Focus on healthy products, professional service, first-rate training keep Chem-Dry on top – one of our top picks for anyone thinking about opening a new business
Chem-Dry isn’t just the world’s biggest carpet cleaning franchise, with more than 4,200 units in 47 countries. In our opinion, it’s the best carpet cleaning franchise and one of the best options for someone thinking about opening a new business.
That’s not just our opinion. For 24 straight years, the company made Entrepreneur magazine’s prestigious Franchise 500 list of the top-rated franchises, and this year, once again, we ranked first among all carpet cleaning franchises. The company’s market share is 8 percent, the largest for a single brand in the highly fragmented carpet cleaning industry.
So what makes Chem-Dry the best carpet cleaning franchise? The company has been around for 35 years, and getting to the mountaintop hasn’t been easy — or an accident. It’s the result of hard work, forethought, trial and error and commitment to being better than everyone else and as good as we can be. Here are our reasons to research Chem-Dry:
The Process.Chem-Dry was conceived in the mid-1970s, when the founder, Robert Harris, spilled some salad dressing on his tie during a flight and watched in amazement as a flight attendant cleaned the stain with an intriguing substance: club soda. From that moment, they have been committed to cleaning with carbonated water, a substance with great natural cleaning properties. Their competitors are steam cleaners, who dump massive amounts of hot water onto carpet, then suck it up with high-pressure vacuums. The suction can damage the carpet. Even if it doesn’t, the water can soak the carpet and backing, taking days to dry and creating a fertile environment for mold and mildew. Chem-Dry’s hot carbonated water extraction process uses a fifth of the water, resulting in a quicker, drier, healthier clean.
The Natural.That’s the name of Chem-Dry’s patented cleaning solution, which at base is a very simple liquid — carbon dioxide and water. They call it The Natural for a reason. It’s safe enough to drink (and they do, downing shots of The Natural during their annual conference). It’s free of any harmful chemicals or soaps, which means it won’t aggravate allergies, irritate mucus membranes or pose a risk to children, pets or you. What’s the use of a carpet you can’t roll around on? Robert Harris vowed from the beginning that Chem-Dry would use only environmentally safe products — the “Chem” is short for chemistry, not chemicals — and The Natural is the staple. Even though it’s harmless to animals, it’s murder on dirt. The carbonation acts like artillery at the molecular level, blasting dirt and oil from fiber surfaces like nothing else can.
The People. Carpet cleaners get a bad rap. Individual and mom-and-pop vendors with, shall we say, highly uneven skill and trustworthiness levels jockey for business and usually do jobs the quick and dirty (emphasis on dirty) way. Their vehicles are usually old, cluttered and filthy. Often, the cleaners themselves are … old, cluttered and filthy. Some drink. People who hire Chem-Dry get prompt service from polite, organized professionals in clean vans and crisp uniforms. They hold their employees to strict standards that reflect the Chem-Dry brand, and if they can’t meet those, they’re not working long for Chem-Dry.
The System. Over 35 years and more than 4,200 locations, Chem-Dry has developed and fine-tuned its franchise system to provide excellent training and support for our local owners. A week of intensive, hands-on training — with the most skilled trainers and equipment in the industry — is only the beginning. We like that they have a great Quick Start coach, Charlie Erickson, who assists new franchise owners in their first year; an operations staff that helps keep owners on track beyond that; continuing training opportunities, including an online program for local office staff and technicians; and, of course, a roster of experienced, committed franchisees who are happy to provide advice and insight to new owners.
The Research. Chem-Dry doesn’t sit still. That’s literally true; Chem-Dry is moving some of its operations to Nashville this year to try to expand its franchise base east of the Mississippi. But it’s figuratively true, too. Our research and development department is unparalleled in the industry, constantly looking for ways to make our best-in-class products and services even better. Cham-Dry has its own in-house chemist, Ed Durrant, who helps develop the patented cleaning products; product development manager, Roger Andersen, is developing new equipment that combines the power of highest-capacity machines with better portability. Anybody inclined to think Chem-Dry is ready to kick back and coast doesn’t know Chem-Dry.
We think if you are considering a cleaning or carpet cleaning franchise, Chem-Dry is a best bet. Check out the company’s website at chemdryfranchise.com and download the free franchise information report to learn more.