I’m Barry Bodiford, Founder, and CEO of 360clean and I’d like to share with you how my wife, Allison Bodiford, and I created a business turned franchise with the goal of bringing a unique shift to the commercial cleaning industry.
My path to the “American Dream” began on a trip to Key West, Florida in the summer of 2004. I came to Key West with one goal in mind – to decide whether business ownership was going to be a part of my future or just a thought in the past. As a pharmaceutical sales representative for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, I was in and out of medical offices all day.
I began to think about ways to use my experience in the medical field to fuel my desire for business ownership. After many brainstorming sessions and sleepless nights, the idea of 360clean, “The Innovative Leader of the Janitorial Service Industry”, was born. The rest of the story is history in the making.
Paving My Way to Entrepreneurship
While continuing my day job, I launched the original 360clean business as a part-time venture to test the waters of business ownership. I specifically remember taking off my business suit at the end of the workday and putting on my 360clean gear for another night of working on and in my business.
Throughout the first few years of the business, I found myself out many times until the early morning hours working to build and perfect the 360clean system. It didn’t take long to realize that the niche for 360clean would be the specialization in servicing medical offices.
I realized, after a short time, I was ready to be a full-time business owner. It was a tough decision to leave the comfort that was being provided by the job as a pharmaceutical representative but seeing the 360clean system develop so rapidly, I knew it was now or never.
Developing Our System: JaniMed
The vision for 360clean was to specialize in medical office cleaning but utilize the same service provided to medical offices in all types of commercial buildings. That is when the JaniMed cleaning system was created.
JaniMed is 360clean’s process and standards for cleaning medical offices and other facilities that desire to have a clean, yet germ-free environment. I have said from day one, our country does not need another cleaning company, what we need is a cleaning company that focuses on cleaning beyond what we see on the surface.
At the start of this business, I took on so many positions of the company that it became overwhelming and put a damper on our growth. I was focusing on the day-to-day operations such as sales, accounting, and management duties that I began to lose touch with my focus on growth and improvement.
At the time we were only servicing three clients and struggling to stay afloat, and I knew that if our company wasn’t growing it was dying. I needed to free myself of the day-to-day operational chores to focus on developing my business model, but I couldn’t afford to hire more staff and the only solution I found myself clinging to was franchising my company.
We were now servicing about 40 clients, and I had to make one of the hardest decisions in my career. I knew if I were to embark on this opportunity of franchising it had to be unique setting us apart from others in the industry, so we got to work.
Forming a Unique Franchise Opportunity
By June 2006, I began the transition of franchising my company which brought about many other transitions. At the end of the day, we did not want to be just another janitorial company, which lead us to focus on what was missing which we believed to be the culture.
To differentiate ourselves we wanted our company to be revolved around people and relationships so that was where we started and have continued to keep at the forefront of our business. One of the biggest advantages of owning a franchise is the network of franchisees, so we have created a space for our franchise owners to connect and learn from one another.
A franchisor has a lot to offer but learning from your fellow franchisees and building those relationships is crucial to the development and success of business owners. Establishing our culture and being able to represent that through our community of business owners has shown to be the most effective way to raise awareness and recognition of our brand.
You May Also Like: CiteMed – Brand Story by Ethan Drower (Co-Founder)
Remaining People Focused and Driven by Objectives
What started as a part-time janitorial service company based in Charleston employing only a half-dozen employees and servicing three customers, has now transformed into one of the top 50 franchises in the United States (by Franchise Business Review) servicing clients throughout 14 states across the country.
The growth and success we have achieved has been obtained through our core objectives: remain customer-focused, remain innovative, develop strong business leaders, grow profitably, and embrace change. Keeping relationships at the forefront of our business has set us apart from our competitors and helped create our #360fam.
We value our clients and the business brought to us by those throughout our communities, but our appreciation for our franchise owners is incomparable. We hold an annual Franchise Reunion Conference in a different city each winter giving franchisees the opportunity to learn, grow, and connect with one another and the 360clean support center.
On the flip side, we also hold an annual reCharge Retreat every summer which is basically one big #360fam vacation allowing us to connect and give back to one another! We are proud to have built such a strong community of business owners that share a burning passion for the success of our brand.
Assisting in Our Community
As the company continues to grow, we want to remain focused on creating and nurturing relationships both in business and throughout our communities. This year we are focusing more on giving back and having a more hands-on involvement with our community.
We have recently launched a partnership with the University of South Carolina’s football program and have various others in the works. We are thankful for these opportunities and look forward to making as big an impact in our communities as we have made in this industry.