One residential cleaning brand offers insight into how to build a franchise concept that is resilient against downturns in the economy.

With inflationary pressures rising everyday and experts predicting a looming recession, everyone is searching for that magic quality: recession-resistance. But, what makes a business resistant to economic downturns and how can franchisees and franchisors learn from those examples?

Home Clean Heroes is a fast-growing residential cleaning franchise that supports local first responders with every home that we clean. Our goal is to provide entrepreneurs the chance to own a business that is in demand even in times of economic hardship. In 2022, we awarded eight franchise territories and concluded our calendar year with sales up a whopping 72% year-over-year. Here is how we did it.


The Power of the Residential Cleaning Industry

When the pandemic hit, Home Clean Heroes was only a few years old. But the brand weathered the storm and remained profitable, growing throughout 2020 and 2021, while many other businesses floundered and failed. A big reason for that growth was due to the category we operate in.

We are indeed a recession-resistant franchise, but since the pandemic, we’ve become more of a necessity — people want cleaner homes, they’re working from home and don’t have the time to do it themselves. That is why the need for differentiated, professional and consistent cleaning services — especially those that kill viruses — has never been higher among homeowners.

In 2021 alone, revenue for the cleaning industry grew by 14%, according to Jobber. By 2025, Franchise Help estimates the sector will be worth more than $40 billion. As an essential business, the home service industry is in a unique position — cleaning services always end up being the last thing average households cut out of their finances. It’s a necessity.

Home Clean Heroes, in particular, is uniquely qualified to meet that necessity with cleaning products that are 99% effective against pathogens like COVID-19. Plus, since Home Clean Heroes uses fully eco-friendly and resource renewable products, the brand also appeals to the growing demand for green and sustainable cleaning services.

Now, as the U.S. potentially heads for another recession, it’s important to do the proper due diligence and ensure the category is one that stays protected against a challenging economy. Unlike many other sectors, the residential cleaning industry has proven itself to be a reliable choice.



The Business Model

Here at Home Clean Heroes, there is a stable business model in place. The brand’s operations are designed with resilience in mind, and that has helped the company flourish despite the hardships in the world.

The residential cleaning industry in general offers recurring revenue, little to practically no inventory, the ability to set your own schedule, affordable startup costs, low competitive risk and an in-demand service that resonates in every market across the country. Home Clean Heroes, for example, grew the number of active recurring clients system-wide by 67%, which in turn increased recurring revenue per clean by 84%. All of these benefits help entrepreneurs follow their entrepreneurial dreams and sign on the dotted line with the franchise, regardless of the economy.

As a recession-resistant business, Home Clean Heroes also aims to keep up with the ongoing challenges that franchise owners might face. For example, we have focused on internal advancements to aid with finding qualified employees and retaining them amidst a difficult labor market. The brand helps franchisees recruit talent on job posting sites, funds advertising campaigns for hiring and is also rolling out a new system with virtual health provider Teladoc that is available to frontline workers. This will provide free access to doctors 24/7 for virtual appointments. It’s for them and their dependents and is offered at zero cost to the employees.

In general, support is key when trying to help franchisees overcome economic challenges. Home Clean Heroes provides the tools, systems and processes for entrepreneurs to build a significant business, with scalable opportunities for multi-unit growth. Franchisees have access to a robust training program, a dedicated management team, a 15-person in-house marketing agency, data analytics, staffing support, graphic design and much more.

And the unit-level economics of our franchise owners speak for themselves. Adeola Shabiyi of Tampa Bay, for example, has reported a 146% year-over-year revenue increase since his start in 2021.


A Community Focus

Perhaps the secret sauce of Home Clean Heroes’ recession-resistance comes down to a strong community focus. One of the brand’s biggest wins for the year was the launch and success of the Heroes First initiative, a philanthropic partnership the franchise brand formed with First Responders Children’s Foundation.

Since January, Home Clean Heroes and the First Responders Children’s Foundation have collected contributions to donate to the families of first responders in an effort to alleviate the pain of financial hardships for those who have suffered tragic circumstances or death in the line of duty. Home Clean Heroes is participating in a franchisee/franchisor matching contribution — a portion of of every recurring or one-time service fee collected is donated to First Responders Children’s Foundation. Customers are also given the opportunity to contribute to Heroes First by “rounding-up” or adding a nominal donation to their service cost, which will go directly to the initiative.

Overall, the brand donated over $18,000 throughout the year through the Heroes First initiative. It’s given an important dynamic and dimension to Home Clean Heroes — a truly mission-based differentiator. It’s allowed a way for our franchisees to give back to their communities, and also gave customers — and franchisee candidates — another reason to choose us over the competition.

Perfecting a franchise model that is resistant to recession is easier said than done, but at Home Clean Heroes, we are proud of the momentum and resilience we have shown over the past few years. We have been servicing customers at an all-time high and there is ample opportunity for the franchise across the country. For other franchisees or franchisors looking to protect themselves against economic headwinds, now is the time to learn from success stories, gather best practices and pivot accordingly.