After meeting the team, buying an Office Pride franchise was a ‘no-brainer’
Scott Gipson was successful working in corporate America, but it was wearing him down. He wanted more control over his money, time and family life. A man of deep religious beliefs, Scott also yearned for more harmony between his career and work life. When he discovered Office Pride in 2010, everything fell into place, and he purchased a franchise in Fishers, Indiana. “I really liked Office Pride, but I initially had some questions and doubts,” Scott says. “I really wasn’t looking to become a janitorial service company. Then I saw how Office Pride was set up, and I met the people. At that point, purchasing an Office Pride franchise became a no-brainer.” As an Office Pride franchisee, Scott has found more balance between his work and home life. He participates more often in family activities with his wife, Fortuna, and teenaged daughter, Caroline. Getting his franchise up and running has been a challenge that’s required a lot of hard work, but Scott couldn’t be more pleased with his decision to leave the corporate life. “I’m meeting or exceeding my goals,” he says. “My franchise is growing, and I’m building a great future for my family. I’m able to do it on my own terms with a company that lives its faith.” He recently shared his experience with us.
What were you doing before you became an Office Pride franchisee?
I was in regional insurance claims management for several companies. I had been hungering for about 10 years to start a business of my own. I wanted to build something that would allow me to get out of corporate America. I wanted to build a business that would benefit my family and me more directly.
How did you find out about Office Pride?
I was looking on the Entrepreneur Magazine website. I started looking at carpet cleaning franchises. At the same time, a friend of mine told me about Office Pride. I found out they were based in Franklin, Indiana, which is near me in Fishers, Indiana. I filled out the information form and everything progressed from there pretty quickly. I also considered a Sears carpet cleaning franchise. It was more retail than commercial, and I really wanted to stick with commercial clients. Also, I thought Office Pride offered more money potential.
How does your faith affect the way you run your business?
I feel like I have the freedom to walk the talk of living out my faith. It really becomes an avenue for that. Our founding Bible verse is, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3). We start every meeting with prayer. That’s something you don’t usually see in corporate America.
How have you used your business to support your faith?
I have a service account that I don’t charge for – the church I attend. I am able to counsel people that work for me who are going through tough times. It gives me an opportunity to share the gospel.
Do you do any of the cleaning yourself?
When you first start out, you do some of the cleaning. You might only have four or five accounts. As you grow you’ll find you need to hire staff. My experience in corporate America helped me to know how to really drill down in the interview process to find people with the core values that we’re looking for. We’re very open about the fact that it’s hard work. I still do some cleaning when I have accounts that aren’t staffed or when people have moved on for whatever reasons. I probably clean about five hours a week.
How long have you been a franchisee?
Since January 2011.
Are you meeting your goals?
Yes, I am exceeding them more often than not. You do go through peaks and valleys of growth where you’ll stabilize and then you’ll add four or five accounts. Things will seem crazy for a couple of weeks. Then everything will even out and you’re ready for another growth spurt. It’s a period they call ‘the grind.’
We have a monthly peer group meeting where we discuss our business and personal life. We look at our balance in different areas – faith, family, friends, recreation, etc. We try to make sure we’re having an even keel in our personal life. Corporate America was much different. It was whatever you had to do to get it done.
How many contacts/employees do you have?
I have 60 accounts and 23 employees. It feels good to be an employer. The majority of the people are working for a purpose and working part-time. We try to cover that in the interview process when we ask an applicant, “Why are you looking for a job?” Sometimes an applicant is a mother who needs extra money to pay for her kid’s sporting events. Sometimes a person just needs to work extra in order to make a car payment. You help them remember their goals. It helps keep them motivated and on a good track with the cleaning quality.
How important is it to have cleaning experience before joining Office Pride?
It is certainly not necessary. I didn’t have any at all, and that’s true for the majority of franchisees. Office Pride’s training is very comprehensive. We also receive several manuals on operations, sales and marketing. All of the hard work was done by (founder and CEO) Todd Hopkins when he founded the company and organized it into the company it is now. It’s really a great business. Todd is a great leader. He’s very interested in our success, and he’s only a phone call or an email away at all times.
What do you like about being a franchise owner?
It gives me flexibility and freedom. My daughter is 15. I can be home when she gets home and head out when my wife gets home. For the most part, we’ve always got a parent in the home. I like the mix of manual labor and the administrative and business side.
It keeps you humble. Your business is only as successful as the people you have working for you. You get their respect by working shoulder-to-shoulder with them.
What sets Office Pride apart?
It’s not all about making money. It’s about living your faith and running a business in a way that shows you are a man or woman of faith. Office Pride really focuses on what the customer wants and then meeting or exceeding their expectations.
How large is the opportunity to grow with Office Pride?
It’s great. In my market there are several franchisees, and I don’t feel that my growth is inhibited by them at all. I can grow as large as I want to. There are a lot of cleaning companies out there, but not a lot of good ones.
What kinds of businesses do you serve?
We have a little bit of everything. I have seven-day accounts with a world headquarters for a major trucking company and a large, dirty factory. I also have one-, two- and three-day accounts with small businesses – a dentist’s office, an eye doctor, a bank.
What attracts customers to Office Pride rather than its competitors?
They see the quality of the work. We go for 100% customer satisfaction. When you get a complaint, it’s an opportunity to show that you have integrity. When you have the opportunity to address an issue with a customer, that’s your chance to earn their trust. When they see how you react to it, and that you’ve put processes in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again, you earn the respect and integrity that you’ve had as a privilege up until that point.
What does your typical day look like?
I work out of my home. I have supervisors and area managers. I just brought on an operations manager who I can focus a lot more on sales and customer contact. My day typically starts around 9 a.m. I could be delivering supplies, going and checking on cleaning staff throughout the day and setting up what my managers will be doing that night. I communicate with employees over the phone or face-to-face. We go over goals, and I help get them focused. My day typically ends out in the field. I’m usually home by 7 p.m. I’m usually in bed by 11 p.m.
What kind of person do you think would enjoy owning an Office Pride franchise?
You need good, solid business acumen. The most successful franchisees I’ve seen have spent some time in management, often in corporate America. They’ve had leadership training and experience. It’s all about motivating a person to do what can become a mundane task.
What does franchise ownership allow you to do in your personal life that you couldn’t do before?
You can fit personal things in during the day. I am able to pick my daughter up after school. I take her to her orthodontist appointments. I am building a business my daughter will have the opportunity to be a part of after she finishes college.
Would you recommend an Office Pride franchise to someone else?
Yes. The hard work you put in being an Office Pride franchisee really pays off. The support you receive at Office Pride is amazing – from the corporate level all the way down to the franchisees. It’s like a family. You really know just about everybody. They are only a phone call away. Your colleagues really love hearing about your successes and challenges. It’s important to reach out and find out what other people are going through. It’s a team environment and yet you are also in business for yourself.
Learn more about becoming an Office Pride franchise owner
Office Pride’s commitment to 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.
Would you like to learn more about Office Pride franchising opportunities? 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!