Retired engineer opens local Molly Maid franchiseWritten by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
Cyrus Connors recently came out of retirement to open Molly Maid of Greater Toledo/Bowling Green, a local franchise for the national chain of residential cleaning services.
Before retiring in 2011, Connors, 59, worked for 24 years as an engineer at Whirlpool.
He described himself as a problem-solving specialist who was involved in the process, product and quality aspects of the manufacturing business.
Connors, whose wife was still working, grew restless in retirement and sought a personal challenge.
“I got bored. I wanted to get into the rental business and met with a franchise consultant who helped me find the right opportunity,” Connors said.
It’s not his first venture as an entrepreneur. Connors once mowed lawns pulling a lawnmower behind his bike. He began painting houses when he was a senior in high school. He later bought real estate and sold rental houses.
The consultant suggested the housecleaning business. Connors went through the process with a competitor of Molly Maid and was offered a franchise, but said he didn’t feel it was the right fit.
The consultant suggested they look at Molly Maid. This time, Connors said he, “fell in love with them as it felt like family.” The company offered him a local franchise and Connors became a Molly Maid franchisee July 29.
It’s not the first Molly Maid franchise in the Toledo area. Molly Maid operated in Toledo from 1994 until 2010, when the franchisee closed the business. Connors said he hired a person who had worked for Toledo’s former Molly Maid franchise.
“They had a good reputation and we want to continue that,” Connors said about the former franchise. “We focus on quality and give great value to our customers. I really enjoy meeting with the people.”
Connors said the business currently has two teams of two people who travel to jobs in a dark blue Ford Focus with the “Molly Maid” name painted in large pink letters. An additional worker is being trained as a floater who could become part of a third team when the expanding business requires it.
Connors is confident of growth as he just ordered a third vehicle.
Molly Maid offers three basic packages: one-time cleanings, recurring jobs and move-in or move-out cleanings. The company also works with local real estate agents to clean and help stage homes for sale.
The two-person teams work together on each job, rotating their tasks from job to job to keep them healthy and safe.
“We use the best equipment for safety and quality. People are our most important asset,” Connors said.
Each worker goes through a training program, where he or she cleans houses and the work is checked to be sure it meets expectations. Interested applicants should apply on the website. Connors said all who apply are interviewed with a focus on attendance, quality and safety.
Cleaners are paid a commission or share of every fee for each job and end up making more than minimum wage, Connors said.
The cost of the service for the customer depends the square footage of each home, the number of rooms and other factors.
“We walk through the house with the person to understand what they want done and provide an estimate for that job,” said Connors, who declined to discuss actual numbers for the work.
Molly Maid offers $10 off the first 10 cleans and other discounts through local mailings, Connors said.
Connors said the company gets a lot of business through referrals and people who see the Molly Maid cars around town. They also receive business via the Yellow Pages online and the Molly Maid website.
“We have someone who answers the phone when customers call,” Connors said, referring to customer service representative Stephanie Strausbaugh.
Connors said the business supports the YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter in Toledo through the Ms. Molly Foundation.
Connors grew up in the area and has raised his family here. His mother and father owned and operated a Hallmark gift shop and jewelry store in Fremont. He said he learned a lot about business and life in general from his parents.
For more information, visit www.mollymaid.com or call (800) MOLLY MAID or (419) 740-5172.