Ron Holt has always been an entrepreneur at heart and was searching for a new business venture. He chose the residential cleaning service industry after researching dozens of serviced based industries. The industry had proven to be lucrative and was growing in popularity. However, he recognized that the popularity was fueled by huge demand rather than any type of unique value proposition.
The company began rapid expansion in 2009 after Ron reached out to a like-minded neighbor, Travis Goins. Travis decided to invest in the brand after witnessing Ron’s success. Travis brought valuable management experience with his 10+ years of C-level work experience. Travis was instrumental in bridging the company from a small, mom & pop business into a legitimate, nationally respected brand. Together, Ron & Travis quickly grew the company into 12 company owned locations by early 2013.
Two Maids & A Mop provides residential house cleaning services throughout five southeastern states in thirteen markets; including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina & Tennessee. In 2013, the company generated nearly $4M in revenues and is poised for more explosive growth over the next few years. The company has recently announced that immediate franchising opportunities are available throughout all 48 states.
BusinessInterviews.com: How have you managed to bring a unique business model to the cleaning industry and how has that set you apart from the competition?
Ron: The cleaning industry began in the 80’s; with several franchised brands spreading across the country. Today, hundreds of cleaning companies compete in every major city and more than 20 franchised brands are available nationwide. Obviously, the industry has experienced significant growth over the last three decades; primarily resulting from huge consumer demand due to an increasing number of dual-income families. Technology improved almost every industry over that same 30 year period but the cleaning industry remained relatively unchanged. I recognized that our industry was ripe for the taking after researching other brands within major markets all across the US. It was amazing that so little had changed since the 80’s but it excited me because very few industries could be penetrated by a start-up brand. As a result, I began extensive research on how a cleaning business could separate itself from the rest of the industry. It took a while but I stumbled onto a eureka moment and created the now-famous Pay For Performance Plan. Today, our employees are strictly paid based on customer feedback. The happier our employees make our customers; the more money they can earn with our company. The plan provides our company with a tremendous motivational strategy and also provides our company with an excellent way to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the crowded marketplace. We’re different and we can prove it!
BusinessInterviews.com: Were you ready for the explosive growth that you experienced last year? Can you share any tips on rapidly scaling a business?
Ron: Vision has always been an important business strategy for our business. We opened more than ten years ago and only served a handful of customers with just three part-time employees. We were tiny and invisible to our competition. But, we had developed a big vision of scaling the brand nationwide sometime in the future. This made every decision important because we didn’t want to lose sight of our bigger dream. The road has been bumpy at times but we’ve always assumed that we would be sitting in this exact position due to our vision created way back in 2003. So yes, we were ready for the growth and feel like we’re ready for the next phase too.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk about the process behind turning a business into franchise model and the key insights you gained from the experience?
Ron: Franchising works for one big reason: franchisees want to make money from proven systems. As a result, we felt that it was important to prove our model could be replicated across different markets before entering into any type of franchising discussion. Since we are self-financed, this process took a long time but it allowed us to diagnose and correct many mistakes along the way. For example, systems that worked in our original Florida locations proved to be ineffective for larger markets such as Nashville and Atlanta. If you are considering the idea of franchising, it’s vital that you first make some money and make it for more than just one year. Secondly, it’s vital that you document every task within your business so that others can benefit from your history. And finally, it’s absolutely crucial that you think big even when you’re not very big. Make sure that your business name is scalable and free of trademark violations. Remember, the world’s largest franchise brand started with one location so the American dream can be your reality. Just concentrate on your pilot store(s) first and then start worrying about the big picture.
BusinessInterviews.com: What kind of training and support do you offer to your franchisees and how will that foundation set them up for success?
Ron: A great training program became a necessity once our company started spreading across state lines. In some cases, we’re a plane ride away from an office so it’s vital that our managers and other team members fully understand their roles within the company. The reality of our situation forced us to invest a considerable amount of time and money into a great training program. We hired some of the country’s leading experts in the cleaning, sales and personnel industries. It took us more than a year but we now have an amazing training program that details everything from how to clean a hardwood floor to how to provide the perfect sales call. Support is in real-time and access to key executives within our company is always available since we work to restrict the growth of our home office. A large, bulky home office has always been ugly to me so we take great pride when a franchisee calls into our office and gets an answer within minutes.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you give to a company when it comes to developing a social media strategy?
Ron: Our company breaks the industry mold because we utilize every form of modern media; ranging from social media, search engine optimization to online word of mouth. Fortunately for us, most of our competition has yet to fully understand the powerful dynamics of modern media platforms. But that’s not the case for most industries so it’s important that every business owner get serious about implementing a real social media strategy. Of course, you can’t just post something to facebook and call it a campaign. The content has to be intriguing and your business has to be engaging. Content marketing is the key ingredient to a successful social media campaign. Give people relevant content on a regular basis and your business will be rewarded. The internet gives you the power to broadcast content so don’t let your competition pass you by.
BusinessInterviews.com: What milestone are you most looking forward to reaching in the next year?
Ron: We’ve become the market leader in many of our locations. As a result, our business name has become extremely popular throughout the southeastern US. With franchising, the geographical reach for our brand extends from coast to coast. We’re excited to see this plays out because our initial response from interested franchisee candidates has already been overwhelming. Our goal is be extremely selective with each franchisee because our brand has become synonymous with customer service and professionalism. We’ve turned several people away already but also have several awesome franchise candidates in the pipeline. Our goal is to open 6-8 office locations each year over the next three years.
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