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How Home Clean Heroes President Joe Delatte’s Experience as a Franchisee Prepared him for Leadership During COVID-19

Joe Delatte is using his industry experience to help Home Clean Heroes franchisees achieve success.

By Allison Stone1851 Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 11:11AM 05/19/20

In 2019, Joe Delatte was promoted to President and COO of Home Clean Heroes, a home cleaning brand that has spent the last year kicking off its franchising initiatives. Before joining Home Clean Heroes, Delatte had spent several years as the owner of his own franchise in the home services industry. He also boasts years of experience in product development, marketing, sales, customer service and strategic planning. Delatte knows first-hand the challenges and the rewards of operating your own franchise, including meeting customer expectations, hiring and developing employees and managing your bottom line, and he is using that experience to bolster Home Clean Heroes to the top of the industry, even in times of economic uncertainty. 

Delatte describes himself as the typical candidate who came to franchising from a corporate background because he wanted more control in his life and career trajectory. “I was looking at franchise opportunities because I knew I wanted to have the advantage of having an organization behind me to build a business,” said Delatte. “I didn’t want to build a brand from scratch.”

Prior to working in the home cleaning industry, Delatte worked in marketing and operations in telecommunications, advertising and media companies. “I’d been working in corporate America for about 30 years, and I felt like I had a good foundation of business marketing and customer service,” said Delatte. In 2014 he first started looking into franchising and decided to contact a franchise consultant. 

As the economy was recovering from the recession, Delatte carefully considered his options in franchising. “I didn’t have tons of money or investors or backers. I needed something that was affordable and in high demand, and that wouldn’t require me to work nights or weekends. I didn't want to have to worry about inventory or spoilage and the liabilities that come with that,” said Delatte. 

A franchise consultant suggested the home services category, and he became a candidate for a window-cleaning and pressure-washing business. “I liked the brand that they had developed, I liked the service and I liked that there weren’t any clear dominant national players,” Delatte said.

He spent three years as a franchisee for that business, but along the way developed a relationship with Kevin Wilson, the CEO of Buzz Franchise Brands. “Kevin was working to develop a home services brand himself and actually called me up as a secret shopper to have an estimate done on window cleaning,” said Delatte. “Eventually, he asked me to come on board with Home Clean Heroes.”

One of Delatte’s dreams was to build something that would have high brand awareness, give back to the community and provide jobs to people in his hometown. With Home Clean Heroes, he was given the opportunity to do so on a national scale.

“My time as a franchisee taught me that relationships are invaluable. You can’t underestimate the importance of ongoing dialogue as a pathway to staying top of mind with your customers,” he said. “When it comes to nurturing employees, allow them to provide feedback. Listen and assure. Go overboard and provide the best assistance and resources possible, especially in troubling times. Stay connected and treat them like family.”

After joining Home Clean Heroes in 2019, one of Delatte’s biggest initiatives was to advocate for increased franchisee support. “Two of those biggest things for me were in-depth business coaching and front-line employee training. I wanted to make sure these were things franchisees from Home Clean Heroes would have out of the gate,” said Delatte. ”In my case, for instance, I owned a window-cleaning business, but my background was in managing marketing programs. The only thing I knew about window cleaning was how to spray it and wipe it off.”

Delatte went on to say that many franchisees, especially those coming from a very different professional background, need an in-house training program that captures all of the processes that their frontline employees will have to use on a daily basis. “We built a seven-part, video-based training certification program for frontline employees that teaches our ‘Heroes’ the entire training and cleaning process. It guarantees that every employee is trained exactly the same way,” said Delatte. 

On the other side of the coin, Delatte was pushing for more in-depth business training for new franchisees. “I came out of a position where I was managing multi-million dollar marketing budgets. I knew how to manage budgets and read financials, but I had never run a small business,” said Delatte. “There are ways you need to provide for employees and motivate and treat them properly so that they stick around. It’s critical to mentor and motivate those employees. My turnover my first year was 200% because it's hard to find the right people if you don’t have the tools to build it.”

“Thankfully,” said Delatte, “that franchisee support and business acumen aspect was already inherent in Buzz Franchise Brands. They are the ones that make our franchisees successful.”

Delatte admits that for even the most experienced franchisee, signing on with a new business requires a leap of faith, no matter the external variables. He urges any small business owner to move quickly to understand their economic situation so they can be best prepared for oncoming challenges, from conserving cash to reducing expenses wherever possible. “Where support is available in terms of loans, grants and subsidies, be the first to apply. You can always turn it down or return it if not needed,” he said. “In a small company, you will need to wear many hats. In a downsized situation, the work still needs to be done.”

With Buzz Franchise Brands, Delatte has successfully built a program that allows franchisees to meet the many challenges and reap the rewards of the franchising journey. As Home Clean Heroes continues its growth trend in 2020, Delatte is committed to learning and building relationships with franchisees as they grow together. 

His advice for the franchise community? “The businesses that come out of this situation the strongest are the ones that pivot into it,” he said. “Keep your eyes looking forward for opportunity instead of getting lost in negative activity. Double down on your efforts to keep the momentum of your business moving.”

Home Clean Heroes is a Buzz Franchise Brand. The startup costs for a Home Clean Heroes single-unit franchise ranges from $117,525 to $134,060. To learn more about franchising with Home Clean Heroes, visit https://homecleanheroesfranchise.com/.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.

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