By Brett Milam
A local couple from Bethel has opened a new Office Pride franchise in Newtown that offers janitorial services to commercial businesses, schools and churches.
Located on Round Bottom Road, the franchise will service Clermont, Brown, Adams and Hamilton counties in Ohio and Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties in Kentucky.
“I had been looking for something to buy or own for a couple of years,” Jeremy Powers, owner, said.
Through their church, Jeremy, and his wife, Liz, were set up with a franchise broker, who went through a personality assessment and other tests to match them up with possible franchise systems they could get involved with.
With between 5,000 and 7,000 franchise systems in the United States, there were a lot to choose from. Based on the assessments they went through; the broker had narrowed it down to between 300 to 500 franchise systems.
“Office Pride just stood out to us from the beginning,” Jeremy said, noting they went around the country to other Office Pride franchises. “It’s kind of a culture shock when you run into everybody smiling.”
It was Office Pride’s service-minded, happy warrior culture that stood out, Jeremy said, and the fact that half the franchises are run by husband and wife teams.
“I didn’t want to have work/life balance,” he said. “I just wanted life. One area of life is going to dominate. We found something that’s not really work.”
Jeremy said when you’re trying to work that balance, you begin to view life in “buckets of time.”
“Life is just life,” Jeremy said. “It’s a big scary move to quit your job and put everything on the line.”
All of their “sweat equity and real equity” has gone into this, Jeremy said.
Before embarking on this new chapter, as Jeremy called it, last Halloween, he was the director of marketing operations for Evenflo, Inc., which taught him the importance of building relationships.
And that’s something that’s been really important to the Powers: building relationships in the community. It’s not some “get-rich quick” business, Jeremy said.
“We’ve had opportunities to leave the county, but at the end of the day, we’re just born and bred here,” he said.
The new franchise has given the Powers’ the chance to see Clermont in a way they never have before and meet other interesting business owners to forge those relationships.
Jeremy said 80 percent of their day consists of working out of the car to meet people in the county.
“You’re out and about and you’re talking to business owners locally,” he said.
Even though Jeremy said he didn’t go out of his way to find it, that Office Pride has a faith-based element has already proven to be helpful, he said.
“When I have any doubt about what we’re doing, at the end of the day, I know it’s in God’s hands,” Jeremy said. “We’re just borrowing resources temporarily from God.”
The franchise officially opened on April 7 and they’ve both been full-time at since the beginning of May.
Office Pride’s janitorial work includes carpet cleaning, window washing, restroom sanitization and more, with a focus on “reducing its ecological footprint” with the use of its Green Seal™ certified cleaning products.
“Over the years, our family has enjoyed spending time giving back to the community,” said Liz. “This is just an extension of the commitment we have to the area. We didn’t open Office Pride with the sole intention of making money, we opened it because there’s a need here and we want to help.”
Liz spent time volunteering with organizations that help area women and children prior to Office Pride.
“We’re brand new,” Jeremy said. “We’re meeting as many people as we can. We’re going to make a lot of business owners happy.”
The reception in the community so far, however, has been “overwhelmingly positive,” Jeremy said.
“I fully anticipate five years from now, our first customers will still be with us,” he said.