Executive Q&A with CEO Lindsay Dellasega
What void does your brand fill? What was missing in the space before?
There is more awareness of the health and environmental benefits of using eco-friendly cleaning products. ecomaids, as an eco-friendly home cleaning service, addresses those customer demands better than any other brand. Moreover, homeowners will always value the trust and the integrity of the people coming into their homes, because ecomaids bonds, insures and trains all of its maids before they enter a client’s home. As a full-service cleaning franchise that dispatches trained and trustworthy teams and uses eco-friendly products, ecomaids is truly different from the rest, and these differentiators will help the brand grow its footprint.
What are you doing well right now? What are your brand’s differentiators?
I would say the corporate-managed marketing programs, our in-house sales center and the employee training support we offer franchisees. We really uphold brand integrity. Now that ecomaids falls under the umbrella of our new parent company Happinest, which also encompasses Lawn Doctor and Mosquito Hunters, there will be even more support for franchisees. We’ll be able to keep a cutting edge on marketing, respond rapidly to customer inquiries and stay ahead of the competition. We can help our owners with demand creation and fulfillment better than ever before, allowing them to focus on customer care, staff development and retention. The Happinest acquisition will also help us ensure quality growth.
What are your growth goals? What is your brand vision that you hope to fulfill?
We currently have two locations and are very much focused on the quality of our new franchisees rather than the quantity. At ecomaids, we believe culture and fit are critical to success. We only want franchisees who believe in the brand and the business model and are excited to put ecomaids on the map in their market. Ideally, I’d like to see 20 to 30 new franchisees in 2020. In a general sense, we have a vision for being a dominant brand in the cleaning industry. We want to fully penetrate every market we enter, get good customer reviews and be known as a great place to work. In doing so, we can uphold a good culture throughout our franchise system.
What were some learning opportunities that the brand leveraged to get where it is now?
We’ve learned more about the support that’s needed in order to help franchisees focus on relationship building and team building. Franchisees need to focus on these two things in order for their businesses to grow. That’s another reason why we’re so excited about the Happinest partnership. The support provided by Happinest will allow ecomaids to take some responsibilities off of the franchisees’ shoulders so they can focus on growing their business. We are able to leverage the infrastructure, resources and expertise of a 700+ unit franchisor that has been a leader in home services for over 50 years. It’s not very often you see an emerging concept like ecomaids have expert in-house marketing teams and a national sales center quoting and selling services for franchise owners.
What did it look like in the beginning for you and where do you see ecomaids heading?
I started out with my location in 2010 and we have since added a second franchise to the system. The two locations have been successful with steady growth. One location will make over $1 million this year and the other will come in at just under $1 million for 2019. I tell our team that we took the stairs so our future franchise partners can take the elevator. The tools and programs our new partners will have at their disposal didn’t exist when I was in my early stages of development. We did it the hard way, with a lot of trial and error. The model has been refined over the years and the partnership formed with Happinest has proven to be a turning point in making ecomaids a franchise that’s ready to go nationwide. I fully expect to attract high-caliber franchisees who will help us expand our footprint across the country and help ecomaids become an industry leader.
What does your ideal franchisee look like?
The ideal ecomaids franchisee is growth-motivated. They need to be strong leaders who want to build teams because that’s what’s going to lead to growth. Our ideal franchisee is also service-oriented. This business, after all, is about customers and relationships. Of course, the ideal ecomaids franchisee can also follow a system and appreciates having a path in place. As an ecomaids franchisee, you have many hats to wear, so if you can follow a system and utilize the resources in place, the hurdles to growth can be overcome much more efficiently.
How does ecomaids support franchisees?
ecomaids franchisees can now enjoy the full support provided by Happinest. Everything starts with our on-boarding process, where new owners begin their journey and are introduced to support personnel and vendors. This carries on through our new franchisee training program and beyond as owners begin working with their franchise business advisor. Happinest offers expert marketing and operations support, as well as technician training, among other services. All of this takes a huge load off of our franchisees. Happinest is truly an expert base with refined systems. ecomaids franchisees can leverage this support and put their time and energy into focusing on their relationships and expanding their market footprint.