Former teacher fulfills his dreams of owning a business with Office Pride commercial cleaning franchise
Rodney Lie knows what it means to pursue a dream. He also knows that if one dream ends, it’s time for a new dream. When the one-time elementary school teacher got burned out on education, he turned to insurance for a while. In the back of his mind, though, he had a bigger dream: franchise ownership. Since buying his own Office Pride commercial cleaning franchise, Rodney has the flexibility to spend more time with his wife, Jennifer, and their three children – Rachel, 14, Megan, 11, and Ryan, 8. The family loves all things Disney, from the movies to the amusement parks, and in his spare time, Rodney, a University of Colorado graduate, follows his alma mater’s football team. The family also volunteers in various activities through their church, where Rodney is involved in the men’s ministry. We spoke with Rodney recently about his Office Pride experience.
What were you doing before you started your Office Pride franchise?
I was a teacher and a school administrator for 12 years – mainly at the elementary school level. I got a bit burned out from teaching. I didn’t want to be the teacher that just stuck around because it was a safe career. That wouldn’t be fair to the students. I knew some people in the insurance world and worked in that industry for almost four years. I started as an agent and then moved into the corporate side to do teaching, training and curriculum development.
How did you find out about Office Pride?
I knew that I wanted to own my own business, specifically a franchise. I learned about Office Pride for the first time at a franchise fair in Denver. They really caught my attention. I did a lot of research on the company and the industry, as well as a number of other franchises. I felt like this was the best fit for me. The first thing was the core values and beliefs as a company – first and most importantly honoring God. Also, doing what’s right, being honest and having integrity are very important to me personally. The company is very bold in their beliefs as well.
How does your faith affect the way you run your business?
My faith shows up in how I do business differently than a lot of other people in today’s world. I really care about my employees and their well-being. When I say something is going to happen, it gets taken care of. My clients know that – it’s not an empty promise. My integrity is very important, so I do whatever it takes to get the job done. I think sometimes with both my clients and my employees, people just need an ear to listen, whether it’s a client having a problem in their building or an employee having personal problems. I can be that ear, and employees know I truly have a heart for them. A lot of that has to do with my faith.
With a faith-based business, how have you used your business to support your faith?
I have gotten to know many other Office Pride franchisees in Denver and around the country. I know that there’s a group of people out there that are always thinking about my business, praying for my business and regularly praying for me and my family. That’s something that has definitely helped me in my faith because of the business.
Do you do any of the cleaning yourself?
When I need to, yes. I don’t do any of it on a regular basis. But I don’t mind rolling up my sleeves and getting out there when needed. I think that’s an important thing for my employees to see. If something is going on, I don’t consider it below me to get out there and clean toilets. I’m not better than they are. I think employees like that because I’m not asking them to do anything I’m not willing to do myself.
How long have you been a franchisee?
I have been a franchisee now for almost 5½ years.
How many contracts/employees do you have?
We have 27 different location that we take care of. I have 10 employees right now.
How important is it to have cleaning experience before joining Office Pride?
I think as a franchise owner, it’s more important to have business sense than cleaning experience. One of the things I really love is that Office Pride is really solid on their training. I came in with a lot of business sense but no knowledge of commercial cleaning. They helped accentuate my business sense on running a great business. They taught me everything that I needed to know on the cleaning side as well. In regards to my employees, having a background in cleaning is a mixed bag. Office Pride has a really solid system of cleaning. Not a lot of cleaning companies think that way. If somebody has been cleaning for a long time, they may have habits that don’t fit within the Office Pride system. That makes it a little harder to get into the system versus someone that’s new to cleaning and can learn the system very quickly.
What do you like about being a franchise owner?
The company is always there to back me up. If I have any questions, concerns or problems, there are people with the experience to help me out. I have the ability to talk to them and ask some questions. They can even connect me with other people. As a franchisee, I also like to run my business the way I want to, within the structure of the franchise. It’s the best of both worlds. I have flexibility to run my business, but I have the structure of Office Pride to make sure that I will be successful.
What sets Office Pride apart?
There are franchises out there that have a lot of problems with their franchisees because the company doesn’t have the integrity and honesty that Office Pride demonstrates. Office Pride stands out because of their core beliefs and values. At Office Pride, they really do what they say and help out their franchisee.
How large is the opportunity to grow with Office Pride?
The opportunity is as big as you want it to be. I believe that the way Office Pride is set up allows you to grow your business to whatever point you’re comfortable with. There’s no limit to anything. I have goals, but I don’t see a ceiling for me.
What kind of businesses do you service?
I have offices, some warehouse and industrial, medical facilities, dental facilities, orthodontic facilities, churches, daycares and few gymnasiums.
What attracts customers to Office Pride rather than its competitors?
I think one of the things that draws people to Office Pride is the thoroughness of the job that’s done. There are a lot of companies out there that will offer an extremely low price, and the quality is not very good. At Office Pride, we’re trained to see things in a way where we offer the highest quality at a fair price. The customers really like that.
What does your typical day look like?
A day for me will usually start with some sort of business networking. Many times in the morning, I’ll go to a networking meeting or breakfast to build my business through word-of-mouth advertising. A few times a week, I’ll connect with one of my networking partners for lunch or coffee. Some days, I’m out knocking on doors and marketing. And then as a family man, I like to try to be around at home shortly after the kids get home from school through the dinner hour so I have time for the family. In the evening, I go out with a staff member that is struggling or help deliver supplies and do inspections.
What kind of person do you think would enjoy owning an Office Pride franchise?
I’ve met so many different types of people from different backgrounds who own Office Pride franchises around the country that are very successful. The similarity is that these people have a desire to own their own business and have the ability to work well with others. Our industry really is a people industry. You might think that you clean at night, so it’s not a big deal. But as an owner, you’re dealing with clients, suppliers and employees.
What does franchise ownership allow you to do in your personal life that you couldn’t before?
I measure success in the freedom of time. A lot of other people measure it by status, title or salary. I believe that success is the ability to do with your time what you wish. That’s what owning Office Pride has done for me. It gives me the opportunity to go to activities in my kids’ schools during the day if I want to or be available to drive to after-school activities. I can go on a vacation and not have to worry about getting approval.
Would you recommend an Office Pride franchise to someone else?
I would strongly recommend Office Pride as a franchise because of the integrity of the company. What you see is what you get. They’re going to lay it all out for you and be honest about what needs to happen, what you need to do to be successful and give you the tools to get there. I’d recommend Office Pride because it’s a leader in an industry that has a consistent need. There are always buildings that need commercial cleaning, so it’s a great industry to be in. If you’re ready to go, Office Pride will take you far beyond what you can imagine.
Are you ready to own your own Office Pride commercial cleaning franchise?
Office Pride enjoys a reputation as the most advanced commercial cleaning franchise in the industry and has one of the highest franchise owner satisfaction rates for office cleaning franchises. It is a low-investment, work-from-home and easily scalable business that thrives in all sorts of economies. Best of all, you can honor God working in a business that follows Biblical principles.
Our commitment to our Christian principles and our 20-plus years of business savvy have helped us build a profitable franchise company with more than 100 franchisees across the country. We are expanding our reach even farther across the U.S. and Canada. In the $78 billion commercial cleaning industry, there’s still plenty of room to grow.
If you’re ready to pursue your own dream of entrepreneurship like Rodney Lie, please take a look at our website’s research pages and then fill out the form at right to download our free franchise report or give us a call at 727-491-5125. We’d love to start a conversation!