s important to consider the benefits and drawbacks before choosing a franchise option.


Established Brand and Reputation 

You’ll be starting your company with an established brand and reputation. This can help you attract customers more easily and quickly and can give you a competitive edge in local markets.

Proven Business Model 

You’ll have a proven model that has been refined and optimized over time. This can save you a lot of trial and error and can help you avoid costly mistakes.

Training and Support 

You’ll typically receive training and ongoing support from the franchisor. This can include things like marketing assistance, operational support, and access to training materials and resources.

Marketing and Advertising 

Many franchises have centralized marketing and advertising campaigns that can help you market more effectively. This can save you a lot of time and money on marketing efforts and can help you reach a wider audience more quickly.


You invest in a cleaning business franchise. You now have access to a proven business model, brand, and reputation to expand into the growing entrepreneurial world. Marketing has never been easier and supplies have never come faster. Compared to an independent company, where you’re completely starting from scratch, marketing can be slow and you wait a lot longer to get your products and supplies due to low brand and reputation standards.


High Costs 

Franchise fees and ongoing royalties can be quite expensive and can eat into your profits significantly. Some franchisors even require you to purchase equipment or supplies exclusively from them, which can be more expensive than purchasing from other sources.

Limited Flexibility 

Franchisors typically have strict guidelines and procedures that you’ll need to follow, which can limit your ability to innovate or make changes as needed.

Royalty Payments

You’ll also be required to pay ongoing royalties to the franchisor. This can be a significant expense and can eat into your profits over time.

Lack of Control

You’ll be required to follow the franchisor’s rules and guidelines. This means that you’ll have less control over your company.

What is an Independent Business?

A company that you start from scratch without the support or branding of an established company. This option requires more work upfront but can offer more flexibility and control over your company in the long run.

Pros and Cons of an Independent Business

Before you decide to start an independent company, consider the benefits and drawbacks.


Lower Costs 

You won’t need to pay franchise fees or ongoing royalties, and you’ll have more control over how much you spend on equipment and supplies.

Greater Flexibility 

You’ll have more flexibility to set your own rules and procedures and you’ll be able to experiment and try new things without needing to get approval from a franchisor.

Control Over Branding 

You’ll have full control over your branding and marketing and be able to create a unique brand that reflects your values and vision for your company.

Greater Control Over Profits 

Since you won’t need to pay royalties or other fees to a franchisor, you’ll have greater control over your profits and expenses. This can make it easier to scale your company over time.


No Established Brand or Reputation 

You’ll need to establish your own brand and reputation. This can take time and effort and can be more difficult than starting with an established brand.

No Proven Business Model 

Since you’ll be starting from scratch, you’ll need to develop your own business model and procedures. This can be time-consuming and may require some trial and error to find what works best.

Limited Support and Training 

You won’t receive much support or training when you start an independent company. You’ll need to learn everything on your own and figure out how to market and grow your company without much guidance.

More Time-Consuming 

You’ll need to develop your own marketing materials and operational procedures.

Tips for Choosing the Right Option for You

Now that we’ve explored the pros and cons of each option, how can you determine which one is the best fit for you and your goals? 

Here are a few tips to help you make an informed decision:

Consider Your Budget 

If you have a limited budget or don’t want to take on a lot of debt, starting an independent company may be the better option for you. 

Franchise fees and ongoing royalties can be expensive and can eat into your profits.

Think About Your Goals 

What do you hope to achieve with your company? 

If you’re looking to grow quickly and establish a strong presence in your local market, a franchise may be the better option. 

If you’re more interested in having greater control over your company and taking a more hands-on approach, an independent company may be a better fit.

Research Your Local Market

If there are already a lot of established franchises in your area within your niche, it may be more difficult to compete. 

On the other hand, if there’s a lot of demand for your services but few established providers, you may have an easier time establishing an independent company.

Consider Your Skills and Experience 

If you’re new to your chosen industry and don’t have a lot of experience running a company, a franchise may provide more support and guidance. If you’re more experienced and confident in your abilities, starting an independent company may be a better fit.

Several Things To Keep in Mind Before Moving Forward

Develop a Strong Business Plan 

It’s important to develop a strong plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections to will help you stay focused and make informed decisions as your company grows.

Invest in The Right Equipment and Supplies 

Make sure to invest in high-quality equipment and supplies.

Focus On Customer Service

Focus on building strong relationships with your clients, and make sure to go above and beyond to meet their needs.

Stay Up-To-Date With Industry Trends 

Attend industry events, read industry publications, and network with other cleaning professionals to stay in the know.


In conclusion, choosing between a franchise and an independent company requires careful consideration of your goals, budget, and personal preferences. 

While a franchise can offer more support and guidance, it can also be more expensive and less flexible than starting an independent company. 

Ultimately, the choice will depend on your individual circumstances and goals. 

With the right strategy and hard work, both options can lead to a successful and profitable company!

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