In this exclusive Q&A, we get to learn more about OpenWorks from its VP of Strategic Business, Christin Myers.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Can you please share a bit of background on the OpenWorks concept including its founding story and the brand’s growth up until this point?
Christin Myers (CM): OpenWorks was started in 1983 by Eric Roudi, who still holds his position as CEO today. While in college at Tufts University in Boston, Eric would marvel at the tall buildings, often asking himself what he could sell to the tenants of the skyscrapers. He eventually landed on integrated facilities services, specifically janitorial services.
Through doing research, Eric discovered two important facts: building maintenance was a $70 billion business, and perhaps more importantly, it was highly fragmented; indicating to Eric that the industry was ripe for disruption.
We started in Phoenix, Arizona, and over the course of the next 32 years we opened offices in Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. In 2015 we realized we had to adapt our model to the needs of our customers, which meant having the ability to service their locations across the U.S.
That was a pivotal moment for OpenWorks, allowing us to attract more customers, more franchise partners and grow into 23 markets across the nation. Our explosive growth over the past four years has put us in a great position to capitalize on even further expansion.
FC: How does OpenWorks differentiate itself from other brands and concepts in the facilities maintenance cleaning space?
CM: OpenWorks is uniquely positioned in the marketplace because we can service the small and medium business customer base, but we also provide services for some of the biggest and best Fortune 500 companies out there.
Our model pairs highly capable franchisees with customers needing integrated facilities services, meaning that our franchisees don’t have to become experts in the realm of selling because we guarantee them an initial customer base. Our franchise owners can focus on providing quality service which in turn keeps our customer retention high.
Additionally, we do not cap the growth potential of our franchisees based on territories or market sizes/conditions. A successful franchise owner may have the opportunity to grow their business as much as they want in their market and in other markets.
FC: What makes OpenWorks an attractive business opportunity to potential franchisees?
CM: There are four primary reasons an OpenWorks franchise is very attractive to entrepreneurs.
1) Guaranteed customers, no selling required;
2) Low start-up costs with financing available;
3) Flexibility – you can operate your business from home on your schedule;
4) Uncapped growth potential.
We truly try to create a turnkey business solution for each one of our franchise owners. We understand that learning a sales process is tricky and intimidating, so we eliminate that problem by providing guaranteed customers throughout the life of franchise ownership with OpenWorks.
We also handle all the back office, administrative side of things. So, they are no longer burdened with billing, invoicing and collections. They can focus on pleasing their customers and employees.
FC: What qualities do you look for in a potential franchisee? Which markets are you currently seeking for growth and development?
CM: We look for someone who:
- Is willing to work hard;
- Will treat their employees and customers with respect;
- Is willing to invest in themselves and their future;
- Has a minimum of $7,000 in liquid capital.
We currently have opportunities available in all of our regions: openworksfranchise.com/locations/
FC: What is the typical investment for an OpenWorks franchise?
CM: Our packages start at an investment of $15,200 and go up to $72,000. We also offer flexible financing options, so someone could purchase our starter package for $7,000 down and finance the remaining $8,200 through us.
FC: What qualities do you look for in potential customers?
CM: We do a great job in the healthcare, education and industrial (includes warehousing, distribution and transportation) industries, but we can service any type of facility. And typically, the facilities we service are around 10,000+ square feet.
FC: Can you tell us more about your role at OpenWorks and the company vision?
CM: My role at OpenWorks is very dynamic and is based on business needs. Currently, the Strategic Sales team, Franchise Sales team, Marketing team, and Client Success team report to me. Our Strategic Sales team is focused on creating new business relationships with potential commercial clients.
FC: How do you empower yourself and others to lead women forward in the franchise industry?
CM: First, I find it comforting to know that we’re not alone in the daily struggles we face. Single moms, perfecting a work-life balance, being the sole income provider for their family, full-time students and full-time employees, or the numerous other things females face but rarely talk about.
I have had the opportunity to develop a women in leadership program at a previous Fortune 500 company I worked for and subsequently have sought out a similar group, called Girls Club, since beginning my career at OpenWorks.
I think joining organizations and groups, such as these, help women talk about the obstacles we face and how to overcome them, using best practices from those who have experienced it. This is also a great way for women to network with other women and form solid relationships that can help them start their own franchise business or grow the franchise business they may already have.
The Women in Franchising organization, through IFA, is a great place to start.
FC: How can people learn more about OpenWorks and its franchising opportunities?
CM: To learn more about the OpenWorks franchise opportunity, please visit openworksfranchise.com or give us a call at (855) 213- 9805.