Chronotek is proud to congratulate our friends, the Middleton family, on receiving Office Pride’s Franchise of the year award! We had the chance to catch up with Chris on how his company has grown and prospered during such tough times, and on how Chronotek makes his business easier to run.
Tell us about how you got started with commercial cleaning, and Office Pride?
I got started in Office Pride while I was selling health insurance. I ran into a friend I had worked with at Chrysler and he had started a business. I stopped in to see if he needed insurance. We got talking and he had bought an Office Pride franchise. I was very interested because as much as I enjoyed meeting people and selling insurance I would always just have a “job”. I could never systemitize that business to work for me while I lived by my priorities. So I did my reseach on Office Pride, read all the books that the founder Todd Hopkins had written and liked what the company stood for. I bought my own franchise and got started in June 2009 servicing the greater Indianapolis, Hamilton county and Kokomo areas. I was introduced to Chronotek at our first Office Pride training. As soon as I hired my first people I used Chronotek to keep track of their hours.
What are some of the toughest challenges associated with running a business like yours?
The biggest challenge for most business that are starting up- CASHFLOW! In this business you may serve your customer for 60 days before you see any money. During that time you have bought equipment to use in their facility and possibly hired and paid someone to clean it. That can be thousands of dollars up front before you see any money come in. As is always said the first couple years are the hardest in starting up any business.
Tell us about your personal business philosophy: how do you apply this to your day to day management of your company?
My personal business philosophy is that we do not just own a cleaning business; We have an opportunity here to serve for God’s glory. We have an opportunity to provide an excellent cleaning service to our customers, help them in any ways we can to expand their businesses. We also have an opportunity to impact the people we employ on our team. I offer mentoring, coaching, financial, spiritual, business, or otherwise to all the people on our team. I want to help them achieve their goals not just offer them a job. I treat people the way I want to be treated always, listen to them and offer to help with whatever problems they have. I get involved in their lives on a personal level if they let me.
What steps have you taken to grow and prosper in this challenging economic climate?
As I struggled to get started, I went as low as I possibly could financially. Had nothing left. At that point I got on my knees and acknowledged with God was president and CEO and that I would go and do whatever he wanted. I asked that he bless my family and this business and provide for us. From that day on we grew at an alarming rate, we never missed a house payment and we continued to be able to feed our four boys. God gives and God can take away. It has been the most amazing walk of faith I have every had. I encourage everyone to do the same.
How does Chronotek make managing your business easier?
Chronotek gives me peace of mind. I can go to bed at night knowing that all my accounts have been covered. I check off as people clock in at their jobs so I know before I go to bed if everything has been covered. If someone is later than normal I can call and be sure they are headed in. We have never missed an account cleaning (yet).
Do you have a favorite Chronotek feature?
I like the message system and use it often to leave feedback from building inspections, sometimes I pray for the whole team via message system, or just thank them for the help.
Do you have any additional comments on your experience with Chronotek?
Chronotek has really helped me out by making it so easy to gather my team’s hours and then input that into my payroll company. The support team has always been very nice and easy to get a hold of if I had questions. I’m sure as we grow and add managers we will have questions on how to best break off the team and assign to different people. I use it on a basic level now. It is also very helpful in seeing how many hours I have in certain buildings to be sure we are where we should be profit wise.