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Philadelphia Franchisor Cleaning Up in Health Care

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Dominic Toscani with franchise owner Nadine Middleton

Name: Dominic Toscani

Title: President Anago Cleaning Services in Conshohocken

Background: “I’ve been a business owner all my life,” said Toscani. “I owned 4 businesses in 40 years. I’ve never been an employee. Before this I owned an IT company that caught when the dot.com bubble burst. I was working with a broker about franchising opportunities and he led me to Anago, which had no franchises in Philadelphia.”

About his company: Toscani serves as a master franchisor, or sub-franchisor, who helps people set up their own cleaning franchises in and around Philadelphia. He provides the back-office functions for individual franchise operators — such as marketing, training, client recruitment, pricing, billing and collections — so they can focus on providing cleaning services. He also servces as a coach.

Why a cleaning company: “It’s a growing industry,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a recession-proof industry, but it is recession-resistant.”

His niche: Toscani estimates 90 percent of his clients are health-care providers. To go after such clients the franchisees all secure OSHA certification and use specific germ-fighting cleaning supplies mandated by state health departments. His first clients in the health-care sector were medical office buildings. From there he added dialysis centers, radiology centers, ambulatory surgery centers and, most recently, urgent-care centers.

Cost to start a franchise: $3,000 to $20,000

Number of franchises he oversees: 40, all of which are independently owned and operated as incorporated businesses, serving clients in southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey and northern Delaware.

Growth strategy:: Toscani said hundreds of cleaning services compete for business in the area, but many of them are just started by people “with a mop and a bucket”. He said it took him several years to develop the methods and techniques used by his franchise operators. Toscani also focuses a lot of effort on client retention. “You can’t be in the business of replacing clients,” he said.

One franchise operator’s story: Nadine Middleton was working as a Philadelphia police dispatcher and her husband, James, was working in custodial services at the University of Pennsylvania when the decided to own their own business. They spoke to several cleaning franchise operators before going with Anago. “We were raising three kids and we couldn’t afford to throw away money (on the wrong franchise),” Middleton said. “Dominic explained everything and didn’t rush me.” Middleton said her franchise now has nine employees and will be hiring six more to serve a new client in the health-care industry.

Why she gets along well with Toscani: “I’m not an average person and Dominic is not the type of person who is going to let you be average.”

Click here to view/download PDF of print article in the Philadelphia Business Journal

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