Anita Thorne, Legal Assistant by Day, JAN-PRO Franchise Owner by Night
Although Anita Thorne loved her full-time job as legal assistant at the Washington Law Firm in Charleston, S.C., she had always yearned to be a Business Owner. She wanted to be able to build a nest egg for travel that raising three children had not yet permitted her to do.
Her parents encouraged her to consider commercial cleaning which seemed like a low risk way to get started. Encouraged by another franchise owner, she made an appointment at the Mt Pleasant, S.C. JAN-PRO office with Mark Henderson, JAN-PRORegional Director. She learned with JAN-PRO, she could continue in her day time job while working in the evening to build up her business.
So, eight years ago Anita bought a JAN-PRO Franchise for $950. Since then she has built up the business to $11,000 per month with 15 employees. She feels JAN-PRO will be a great legacy for her three grown children and one grandchild as well.
One of the things she loves about JAN-PRO is being able to call other franchise owners for advice. It’s a personal network she has found helps her solve day-to-day management issues at times. One of those has been a challenge with turnover. Rodney Collins, her mentor, has helped her to work through challenges with the employees that are part of her teams. Anita credits her success to her “state of mind, the communications with her team and the support from JAN-PRO’s Charleston Owners and Rodney Collins.”
On a typical day, Anita Thorne leaves her law firm at 5:30 and dawns her khakis, blue polo shirt and name badge to begin working for her JAN-PRO customer accounts. She uses a checklist to ensure that all the job tasks are completed. She believes it is very important to establish and maintain trust with each team member. She manages 8 of her 18 accounts which range from doctor and lawyer’s offices to property management customers and a restaurant.
Anita explains, “You have to make up your mind that you can run your own business. It’s hard work, especially in the beginning. It’s important to set a goal for yourself and work hard to achieve it. Having a personal relationship with each client is very important to success. The better relationships help you to keep them happy. “
As an example, she continues, “I just called another law firm that I’ve had for the past three years. I check in every other week to ensure that everything has been cleaned up properly. We build long term relationships with each client and we get to know them and their families.” This client recently sent her a Facebook request. “ I’m a people person and that makes the difference with my clients,” she adds.
Anita mentors two other new Owners who recently started out. A lot of new Owners don’t realize the amount of time and energy required to succeed. She stresses how important it is to understand the time commitments and to be dedicated to customer satisfaction.
Over the past couple of months Anita started having a dinner together with her team on her dime as a way to thank them for their service to their customers. It’s her way of keeping them motivated and to share in the work that they have each month.
Anita says, “I’m 47 now, but I want to be able to travel by age 60. Since I started my part-time business, I am building up to my long term goal of a business that will continue to pay dividends to me and my family. Family is my top priority. JAN-PRO helps me to reach my goals and keep my priorities in order.”