Veteran Franchisor Background – ServiceMaster Clean (1)

ServiceMaster Clean  |  |  |  |  Clean Up with This Franchise  | Free Veteran Franchise Consulting

Published in the March/April  2010  issue of print Search & Employ®  |

Everybody likes it when things are clean, but few enjoy the task of cleaning.  Enter ServiceMaster Clean. Established in 1952, ServiceMaster Clean is one of North America’s leading cleaning and restoration companies. The company has more than 4,500 franchises, operates in 12 countries and serves more than one million customers.

ServiceMaster Clean is a member of the ServiceMaster family of brands, which includes Furniture Medic, Merry Maids, Terminix, TruGreen-ChemLawn, American Home Shield, Amerispec, and InStar.

Dave Messenger, the vice president of market expansion for ServiceMaster Clean, Furniture Medic and Amerispec, says that veterans are at the top of his list when it comes to adding more franchises to the ServiceMaster family. Service Master Clean specializes in janitorial work, carpet cleaning and disaster restoration. Amerispec focuses on home inspections, and Furniture Medic provides furniture repair.

“We as a company have been recruiting veterans for a long time,” Messenger said.  More than 100 veterans own multiple ServiceMaster franchises, and 25 out of 280 Furniture Medic franchises are owned by veterans.

One of the reasons Messenger believes ServiceMaster Clean franchises are so popular with vets is that they are entirely service-oriented.

“We don’t sell any products,” Messenger said. “We sell services, and that means that it doesn’t cost a lot to become one of our franchisees. Whether it’s doing commercial cleaning or repairing furniture, everything we have is service-based.”

Dinah Coopwood, the Franchise Lead Manager, notes that franchisees can operate their business from home, thereby saving money on office space.  The company has a department to help people who qualify for financial assistance, which can cover up to 80 percent of franchise fees and start-up equipment.

Messenger, who has been with the company for 19 years, believes that veterans are successful as franchisees because they were taught to follow a plan in the military.

“Overall, people who come to us from the military are excellent at following the processes we already have in place,” Messenger said. “We provide them the plan, and because they are go-getters, they find success.”

Some veterans may already recognize the name of ServiceMaster Clean from the work the company did at the Pentagon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The company played a major role in returning that hallmark of American fortitude back to its original splendor.

“That is one of our company’s proudest efforts,” Messenger said. “We felt honored to go in and help to restore that building to its former glory.”

Messenger mentioned that veterans who become franchisees have a leg up on the competition when it comes to securing government contracts.

“Vet-owned businesses are always preferred in those cases,” he said.

One of the other reasons that make veterans good franchisees is their leadership experience.  Messenger noted that leadership skills are critical for dealing with potential hires as well as in the marketplace.

“We need franchisees that take the initiative and go after the business,” he said. “That’s something leaders do, and veterans seem to have that trait.”

Veterans receive a 15 percent franchise fee discount on all new ServiceMaster Clean franchise offerings. The company supports the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative (VetFran), an International Franchise Association program that helps veterans acquire franchise businesses. To learn more about the VetFran program, please visit the International Franchise Association website at

ServiceMaster Clean is also a member of MinorityFran, another initiative of the International Franchise Association (IFA). Launched in February 2006, MinorityFran was created to build the awareness of franchising within minority communities, and increase the number of minority franchisees, employees and suppliers. ServiceMaster Clean offers a 15 percent discount on its janitorial license franchise fee to all ethnic minorities and women who own at least 51 percent of a business, and actively manage it.

Lastly, Messenger said that veterans should be able to relate to the company’s core values.

“I’ve found that veterans have high ethics and are very transparent in how they act,” he said. “Our company’s core values should ring true with people who come out of the military. We are not a religion or a cult, but top on our list is to honor God in all we do. Number two is to help people develop. Number three is to excel with our customers. Number four is to grow profitably. I think those are all things that veterans will stand behind.”

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers