This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Alan Green has been a television-news photographer and in health-care management, marketing, advertising and public relations. Now, at age 59, he finds himself the owner of a Molly Maid franchise in Murray.
But it's not so implausible after what he characterizes as "not a normal career track" in which his resume lists positions as vice president, general manager, director of marketing and advertising account supervisor. But last year, like many his age, he found himself out of a job because of the Great Recession and not many prospects.
"The job market wasn't too kind for guys my age," Green said.
So he started casting about for a business and looking at franchises he might buy into that had a proven track record and system that worked.
"I learned that years ago when I was working with different franchises," Green said. "The people who were most successful and happy were the people who were following a really good system and not going out and trying to re-create the wheel."
A consultant he was working with called last fall and said that, though they hadn't considered something like it before, a Molly Maid franchise was for sale at a good price.
Green began to research the Ann Arbor, Mich., company, which has been in business for 26 years and has 250 franchisees. Besides stability, he wanted a business that could not be replaced by technology, like the one-hour photo franchise he once owned.
"I talked to a lot of owners before I made a decision," he said.
He found what he wanted: a stable company with good support and a franchise that already had a number of regular customers and a steady revenue stream.
His request for financing was passed on by two banks before Zions Bank agreed to provide a loan backed by the Small Business Administration.
He took over in January and immediately invested in new uniforms, equipment like vacuums and new cars with the company logo.
Those purchases helped revive the moral of the 14 full-time cleaners and two part-timers who work for him, Green said.
"Part of it is creating a culture where they are supported and respected," he said. "This is hard work, and they need to have the tools to do their jobs. I felt my first job was to create an environment."
With the help of an able office manager, Green said the businesses is back on track and growing.
Despite house cleaning not being the most glamorous part of his career, Green said he has found the business rewarding.
"I've actually really enjoyed it," he said. "I wanted to get back into something where I had some employees I could manage and motivate and not just be working in some home office by myself."
The company largely cleans homes, with a minimum charge of $64 an hour for two maids.