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Meet Neel Parekh, CEO & Founder of “The Franchise for Millennials”

Home Business Magazine Online

Owning a fully remote franchise can be a highly lucrative business endeavor that offers so much freedom and flexibility. Just ask Neel Parekh, CEO and founder of MaidThis (a top national cleaning franchise). As he built his business to reach millions in revenue, Parekh traveled for five years while managing a fully remote team — he is now on a mission to help others achieve the same! MaidThis has been called “the franchise for millennials”, given its fully remote model and new-age spin on an old-school cleaning industry.

Home Business Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Parekh and get the inside scoop on his business journey with MaidThis. He was happy to share what inspired him to launch MaidThis, why it is such a great franchising opportunity for aspiring business owners, and the biggest challenge he overcame in his entrepreneurial journey. He also shared must-know tips for others who want to own their own franchise!

HBM: Tell us about MaidThis. What sets it apart from other cleaning companies?

NP: “One of the top-rated national cleaning franchises, MaidThis offers hassle-free house cleaning for busy individuals and vacation rental hosts (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.). MaidThis has been called ‘the franchise for millennials’, given its fully remote model and new-age spin on an old-school cleaning industry. The top factor that sets us apart from other cleaning companies is that we are the first and ONLY US-based vacation rental cleaning franchise that exists. 

Our goal is make the customer experience super easy and super seamless – this is what a lot of people want but many local companies cannot provide. MaidThis meets the increasing consumer demand for websites that make online bookings and automated reservations a breeze. We leverage the newest technology and software to create a low-cost, fully remote franchise — this means it is easier than ever for entrepreneurial folk to become a franchisee. Because the franchise is fully remote from day one, it is a very lean operation from a business perspective. You will get access to our playbook and training on how to do it all!

Another factor that sets us apart is the cutting-edge software we use that automates processes for our clients, our vendors, and our team members — clients rave about the automation that our systems provide. On top of this, we train franchisees in these simple software applications until they know them backwards and forwards. 

MaidThis also leverages location independence in our internal team, as we use a global labor pool to create hiring efficiencies in pay. Our Los Angeles location, for example, has support staff based in Honduras, Panama, Mexico and South Africa, among other countries. Thus, there is no need to overpay to find someone in your neighborhood… you can get the best talent around the world with our system. We have also pioneered innovative ways to network and create goodwill in individual communities.”

HBM: What inspired you to launch this company?

NP: “I was working in venture capital for a few years and knew I didn’t want to do that anymore — I wanted to quit and travel the world, and have a side hustle to support me while traveling. I tried out a lot of ideas (most of which flopped) and a local cleaning company was one of the endeavors that actually got some traction. 

After 2 years of working on MaidThis as a side hustle, I finally quit my venture capital job and booked a one-way flight to South America. My initial plan was to live a “digital nomad” lifestyle and backpack for a year, and that somehow ended up becoming five years!

Another motivating factor for starting a business was that my parents were getting older and they had video rental stores (like Blockbuster) that weren’t doing well financially. I wanted to provide them with a source of income that would help them achieve financial freedom, all while working from home.”

MaidThis Franchise
A snapshot of the MaidThis website.

HBM: Why is MaidThis such a great franchising opportunity for aspiring business owners?

NP: “MaidThis is a fantastic franchising opportunity for aspiring business owners because it is low-cost, very lean, and fully remote, allowing you to live and work from anywhere. Because MaidThis uses innovative technology, game-changing marketing tactics, and advanced business process, it really is a new-age cleaning franchise — other cleaning franchises are very old school. Franchisees are able to follow our proven business model to build their own remote local business. 

The coolest part – franchisee owners can start this franchise as a side-hustle and eventually quit their jobs and manage it full time, which means there is lower risk. 

There is explosive growth in the in-demand, fast-paced vacation rental market, fueled by Airbnb® and other popular short-term vacation rental websites. Franchisees are able to follow our proven business model and tackle the growing short-term rental market.”

HBM: What has been your greatest achievement in your business journey with MaidThis?

NP: “My greatest achievement has been building a global team — we’re across 7 different countries — and visiting team members around the world. Proving that a local business can be done completely remotely and setting up the systems for others to do this have also been major achievements in my business journey.”

HBM: What was the biggest challenge you overcame in launching your company?

NP: “It was a big challenge to figure out how to find the right cleaners and team members. It took us years to figure out what we are looking for, how to find them, who is right and who is not right, etc. The right cleaners make the entire difference between a good product and a bad product. It’s constantly a work in progress but arguably the most important part of the business.”

HBM: What tips do you have for others who want to own their own franchise?

NP: “It’s so important to decide what your ‘non-negotiables’ are. Do you want to be remote? Do you prefer to have a storefront location? What amount do you have to invest? Answering these questions will help you decide what kind of franchise to own and live the lifestyle you want.

Also, you need to figure out if franchising is right for you. Franchising isn’t for everyone, and you should decide what you want out of your own business. The main pro is that you get to follow an existing blueprint and potentially avoid a lot of mistakes in your business journey. A con is that you might not have full creative control over your enterprise.

Having a clear vision of what you want your future to look like is key.”

HBM: How do you balance everything as an entrepreneur?

NP: “The cool part of having a remote business is that I can be anywhere, so I’ll oftentimes just work remotely from anywhere (as long as there is good WiFi!)

I weave business into my lifestyle. I travel and work at the same time, so I don’t get burnt out — I can enjoy life and still be very productive.”

HBM: Where do you hope to see MaidThis in the future? What steps will you take to get there?

NP: “Our current mission is to:

1. Create freedom for our global team members (including cleaners) and customers to be able to safely live out their purpose. We do this by providing the most hassle-free cleaning service possible.

2. Send $100,000 in micro-loans (via Kiva.org for now) by 2025 to help less fortunate individuals have the opportunity to achieve their own level of freedom. 

3. Life-changing freedom (location/time/financial) for our franchise owners, who will push forward this mission and build their own MaidThis Family & Community.

Our goal is to get to 20+ franchise locations with highly motivated franchise owners who also want a lifestyle business and their own sense of freedom.”

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