March/April 2023Next Generation in FranchisingPrevious Issues

Next Generation in Franchising: The King of Clean

Manjinder Bal joined Jani-King as a 20-year-old franchise owner. More than a decade later, his appetite for growth has only become stronger

By Daniel McIntosh

Manjinder Bal joined Jani-King as a franchise owner in 2010 and has made it a mission to find new and exciting ways to improve the efficiency of the business in the Vancouver-Fraser Valley territory.

Bal got his start with Jani-King shortly after starting his post-secondary education. The commercial cleaning franchise presented an opportunity for the young entrepreneur to earn a little bit of money while attending school. “I wasn’t actually aware of the franchise system or the business side of things here,” Bal reflects. “It was more of just doing some extra work, earning money to pay tuition.”

Upon seeing the moving parts of the franchise, he realized that he could excel in the business. “I took it on as a full-time role and never looked back,” says Bal.

After acquiring his franchise, he became one of Jani-King’s top performing franchise owners in Canada. For most of his 12 years as a unit franchise owner with Jani-King, Bal maintained between 15 and 20 contracts, overseeing commercial cleaning services for brands like Vancouver Coastal Health, Toyota Canada, and Schneider Electric.

Although Bal began his Jani-King venture part-time to support his education, he quickly realized his goals aligned with the organization. “I did my research, and one of the biggest things that attracted me to Jani-King was the low initial investment.”

As he was in his early 20s and splitting time between Jani-King and earning his bachelor’s degree, Jani-King’s initial investment fee, much lower than the other franchises he was looking into at the time, was appealing to him. “In addition to the low start-up cost, the Jani-King Regional Office had an in-house financing program, something we are still proud to offer in our territory,” notes Bal.

Within his first year of business, Bal was able to pay off his initial investment and become a revenue-earning franchisee. “The primary expenses we have are labour, cleaning supplies, and equipment,” says Bal. “It’s a very profitable business.”

In addition, commercial cleaning services are always in demand and Bal says it’s a pandemic-tested and recession-resistant business. Like many businesses, the pandemic impacted Jani-King’s services, especially as more and more people were working from home. Demand for disinfecting services increased and Jani-King was able to adapt to ensure its clients received the services they needed to stay open, and its franchise owners were able to continue working.

A fresh opportunity

As the former owners of the Jani-King Vancouver-Fraser Valley Region began looking toward retirement, Bal expressed interest in purchasing the territory. In April of 2022, Bal officially became the master franchise owner for the Jani-King Vancouver-Fraser Valley region.

In his new role, Bal is committed to supporting the 64 active franchisees in his territory and growing the region. Being part of a franchise network means that he can reach out to other Jani-King regions for support and advice. “I’ve been to other Jani-King regions across the country, and I’ve seen what they’ve been able to do,” says Bal. “I try to emulate that here. We have a great team and I see a lot of growth potential in the Vancouver territory.”

Bal says Jani-King’s biggest advantage for prospective franchisees is its worldwide recognition. “Jani-King is an international organization with more than 50 years of experience. I don’t have to build that reputation; the reputation speaks for itself.”

Along with Jani-King’s reputation, Bal says that franchise owners have the flexibility to run their businesses full-time or part-time and at their own pace. “How well you can do with it is totally up to you and your skills and hard work.”

The Regional Office supports franchise owners with administration, operations, and business development so franchisees can focus their efforts on the day-to-day operations and growing their business.

As for advice for younger people looking to get into franchising, Bal doesn’t have to look far for positive examples. “All I can say is, it’s worked for me. I was a young guy who had no experience in business coming into it. I followed the system and believed in the system. I believe in Jani-King, and I’ve done well for myself, and there’s no reason why any young person coming in can’t do that.”