MaidPro Franchisee, Barb & Wade Szymanski
Barb – Has 17 years of experience with McDonalds. She started as a cashier and worked her way up to store manager. Barb, as a store manager, took the highest volume restaurants (in the area) and streamlined the systems/operations to increasing profitability. The majority of this happened during the economic boom when employees where scarce.
Barb then made the move to a McDonalds head office in Edmonton and worked in their community relations department. Her job was to bridge franchise owned locations and franchisee owned locations. She also helped build brand awareness for McDonalds in the community by organizing different events.
Wade – Journeyman Automotive Technician worked in the field for over 10 years and specialized in diagnostics and diesel trucks.
Wade later switched careers to mortgage broker who specialized in investment properties, debt consolidation, and sub-prime mortgages. He was able to help clients with poor credit rebuild and work their way towards home ownership.
Barb and Wade are a husband and wife team who have been running MaidPro together for 7 years.
For the day-to-day, Barb runs the operations and develops employees while Wade runs the financial end of the business. Together they have 4 children and 3 pets.
BeTheBoss.ca: What led you to think about being a franchisee?
Wade Szymanski: With Barb’s background with McDonalds, it seemed like a perfect fit. MaidPro has the systems and procedures in place to help franchisees succeed. It is exciting to see MaidPro grow each year!
BTB: What made you choose (brand) from all the franchise opportunities you looked at?
WS: We only looked at MaidPro. After our tour at the home office in Boston and meeting everyone there, we knew this was the one for us. MaidPro had everything we needed and had the flexibility to run our business the way we wanted to for our area. We can tell that everyone at the home office loves their jobs and the company. This is one of the main reasons MaidPro is successful - the people. From the home office staff to the franchisees, everyone is part of the MaidPro family.
BTB: Can you describe the support you got from the (brand) head office team as you got started?
WS: Everyone is accessible at the home office and they will always make time for you. In a lot bigger companies, you are just a number and can’t even get time with the higher ups if needed. At MaidPro, it’s a different story. The founders, Mark and Richard, are fully involved in the business and will take time in their day to talk with you if you need them. Each year the home office gets stronger and even more supportive.
BTB: What have you found to be your greatest key to success?
WS: Our determination to never give up and keep pushing our business to the next level has always been our key to success. This is what has propelled us to one of the largest single location MaidPros in Canada.
BTB: Describe the most rewarding part of owning your business?
WS: Our staff and clients.
Barb loves seeing our staff grow on a personal level. One employee that always comes to mind is a PRO we hired at age 17 who was turning 18 in a couple weeks. She was like a fish out of water; she was a slow cleaner and needed a lot of training to graduate from our training program. Fast forward 5 years and she is still with us! She is one of our best PRO’s and is even a trainer now! She has so much love for us and for MaidPro. That’s what makes running a business worthwhile. The ability to give a place for our employees to be themselves, grow personally, and excel professionally.
And of course, our clients. We are not just cleaning homes, we are giving them the gift of freedom and the gift of time. We tell our clients, “you are a part of our MaidPro Family.” We care so much for our clients and that shows in our high standards and detailed work.
BTB: What are your goals going forward?
WS: Our goal is to continue
pushing our MaidPro to the next level, to be a household name in our area, and
continue to build on our brand of quality and caring. We hope that when people
think of cleaning, they think of MaidPro. We are always looking to grow our
employee family as well!
BTB: What goals did you have when you joined (brand)?
WS: Our goal from day one was to be the #1 office in the MaidPro franchise. That continues to be our goal to this day!
BTB: What advice would you give to a potential franchisee?
WS: Never give up and don’t be afraid of change. You need to adapt and change to grow with each new level of your business.
BTB: What are the biggest advantages that (brand) gives you in your business? (e.g. marketing, negotiating with vendors, support, etc.)
WS: The biggest advantage that MaidPro gives us is the ability to focus on running our MaidPro operations, while the home office works on improving marketing materials, the website, software, and the online employee training material. Plus, they are always testing out new cleaning supplies, chemicals, and equipment. New hires are always impressed with our systems especially compared to our competitors.
BTB: How does (brand) help you to differentiate yourself from your competition? (brand recognition, advertising, etc, location?)
WS: Our brand helps us stand out from our competitors. Our software and marketing are light-years beyond our competition.