Maid Brigade Franchisee – Lisa Flood
Flood worked hard to get where she is today – one of the highest earning Maid Brigade franchisees forecasting more than $2 million in annual revenue in 2011. With more than 400 franchise locations in the United States and Canada, Maid Brigade is the leader in residential cleaning services and is the only Green Clean Certified® housecleaning company. Established in 1979 in Toronto, Maid Brigade has remained at the forefront of the cleaning industry and has commanded a growing market share every year in business.
Before purchasing a Maid Brigade franchise, Flood worked in computer sales when her sales margins dropped in profit due to a major shift in the way that business worked. To keep a static income, Flood had to sell more and more and she was getting tired of the treadmill.
Flood’s husband pushed her to consider going off on her own to take advantage of her energy and professionalism. She bought a book focusing on the 100 best franchises for women and set criteria for the lifestyle she was looking for and the type of business that would get her to that place. This included:
- Get out of cold calling
- Eight to five business hours with no weekends
- No carried receivables
- Sell a product/service I can understand and feel good about
- Have a repeat customer base
- Bring my dog to work
Although she had no experience with cleaning other than personal, based on her criteria Flood narrowed her search to housecleaning, looked at all of the franchises in that arena, and chose Maid Brigade.
“What really differentiated Maid Brigade was that all of the trainers and most of the support staff came from the field. The startup team knew the business and was able to give me real world, practical advice because they had been in my shoes,” Flood says.
Flood purchased her Maid Brigade franchise in 1993. She was 28. Today at 46, Lisa projects her 2011 gross revenue to be around $2 million and has seen sales increases, even in difficult economic times. She has more than 600 regular customers whose homes are cleaned weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, 150 customers who call once or twice a year, and 18 cleaning teams. Flood also has a general manager who now runs the day-to-day operations and more than 40 other people who work as part of her cleaning teams and in the office.
Part of Flood’s commitment to her business early on was to hire great people to work with her and to help them grow with the business. This dedication to her staff keeps turnover low and is critical to her business’ success. Her team continues to grow as the business grows and she has tried to clone herself as she moves forward to allow herself more independence and to be assured that her customers are well cared for.
What is most important to grow a franchise business is to gain customers’ trust and make them happy, Flood believes. She has built her business on the premise that the customer is always the first consideration and is looked at as a “customer for life.”
“We want to be our customers’ partners in caring for their homes,” Flood says. “We would like to be their housecleaners for the rest of their lives. To create this long healthy relationship takes time.”
Aside from a great work/life balance, Flood says that a Maid Brigade franchise is also a great business for a parent and especially for women because you can set up your life to always be able to pick up your kids at school. Flood waited until her business was “in college” to start her family and now has a three-year-old and a one-year-old.
“This business is an annuity,” Flood comments. “If you make the long term commitment to do it right, you can end up like me, 16 years into the business pulling out well over $100,000 a year.”
Flood believes that Maid Brigade’s unwavering commitment to her as a franchisee has been instrumental in her success including providing outstanding training, readily available mentors, and marketing and business support services.
“With Maid Brigade you are never alone,” comments Flood.