January/February 2020 Next Generation in Franchising

Millenials in Franchising: Strengthening Bonds

What do you get when a millennial with a Radio Television and Arts degree and no formal business training decides to become a MaidPro franchisee? If you’re Jonathan Shelson, the answer is a whole lot.

Since he took the plunge into franchise ownership three years ago, Shelson has successfully served hundreds of customers in the Thornhill, Ontario area and greater community. He even became one of only 50 franchisees (out of 28,000) to be recognized by the Franchise Business Review as a Rockstar Franchisee.

When asked what the secret to his success is, Shelson gives a lot of credit to the MaidPro franchise system.

“In many of the reviews I read, MaidPro consistently earned a high ranking,” says Shelson, explaining how he first heard about the MaidPro franchise opportunity. “So I checked out what they had to offer.”

He quickly discovered that the widely known home cleaning service was top-rated in support, satisfaction, systems, and software by a number of franchise business reviews. It also offered, among other prime features, low start-up costs, a manageable work week, safe and eco-friendly cleaning products, and a recurring revenue.

To solidify his decision to invest in the franchise, he went on a tour of the home office and spoke to other MaidPro franchise owners about their experience with the company. “I just liked what they had to offer,” says Shelson. “Between the culture, industry experience, and dedication to cutting-edge technology, I just felt like it was a really good fit for me, plus it’s a great industry to be in.”

He also attributes much of his success to the community. Tired of working for someone else, franchising gave him the opportunity to make his own business decisions with the added benefit of a network of other business owners and expert coaches. And as someone with no formal business training, Shelson relied on this network to kickstart his franchise journey.

“It was totally different from anything I’d done before, so the learning curve was pretty significant,” he says. “But the support and training were really thorough. That’s really what brought me up to speed with everything, especially in my first year of operations.”

Like any new venture, when Shelson became a franchisee for the first time, it wasn’t easy. There were different demands placed on him and unfamiliar systems to navigate, new skills he had to quickly develop, and employees he had to manage. But to this day, if Shelson is facing a challenge, MaidPro has an exhaustive list of resources available to him. For instance, once a year MaidPro holds an annual convention for its franchisees. “I’ve just returned from our annual convention, where I participated in a number of workshops and sessions on a variety of topics – everything from technology to finances.”

Once or twice a week, Shelson also sits in on an online conference call with the MaidPro coaching team to learn about new ways he can take his business to the next level. If he’s looking to address a specific business concern, coaches are available at the push of a button. “It’s been really helpful especially when I’m facing a situation I’ve never encountered before. We are in a really tough employment market, and MaidPro has a recruitment coach whom I’m able to connect with and ask for tips and tricks. He reviewed our hiring practices with us to help us see better recruitment results.”

“The nice thing about the size of MaidPro is that it’s big enough that they have a ton of resources but small enough that when I call the Home Office, they know who I am,” Shelson explains. “And I can always discuss issues or ideas with other owners as well. I recently got married and some of those owners were in attendance, which I think speaks to the tight-knit community MaidPro has. I don’t think I could be where I am in my business without that. ”

Making valuable connections

Some would say Shelson was taking a big risk investing in a franchise at such a young age, but if anything, it’s given Shelson a competitive business edge. “I think as millennials, we tend to be really good at being resourceful, whether that’s researching tools, using technology, or making connections,” says Shelson.

And this has helped him engage with his staff and clients on a deeper level. “We’ve developed systems to make sure we communicate in the way our clients and staff prefer,” says Shelson, explaining that for some people that’s email, for some it’s via text message, and for others it’s over the phone.

But whatever the means of communication, Shelson always makes an effort to strengthen the bond with his employees, by listening and showing that he cares. “I will go out to visit staff in the field to see how they are doing, make sure everyone is being heard and are getting the support they need.”

He also ensures that he engages with the larger community. “I think nothing feels better than coming back to a clean home at the end of the day and making someone feel good.”

From busy families who may not have time to clean their homes to seniors who not only rely on the service for cleaning, but also for companionship, MaidPro really makes a difference.  MaidPro participates in a program where they provide their services at no charge to cancer patients.

Shelson is also committed to their MaidPro Cares charity. This charity supports underprivileged, abused, and abandoned children in orphanages and underfunded children’s homes around the world. A few times a year, the MaidPro team visits a children’s home in Belize, working on projects that improve children’s lives socially, economically, and emotionally.

“It’s been really gratifying and it’s probably what I enjoy most about the business,” says Shelson. “I appreciate how I am able to engage with the community and do work that makes people’s lives better.”

While franchising gave Shelson the flexibility he desired and the opportunity to run his own business, for this young MaidPro franchisee, it all wouldn’t feel complete without the community – one that has helped him become a successful business owner and one that he’s proud to truly give back to.

By Trisha Utomi

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