Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does EC's focus on people actually affect the business?
  2. Your "It's About Lives" statement intrigues me because I'm a Christian who values more than just making money. Would EC be a good fit for me?
  3. How does EC's royalty structure differ from other franchises?
  4. What are the qualifications for a new franchise owner?
  5. Why is $55,000 of available capital needed to start a janitorial business?
  6. What is the initial development package?
  7. Why do you only make six franchises a year available?
  8. How much can I expect to earn?
  9. How long does it take to start a new franchise?
  10. Do you offer financing of any kind?
  11. Why do I need a franchise to get into the commercial cleaning business?
  12. What is EC’s systematic development program?
  13. What if I do not have any experience as a business owner?
  14. What initial training will I receive?
  15. How do I get new customers?
  16. What other support does EC provide?
  17. Can I buy an established franchise that already has customers?
  18. Can I merge my current commercial cleaning business with EC?
  19. What is EC’s Veteran Discount?
  20. Can I talk with existing franchise owners?
  21. What is an exclusive franchise territory?
  22. What is the electronic recordkeeping system?


How does EC's focus on people actually affect the business?

Our business is providing regular cleaning services in commercial buildings. In the process, what we do has either a positive or negative effect on people’s lives. Customers either benefit from a clean work environment or experience stress from poor service. Employees either benefit from good job opportunities or are limited by poor training, a lack of appreciation, or loss of employment.

We understand that our success isn’t based strictly on cleaning . . . it’s about how our business impacts people. At EC . . . It’s About Lives means:

  • Honesty – We tell the truth, keep our word, pay employees what they earn, pay our vendors on time, and charge the customer accurately and fairly.
  • Respect – It is not up to us to judge how others choose to live. Everyone who comes into contact with EC is treated with respect.
  • Quality – The commercial janitorial service industry does not have a good reputation. Most customers experience everything from poor quality to dishonesty and theft. This industry represents a unique opportunity; our values can be seen in the quality of service EC franchises provide.
  • Opportunity – We seek to encourage, train, and support every employee to maximize their potential and opportunity.
  • Compassion – Everyone experiences difficulties in life. We are sensitive to help those in need whenever we can.

These same values are seen in our commitment to each franchise owner and translates into the day-to-day operation of each local company. Certainly, EC is a business, but just as important, it’s about people and how we treat them.

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Your "it's about lives" statement intrigues me because I'm a christian who values more than just making money. Would EC be a good fit for me?

Like many small businesses, Environment Control is a reflection of its founder, Daryl Kraft. His father was a pastor and Daryl planned to follow in his footsteps. However, to support himself and his new bride while attending Biola College (Bible Institute of Los Angeles), he started cleaning office buildings.

This proved to be a wonderfully successful enterprise; so much so that following graduation Daryl decided to pursue it full-time. While he did not go into full-time ministry, he did not leave his faith. As he learned more of what made businesses successful, he discovered that integrating biblical principles into his business development plan proved most effective in sustained growth. More importantly, how he treated customers, employees, and vendors was the best evidence of his faith.

Today, Daryl’s values continue to be the foundation for EC’s relationship with its franchise owners and virtually every aspect of the business. Of course, while specific religious belief is not a requirement to participate in EC ownership, a comfort with this aspect of EC’s culture is recommended. Accordingly, your Christian life experience would be a good fit for EC's foundational culture.

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How does EC's royalty structure differ from other franchises?

Most people buy a franchise believing that the franchisor's experience and business plan will increase their success. In exchange for that program, the franchise owner pays a monthly royalty which is usually a percentage of gross sales. However, it is possible for the franchisor to receive a royalty when the owner doesn't experience a profit.

Our belief is that if you follow the EC program and do not experience a profit, then we have not earned a royalty. That is why we base our royalty on your profits and not revenue.

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What are the qualifications for a new franchise owner?

From our experience, an individual should have these minimum qualifications to consider an Environment Control franchise:

  • Due to the demands of starting and building a commercial cleaning business, the optimum age is 25 - 45 years old.
  • A minimum of $55,000* in available capital combined with a minimum net worth of $150,000.*
  • The financial ability to purchase at least 60 percent of ownership in the franchise. (It is also the purchaser’s responsibility to find investors for the remaining franchise ownership.)
  • The drive to implement EC’s sales program to secure a growing base of customers.
  • Five years of work experience preferably in a management or sales role.
  • A self-starter energized by challenge and responsibility.
  • A family supportive of owning and building a new business.

* For a "Metropolitan" franchise opportunity.

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Why is $55,000 of available capital needed to start a janitorial business?

Here is a summary of the funds required to purchase a new METROPOLITAN FRANCHISE:
Franchise Fee = $30,000 (50% financed) $15,000
Initial Development Package
(100% of these funds are invested in your first year of operation for training, supplies, computer system, etc.)
$30,000
Initial Operating Capital $10,000
Total $55,000

A new franchise owner also needs to plan for their personal income needs during the initial development of the business.

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What is the initial development package?

It does not make sense to start a new business without what you need to succeed. Every item in the Development Package such as training, supplies and equipment, and operating capital are designed to accelerate your growth and profitability. One hundred percent of this investment ($30,000) goes directly toward the first 12 months of your new career. A specific list of what makes up this investment is provided for your review.

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Why do you only make six franchises a year available?

Several years after EC started, we made a conscious decision regarding future development. The individuals who have committed themselves to the franchise program deserve the same commitment from us.

Starting more than six new franchises a year limits our involvement with existing owners. It also jeopardizes our availability to adequately support the new franchise.

At the heart of our decision to limit franchise sales was this: EC is not defined by how many franchises we sell, but by the growth, success, and stability of those who already own one.

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How much can I expect to earn?

The great thing about owning a business is you earn exactly what you are worth. You no longer have to wait for annual performance evaluations or periodic raises; your income is in direct proportion to your efforts.

We cannot predict how much you will earn, but we do know about our current franchise owners. Here is a summary of their annual earnings.*

  • 24% over $200,000
  • 50% over $100,000
  • 5% over $75,000
  • 13% over $50,000
  • 3% over $25,000
  • 5% under $25,000

* These figures are for 12 months ending December 2016 and include all owners with one full year of tenure.

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How long does it take to start a new franchise?

From the initial inquiry to the official start date, it generally takes between three to six months. We understand that you are making a significant decision and do not want you rushing through the process. How fast we go depends on you.

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Do you offer financing of any kind?

Everyone approved for franchise ownership immediately qualifies for financing of one half of the Franchise Fee.

  • Amount Financed – $15,000 (Half of the Metropolitan Franchise Fee of $30,000).
  • Terms:
    • No payments or interest for 24 months from the official start date of the franchise.
    • At the end of 24 months, the loan balance is financed at 9¾% interest for two years.
  • Loan Discount – The loan balance is discounted one dollar ($1) for every one dollar ($1) of regular monthly billing. The discount is calculated by using the franchise’s actual regular billing in the 24th month of operation. The maximum discount is $15,000.
  • The remaining cost associated with the Initial Development Package is not subject to financing through EC, but may be financed through local banks, depending upon credit history.
  • After one year of operation you qualify for supply and equipment financing from EC.
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Why do I need a franchise to get into the commercial cleaning business?

If you simply want to find several customers and do the work yourself, a franchise is probably not necessary. The value of EC is our experience and proven program to build a self-sustaining business. Sure, you may be able to create your own program and learn through the “school of hard knocks,” but why invest your energy doing that instead of building a business faster and with less risk? From our perspective, the EC program will result in a larger, more profitable business in less time.

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What is EC’s systematic development program?

Based on the experience of current franchise owners, we have developed a comprehensive business plan for you to follow. The Stages of Development is a step-by-step program that navigates you through each phase of building your business. Specific operating procedures, budgets, job descriptions, and organizational charts are just a few of the components this plan provides to you. Combining your energy and initiative with the Stages of Development is what makes EC such a great opportunity.

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What if I do not have any experience as a business owner?

Any working experience you bring to EC is a plus, but we know most people have never run their own business. During the initial training and follow-up, we focus on those areas you need to learn and develop. In fact, for the first twelve months a start-up specialist guides you each step of the way.

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What initial training will I receive?

Prior to starting the franchise you attend the Company Development Seminar (CDS) at EC’s Corporate Office. This five-day seminar combines classroom instruction with hands-on experience in all phases of company operation.

To supplement this initial training, an EC representative will come to your franchise location three times during the first year. These four-day trips provide real time support in sales, employee recruitment and training, technical skills, and operations.

Finally, you are assigned an Operations contact at the Corporate Office who calls regularly to guide you through each step of development.

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How do I get new customers?

For most potential owners, sales is their greatest concern. EC has all the marketing materials you will need and teaches you how to implement our systematic sales program. Eventually, you will hire telemarketers and sales people to make sure your company keeps growing.

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What other support does EC provide?

We know the day-to-day demands of being a business owner are significant. That is why Environment Control provides support to free more of every owner’s valuable time for growth and development.

  • Accounting
    EC’s Accounting Department is one of the most important support services because of the freedom it provides owners. Services include invoicing, payroll, accounts payable, financial reports, etc. At the same time, the Corporate Office has access to an up-to-the-minute view of company financial reports, enabling us to provide you with timely consultation.
  • Insurance
    EC’s Insurance Department negotiates and coordinates master policies for liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance. The goal is to secure better, more extensive coverage at the most competitive rates. This department also processes claims, secures special coverage, and resolves concerns.
  • Sales Support
    Our Operations Department provides comprehensive sales training for new and existing EC owners and their support staff. Our sales program and personalized materials provide everything you need to build your customer base.
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Can I buy an established franchise that already has customers?

Periodically, existing franchises become available. If there is one in the area(s) you prefer, then it is definitely an option you should consider (see Established Franchise Resales).

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Can I merge my current commercial cleaning business with EC?

If you are operating a commercial cleaning service in an available franchise territory, then it is possible to merge it into the EC program. An added benefit is that the value of your current business could offset some or all of the initial franchise costs including the Franchise Fee, Development Package, etc.

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What is EC’s Veteran Discount?

In recognition of our military’s commitment and sacrifice, we offer a 15% discount of the Franchise Fee. In a Metropolitan Franchise that is a $4,500 savings. This program is available to all veterans who are honorably discharged from their military service. Add this to the financing package offered by EC and an honorably discharged veteran pays $10,500 up front for a "Metropolitan" Franchise and the balance of $15,000 is financed.

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Can I talk with existing franchise owners?

We believe what our current owners have experienced from being in EC is your most valuable source of information. Once you have a good understanding of the franchise program, we want you to talk with them. Initially, we select three owners that you have something in common with, such as a previous type of career, age, geographic location, etc. We send your profile and a picture to these current owners and you receive the same about them. That way, they are expecting your call and each of you know something about each other. If after having those discussions you want to talk with more owners, we will make those arrangements.

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What is an exclusive franchise territory?

Every franchise is defined by specific geographic boundaries such as county lines. Only you have the right to represent Environment Control in this area. That means you never compete with any other EC owner.

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What is the electronic recordkeeping system?

This system was developed by Intacct and Kronos, and modified for Environment Control's specific needs.

Intacct is a database system primarily designed to manage the local information required to operate the franchise business. In general, the system manages:

  1. Customer Data: Name, address, telephone, contacts, billing, special needs, etc.
  2. Employee Data: Name, address, telephone, start date, pay rates, history, etc.
  3. Work Scheduling Data: Employee work schedules, complaint tracking, special assignments, etc.
  4. Supply Inventory Data: Inventory tracking, sales, usage by facility, inventory on hand, etc.
  5. Human Resources Data: Employee performance, absenteeism, training, evaluations, timekeeping, payroll history, turnover, EEOC, etc.
  6. Management Reports: Reports are generated in a variety of formats from this data for use by the company management including daily labor visibility by job, employee, and pay period.

Kronos is an electronic timekeeping/payroll program that replaces physical timecards.

  1. Telephone Timekeeping: Employees record their work times through an automated call-in/call-out system.
  2. Management can track each employee's attendance and work times.
  3. The system allows management to communicate with employees daily (individually or as a group) regarding special requests, company information, etc.

This system also electronically forwards information to EC’s Accounting Department so they can prepare your invoices, payrolls, financial reports, etc.

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Invest in your life . . . not just in a business.

Environment Control has proven to be more than a financially rewarding career. It also offers the opportunity for personal growth with the encouragement to positively influence the lives of employees, customers, and vendors.

Industry Focus – Commercial Cleaning Services
Franchising Since 1970

Our Values

EC OWNERS DIRECT

Based on your experience, what makes the EC opportunity unique?

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