In 2001, John Hanson moved to Kansas City, Missouri, to be closer to family. A few years later, after a career as a sales manager for the wireless company Cellular One, he and his dad decided to go into business together by buying a franchise. Among the concepts they investigated were a framing store and a vehicle maintenance business, but neither franchise seemed the right fit. Then they heard about The Maids, the residential cleaning service, and were intrigued.
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"It wasn't retail, so finding the right location wasn't a do-or-die decision, and it didn't require us to work nights or weekends," Hanson said. "And since both my father and I had experience leading people, we felt like we were more suited for a business with HR challenges rather than one with marketing challenges."
In business in the Kansas City, Missouri, metro area since 2004, Hanson said he's been able to build a $2.5 million business by always trying to exceed his customers' expectations and dealing with them honestly and fairly. If a homeowner has a complaint, he listens and makes adjustments. He is the first to admit that "housecleaning is not glamorous, but it is rewarding because we are helping people — both our customers and employees." Plus, he always keeps in mind some words of wisdom passed down by his grandfather, who at various points in his career worked as a plumber and a sewer-line cleaner. "He told me, 'If you are willing to work in industries that others consider beneath them, there will always be opportunities.'"
"[My grandfather] told me, 'If you are willing to work in industries that others consider beneath them, there will always be opportunities.'"