Ron Holt founded the original Two Maids & A Mop inside a 250 square foot office space on April Fools' Day way back in 2003. In our first year of operations, we cleaned less than one hundred homes and only staffed a few part-time employees. It took the business eighteen months to make its first dollar in profits and took our founder more than two years to earn his first paycheck. It was a humbling start packed full of desperate moments that nearly forced the business to close its doors on multiple occasions.
After surviving those early days, Ron decided to get more serious about the long-term success of the business and decided to research other businesses that had experienced extended success. He stumbled onto a great business book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. The book taught him that almost every successful company shares one common trait: they all have a vision for success that permeates throughout the company; from the CEO to the janitor. So, Ron created a bold vision to become the nation's largest, fastest growing, most innovative residential cleaning company in America.
That was a grand statement which probably made very little sense to our initial employees. But over time, the vision started making more sense and allowed the business to start measuring its growth in a more tangible manner. Ron’s vision for the business didn’t guarantee success but one thing is for sure....he finally knew where he was going.
The business stayed true to its long-term vision and experienced rapid growth beginning in 2005. Two additional stores were opened along the gulf coast of Florida and Ron started to dream pretty big about the business' potential. The vision was really starting to become a reality after opening two new stores in Florida!
"I can still remember sitting inside my car overlooking the Gulf of Mexico writing those now-famous words of becoming the nation’s largest, fastest growing, most innovative residential cleaning company on a piece of paper. I only employed a handful of people at that time and business stunk. But I believed and refused to accept any notion that we couldn’t grow into a national brand."-Ron Holt, Founder
Unfortunately, the bottom-line performance of the stores started to disappoint because each office was acting so differently than one another. Enter another great business book to the rescue. Ron picked up a copy of a book called The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. The book taught him that great businesses are able to scale by using systems. It was a groundbreaking book because it taught him the true value of a turnkey business with documented systems. The E-Myth taught Ron that great systems create great businesses. So, he started documenting every system that worked and eventually published the first-ever Two Maids & A Mop operations manual. Almost overnight, each of our corporate stores were able to produce extremely uniform results no matter of the geographical location. Ron started to think really big after the systems improved efficiency and quality. Between 2005 - 2013, Ron opened more than a dozen new stores across five southeastern US states. The business employed more than 200 employees and served nearly 500 customers on a daily basis. Times were good and Ron’s vision started to look a bit more realistic.
“My friends thought I was crazy. Even my parents thought I was crazy. It probably was a little crazy but my faith in the vision always allowed me to persevere through any rough patch. And believe me, there were plenty of rough patches. I worked 80-hour work weeks for the fist two years and lost money every single day. It was hard but I believed and that was always enough for me to resist logic and keep fighting.”-Ron Holt, Founder
Our story started picking up steam nationally and major publications started to profile our business' success. Two Maids & A Mop was recognized by Inc. Magazine as the fastest growing cleaning company in the entire country for three consecutive years and our story received national recognition from other nationally recognized publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, CNN Money, Yahoo News, Wall Street Journal & Success Magazine. In fact, Ron’s rags to riches story received so much national attention that CNBC decided to air a documentary on prime-time national television. Two Maids & A Mop was flying high and decided to leverage its success to create a franchise business model so that it could grow even faster.
Tampa, FL became the first Two Maids & A Mop franchised office in 2013, with several more franchised units opening in 2014. It soon became clear that franchising the business model was more effective than opening corporate stores, so Ron decided to pivot the business and focus entirely on franchise growth. Demand for our franchise opportunity exploded once the news broke that we were available for development across the country and the enthusiasm for our brand hasn’t slowed down since to be honest. Ron’s little 250 square foot office is now a national brand and his original vision of building the largest, fastest growing residential cleaning service in America is more alive today than ever before. Our story is certainly unique and proves the American dream is still very much alive and well.