Profiles in Success: Anthony Truong

Two Maids Orlando

The Two Maids & A Mop business model offers a unique approach to a very old, static industry. Our brand disrupts the residential cleaning industry by using a variety of innovative technological advancements; including real-time online scheduling, social media brand awareness and digital media lead generation. Our growth has been so phenomenal that Inc. Magazine recently recognized us as the fastest growing cleaning company in America. The secret to our success certainly starts with the business model. But honestly, the true secret to our success ends with our franchise owners. In this series, we’d like to introduce some of the superstars within our franchise family.

Anthony Truong – Orlando, FL Franchise Owner

I was working inside my office one afternoon when the telephone rang. On the other end of the line was an energetic guy that was ready to take over the world within sixty seconds of the conversation. I immediately fell in love with the guy because, well… he sounded a whole lot like me thirteen years ago. Of course, this future titan of business is none other Anthony Truong; proud franchise owner of the best maid service in Orlando. Just wait until you hear his story.

Anthony was born in Saigon in 1973, just two years before the Vietnam War officially ended. Growing up in Vietnam was especially challenging due to the lack of food, running water and electricity. In those days, electricity and water were provided by the state on a random basis only. The only food source that was available to the people was Daphnia Seeds, the same exact stuff used to feed livestock. His parents were desperate to provide their children with a different way of life and devised a risky plan to escape the communist country. Anthony’s father and older brother decided to escape the country by floating on an old, wooden boat for seventeen days. Eventually, the boat found land on the shores of Thailand. His father and brother fought off multiple pirate attacks and suffered through extremely difficult weather conditions. It was an harrowing experience and death seemed assured. Once safely in Thailand, Anthony’s father and brother were herded into a camp already overcrowded with other Vietnamese refugees. They remained there living under difficult conditions for two solid years until they were brought to New Jersey by sponsorship of a local church.

Things did not improve until Anthony’s father and older brother were able to relocate to the United States. Both got jobs and worked hard to send money back home to help support Anthony and his mother. And after six years of separation, Anthony’s family was finally able to reunite at JFK International Airport in New York. Anthony recalls the moment vividly.

“I can still see my father and brother smiling, crying and waving in the glass waiting room inside the airport. I was overjoyed. I loved my father dearly and had missed him ever so much. I raced through the customs building, hurdling the cement steps and fell right into my father’s open arms. I wept tears of joy as he hugged me and kissed me. I knew my life had changed forever at that exact moment.”

Anthony has loved America ever since that very first day and he’s taken full advantage of the benefits our great country offers. He eventually graduated high school with honors, attended college on his own dime and worked tirelessly inside corporate America for the past fifteen years. This is the moment when I met Anthony for the first time; on that innocent phone call last year.

Two Maids OrlandoAnthony talked a very big game. He had big dreams; wild visions in fact. I remember everything about our initial conversation. He talked about his desire to own the Orlando market; even though he lived more than 75 miles away in Palm Coast. He talked about his desire to serve as the initial Office Manager; even though he had plenty of money to hire an on-site manager. He even talked about his willingness to travel to Birmingham ASAP to get the ball rolling; like tomorrow in fact. Like I said, he talked a big game and I knew that we just had to meet this guy. Anthony’s first meeting with us was inside a hotel lobby. I didn’t know anything about his past. Didn’t know about Saigon. Didn’t know anything other than a couple of energetic phone calls. But on that night inside that hotel lobby, I knew we had a winner.

Anthony opened for business earlier this year. Hasn’t been a franchisee for a long time. But in that short time frame, he’s proven his commitment time after time. He’s notorious for working crazy hours. Believe it or not, he’s even provided a house cleaning for a customer past the midnight hour. He’s pushed brooms. Conducted estimates. Been on last-minute supply runs. Driven back and forth each of those long 75 miles from Palm Coast to Orlando every day since his grand opening. He rarely spends time with family during the week as a result. But make no mistake, Anthony loves his family and proves that by is work ethic. It’s been a sacrifice but he’s accepted the challenge from day one.

I believe that every successful business owner must possess four essential qualities: a business owner must be passionate, a business owner must have a plan, a business owner must have a very high work ethic and a business owner must refuse to lose. Anthony embodies every one of these traits and he didn’t just start living those ideals yesterday. He’s been busting his tail for a long time. He’s been passionate about building financial freedom for a long time. He’s been refusing to lose for a long time. And trust me, he’s been passionate about his plan for the future for a very long time. He’s the kind of guy that will find success no matter the direction. I’m just thankful that he chose Two Maids & A Mop.

Anthony still has a long way to go. He’s still building his business and he’s still working crazy hours. He already knows this and he’s cool with the challenge. I have no doubt that his future is bright. Anthony is success and there’s not one person on this earth that couldn’t learn something from him. Reach out to him and ask him about how to make it in this country. His answer will not be sexy. His answer will probably repeat everything that I’ve already said. Be passionate. Have a plan. Work harder than everyone else. And refuse to lose. That’s Anthony and we love him. Thank you Anthony for choosing Two Maids & A Mop and please keep on being you. You’ve earned everything and your future is bright. You are success!

Two Maids & A Mop Discusses How To Start Your Own Cleaning Business

Two Maids & A MopOur journey started more than thirteen years ago with the first Two Maids & A Mop opening for business on April Fools’ Day in Pensacola, FL. It’s been an amazing ride; full of so many ups and downs along the way. The grind is real and one thing is certain: success will not occur overnight. You’ll need to be passionate about your business; work harder than ever before & think outside of the box as much as possible. That’s the honest truth.

Our experience has taught us so much about the cleaning industry and we’re excited to share our insights with a leading magazine dedicated to small business owners. Please check out our article in this month’s edition of Fundera Ledger. Click the link to read all about it: How To Start A Cleaning Business.

Two Maids & A Mop Partners With Legendary Football Coach Vince Dooley

Vince Dooley Two Maids

When University of Georgia graduate Ron Holt learned that legendary Bulldogs football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley wanted to partner with him, he couldn’t believe his ears.

“I still get chill bumps thinking about it,” Holt said. “It’s a pretty big deal for us. He brings so much to the table. When you think of Vince Dooley, you think of nothing but trust and integrity. He’s a proven leader.”

It’s the latest win for the Birmingham, Ala.-based Two Maids & A Mop, which is one of the country’s fastest-growing businesses. The home cleaning franchise has been named to the Inc. 5000 list every year for the past four years, and was also honored by the magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in Alabama. Founded in 2003, the company boasts franchise network sales near $20 million and yearly revenues between $17 and 20 million, according to Holt, who oversees 400 employees and more than 30 franchise owners.

The company’s success may now appear ensured, but it got off to a rocky start.

“I lost money for the first two years. I didn’t even receive a paycheck,” said Holt, who founded the company on April Fools Day in Pensacola, Fla.

But things eventually began to turn around as Holt developed some competitive advantages and operational efficiencies.

“Once we recognized the model was not only profitable, but scalable, I started thinking big,” he said.

Holt figured he was on to something special when he opened his fourth store in the company’s future home base of Birmingham. It was Two Maids & A Mop’s first store outside its Florida confines, and he realized that his baby was finally ready to spread its wings and fly on its own.

“That was the first store that I was not actively involved in every single decision and task,” Holt said. After several years of handling just about every aspect of the business but the house cleaning itself, he was gratified to realize this store could thrive without his control.

“The business proved that it could scale itself and grow without me being the most important person in the world,” Holt says. “That store really changed everything for us and allowed me to think much bigger—and continue to think big today.”

Before long, the company had grown to 12 corporate stores in five states throughout the Southeast, and Holt’s business model began to shift toward franchising.

“That gave us the opportunity to really grow across the country, not just in the Southeast,” Holt said. “It allowed us to grow much faster, and, on top of that, it allowed us to partner with people who were business owners, instead of employees.”

Somewhere along the way, the company made a serious impression on a couple of customers who also happened to be the wife and daughter of Vince Dooley, the coach who is still considered a god in Georgia for coaching Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker and leading the Bulldogs to their last national championship in 1980. Dooley reached out to Holt—and just like that, a partnership was born.

“If people look into Two Maids & A Mop and study it, I think they’d be impressed by the [company’s] record of success. Hopefully, that will lead to more success in the future,” Dooley said.

Dooley is not a direct investor in Two Maids & A Mop, but the two are partners in virtually every other sense.

“He brings so many skills and traits to the table,” Holt said of Dooley. “I’ve learned so much from Coach Dooley’s life, and we’ve used that just in the last few weeks within our own business.”

Dooley is quick to remind people that he once oversaw a $120 million program as Georgia’s athletic director, so he has lots of direct business expertise to offer as well.

Holt said he sees Dooley’s involvement in Two Maids & A Mop as a golden opportunity for his business, which he wants to expand throughout the lower 48 states within 10 years. For the first time in the company’s 13-year history, Two Maids and a Mop will actively advertise its services—and Dooley’s endorsement will play a key role in that marketing push.

“We expect for something big to happen, honestly,” Holt said. “We fully believe that with the UGA community – whether it’s a fan or an alumnus, we feel that Coach Dooley’s partnership will really allow us to grow very quickly. Once people hear our story … we’re certain that our growth is going to take off.”

Two Maids & A Mop Interviewed by Grow My Cleaning Company Podcast

David Luke - COO of Two Maids & A Mop

David Luke Talks Culture With Grow My Cleaning Company Podcast

David Luke, COO of Two Maids & A Mop, recently sat down with the good folks at Grow My Cleaning Company to discuss the current state of the residential cleaning industry. In the interview, David goes deep into the weeds of our business model and talks about the most important word in our dictionary: CULTURE.

Simply put, a business without a purpose creates long term failure. This is true for every business but it goes even deeper for our business since so much of the work is conducted outside the office. We believe that culture is more important than marketing, more important than sales, even more important than leadership. Why? Because that one word – culture – embodies everything connected to your business. Like we said, culture is the most important word in our dictionary. We believe that culture will soon be your most important word too after listening to this podcast.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Two Maids & A Mop Recognized Again as Fastest Growing Cleaning Company in America

Two Maids Inc 5000Inc. Magazine has just recently announced the 2016 fastest growing private companies in America. Two Maids & A Mop is honored to be included in this year’s list for the fourth consecutive year. Plus…. this year’s designation comes with yet another honor.

As part of the exclusive group, we have learned that Two Maids & A Mop has been named the fastest growing cleaning company in the entire nation. This marks the second time in the last four years that Two Maids & A Mop has been named the fastest growing cleaning company in America.

Thanks to all of our employees, customers and franchise owners for a glorious thirteen year run. I can’t wait to see how the next thirteen years look like!

Two Maids & A Mop Featured in Forbes Magazine

Two Maids ForbesThe humble origins of the Two Maids & A Mop brand has been well-chronicled and recognized by several leading publications. But very few people have heard the story of how the brand switched gears from a corporate growth strategy to a franchise concept. We are humbled that Forbes Magazine took the time to profile our brand’s journey into franchising.

Here are a few takeaways from the nationwide article….

“Residential cleaning may not sound like a romantic industry, but Holt was passionate about the business he started in Pensacola, Florida, in 2003. “I had this big vision, early on, to build a nationwide brand,” he said.

By 2008, he had grown the company to 12 corporate-owned stores and 300 employees. But with just four corporate employees overseeing all of those far-flung locations and varying degrees of management buy-in from store to store, the business was running into quality and consistency issues. “We needed more support,” Holt said. “We were having some shortcomings when it came to respecting our systems and the business model.”

Worse, because of the low price ceiling in the industry (Two Maids & A Mop’s competitors are often under-the-table, low-wage cleaners), Holt didn’t see much profitability in scaling up the corporate infrastructure to better manage each store. Holt knew he had to switch things up. He opted for franchising, which would allow him to continue to grow the brand nationally, while local owners would be incentivized to maintain quality and consistency in each store.

Holt eventually found himself inside a Las Vegas hotel lobby sitting next to the CEO of a franchise organization called College Hunks Hauling Junk. The meeting was an accident but life has never been the same since that fateful day. It just so happened that College Hunks has recently experimented with a pilot cleaning service in their local headquarters of Tampa, FL. The two young executives eventually teamed up to provide each business with different benefits. College Hunks taught Two Maids how to become a franchise concept while Two Maids taught College Hunks how to run a cleaning business. Since that day in Vegas, the two brands have worked together to build one of the fastest growing franchise brands in the country.”

Please take the time to read the story on the Forbes website by clicking here: Two Maids Featured in Forbes Magazine.

Day With The Founder in Jacksonville, FL

Congratulations Tim & Tammy Page of Jacksonville, FL

Two Maids & A Mop celebrates it success stories as much as possible. Of course, we’ve got a lot of success stories to share and we work hard to recognize our franchise owners in very unique ways. One of the more exciting ways that we recognize success is by our Day With The Founder series. Each year, at least four franchise owners received a full-day visit from the founder of Two Maids & A Mop; Ron Holt.

Just last week, Ron traveled to Jacksonville, FL as part of his Day With A Founder tour to celebrate our one year anniversary of business. Tim & Tammy have grown very quickly in Jacksonville and deserve a lot of credit for building a great culture inside their business. They’re usually both very busy inside the office managing the daily operations but they were able to break away last week to enjoy a three hour sail across the St. Johns River.

Make sure to visit the Jacksonville House Cleaning Website if you happen to live the local area. Congratulations Tim and Tammy on a great first year of business!!

MaidCon 2016

Two Maids & A Mop Home Office Staff Members

Two Maids & A Mop Home Office Staff Members Celebrate 2016 MaidCon

The 2016 Two Maids & A Mop Annual Conference just concluded this past weekend in Birmingham, AL and it was an overwhelming success. Franchisees from across the country attended the event and so many memories were made throughout the weekend. Our guest MC for the weekend was none other than Susan Bennett – also known as the real life Siri. She surprised the crowd during the opening ceremonies by announcing all of our accomplishments behind the curtain. For the final accomplishment, Siri appeared from behind the curtain to announce that she is the real life Siri. This proved to be a great fit because the Siri voice is responsible for more new customers than any other voice since we solely rely on digital marketing for all lead generation purposes.

Of course, the entire weekend was filled with other surprises and exciting moments, The speakers were tremendous and; for the first time ever, we allowed each franchisee a unique opportunity to deliver their vision statement for their own business’ success. What an amazing weekend!

Two Maids & A Mop Receives Full-Page Feature Article in Inc. Magazine

Ron Holt - Inc. Magazine

Two Maids & A Mop has come a long way since its humble origins on April Fool’s Day in 2003. The brand has transformed itself from a fledgling little business into a fast-growing national brand.

Recently, Inc. Magazine sat down the brand’s founder to discuss the company’s secrets to success. Here are a few nuggets from the full page June 2016 nationwide article.

Ron Holt got into residential cleaning in the early 2000’s, when he saw a surge in demand that the mom-and-pop shops dominating the industry couldn’t meet. The result was Two Maids & A Mop, his Birmingham, Alabama company. By making some decisions that were expensive at first–but which bore long-term fruit–this three-time Inc. 5000 honoree brought in system-wide sales of $9 million in revenue in 2015.

1. Doing the right thing is smart business.
When Holt created Two Maids & A Mop, he was inexperienced in business building. He visited several noncompeting cleaning businesses to learn their secrets. He discovered that the majority of home-cleaning companies employed independent contractors. It would have been cheaper for him to hire cleaners this way too. But since owners can’t require independent contractors to perform tasks in a specific manner, “I just couldn’t envision any scenario that would allow me to control an employee’s action by using that model,” Holt says. So, he decided to make all staffers W-2 employees. He also learned that cleaning companies often make their workers pay for damage they cause–and many of them hide it as a result. Holt chose instead to let customers and staff know that the company, not the cleaner, will pick up the tab for damage. “I never wanted my employees to break something and not tell me,” he says. He believes these policies have boosted his brand’s value and enabled the decisions he subsequently made that helped grow revenue.

2. It pays to give employees a reason to be great.
Holt started Two Maids & a Mop in April 2003. One year later, he had almost burned through his initial capital and was worried about making payroll. The morale of his cleaners was low and turnover was high. Holt had been paying them hourly rates, with most starting at minimum wage. His attempts to motivate his 12-person staff using a corporate style of management weren’t working. “I wanted a way to get our employees to care without being a police sergeant,” he says. In May 2004, he came up with a pay-for-performance plan–cleaners would be compensated on the basis of how customers rated them on a scale from one to 10. A 10 gets an employee a better wage–above the industry average, says Holt. “A one is pretty close to minimum wage.” He had to raise prices, but rewarding employees for doing the best job possible led to higher customer satisfaction and buoyed the business. “We were never really that much different from anyone else,” Holt says. “Now, when we talk about the pay-for-performance plan, we’re different. A lot of people hire us because of our plan.”

3. Keep it consistent to scale.
While customer satisfaction increased with the pay-for-performance plan, there were still discrepancies from one cleaning to the next. “There would be individuals who would go above and beyond with good intention, and someone else would come in and clean the normal way, and all of a sudden, the previous cleaning had become the standard,” Holt says. Cleaning quality also declined in the afternoon, likely because of tired staffers. In 2008, Two Maids & A Mop developed a 100-page, room-by-room guide on cleaning a home. Staffers are required to follow the formula (something that couldn’t be required if they were independent contractors), which has resulted in a more consistent quality of service. “We’re not perfect,” Holt says, “but now it doesn’t matter if you clean at 3 p.m. or 8 a.m., because the recipe tells you what to do.”

Two Maids & A Mop Featured in Entrepreneur Magazine

Entrepreneur Magazine Photo Shoot

                                               Entrepreneur Magazine Photo Shoot Featuring Our Founder; Ron Holt

Another nationwide article featuring the Two Maids & A Mop brand!!

“Take a cue from Two Maids & A Mop founder Ron Holt: Six months after starting that cleaning business, he introduced a pay-for-performance plan that determines compensation according to how customers rate employees’ service, on a 1-to-10 scale. Customers loved the idea, and employees were motivated to boost their rankings. Holt added 175 employees, and his sales skyrocketed.”

The Pay for Performance Plan indeed saved Two Maids & A Mop. It created an instant selling tool that was extremely unique in our industry. And even better, it created an ownership mentality that was in dire need during those early years. That was a long time ago but the truth is the plan still serves both purposes. The compensation plan continues to be a true purple cow in a very crowded marketplace. Two Maids & A Mop is just as different as a silly purple cow and the biggest difference maker continues to be our unique Pay for Performance compensation plan. Thanks to Entrepreneur Magazine for the plug!!