“We’re not job creators, we’re life changers.” This May, Michael Seiler expanded the coverage of his New Orleans master franchise territory to extend to Baton Rouge. He is now the owner of the brand-new Stratus Building Solutions of Southeast Louisiana. Seiler is an entrepreneurship veteran. He has been creating new economic pathways not only for himself, but the hundreds of people under his employment for more than 25 years. That includes several hard-working unit franchisees in New Orleans, and now, Baton Rouge.
“My team is changing people’s lives by helping unit franchise owners build their own business,” says Seiler. “We’re helping them build their dreams, we’re helping new business owners provide for their families, and it doesn’t get more rewarding than that. They create jobs. We’re simply creating lives for the unit franchise owners.”
Seiler was born and raised in southeastern Louisiana. He spent the first 12 years of his professional career rising up the ranks in television advertising sales. “I worked up from an account executive, to local sales manager, general sales manager and even interim general manager,” Seiler says.
In 1993, Seiler made the bold decision to become an entrepreneur. “I was 33 and had successfully worked my way up the corporate ladder,” he recalls. “A lightbulb went off. I determined the only way to overachieve and control my schedule is if I own it. No one can tell me I don’t deserve the raise. I don’t want to make a living, I want to make a life.”
His first business venture involved an unaffiliated cleaning unit franchise. Seiler, who once made a career in office suites, now made a living cleaning those suites. “I was a few million dollars short of starting my own TV station,” Seiler says. Like everything else he takes on, he put together a strategic plan that put him in position for success.
“For 12 years I was in an industry where you started at zero every month,” Seiler says. “If you had a bad month or if you had a great month — the next month, you started with a blank slate. In this industry, you’re trying to grow every month. It’s a recurring revenue and growth model. You build upon your previous successes. It made for an easy transition.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Seiler. In the cleaning services industry, there are times when some of your work time will be overnight. As a single father of one daughter, Seiler leaned on his mother for assistance in that department. “I named my business Three Generations Enterprises,” he says. “I was building a future for my daughter, I’m the generation in the middle building the company, and I couldn’t do it without Grandma babysitting my daughter overnight.”
In a few short years, working with trash had built Seiler a nice little treasure. He built his franchise into one of the top 5 percent in the country in volume. Seiler eventually sold that franchise and was ready to ride off into the sunset. “I own a horse farm, and fishing and hunting occupy any discretionary time I may have,” he says. However, the lure of being an entrepreneur, and changing lives, drew him back in. That, along with Stratus Building Solutions’ game-changing concept. In 2016, it was game on!
“I never thought I would be back in the business. I thought it was behind me. I gave it careful consideration and deliberation and determined I could draw on my previous experiences and take this better concept to the next level.”
Seiler launched the master franchise in New Orleans in September 2016, and one year later, his team was awarded with the Master Franchise Region of the Year after only one year in business.
Seiler gives all the credit to the team under his watch. “Every department head I have is the perfect person for their department. All have been with me since 2016, and there isn’t one who hasn’t learned about this business from the bottom up.”
The team is also teaching Seiler a thing or two — like the importance of social media. “I’m 58 years old. Twitter is a sound I thought a bird made. Back in my day, we did telegrams. Now there’s Instagram. I knew I needed help with social media, and our fantastic Social Media Director is the main reason why we’re able to recruit fantastic leads.”
Those leads became hard-working unit franchise owners in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. If things go according to Seiler’s plans — and more often than not they do, he anticipates adding 36 new unit owners between the two cities in the next 12 months.
“This is Louisiana, we televise the swamp people, this isn’t exactly a green area,” says Seiler. “Yet, you have a lot of transient, younger people who understand the how important it is to be environmentally conscious. That’s exactly what Stratus Building Solutions is. People in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge are embracing our industry-changing service model.”
Stratus Building Solutions is changing the mindset of clients throughout the state of Louisiana. It’s also changing the lives of the owners who made the bold step to become unit owners. “Our team’s makeup runs the gamut; from blue-collar with just a high school diploma to owners with master’s degrees. I have a retired schoolteacher who tells me she’s making more with Stratus Building Solutions than she ever did in her 23 years as an educator.”
The cleaning industry in the U.S. is an extremely lucrative business. It may not come with the appeal that other industries possess, but Seiler says he’s okay with that. “Some people will talk to you as if you’re just a janitor. Some will try to talk down to you. What they don’t know is that I have a degree with three minors. I’m of the mindset, ‘do you want to compare GPA’s or W2s?’”
The process has been worth it for Seiler. Especially as he reflects on the tough times working overnights while his mom watched his daughter.
“It’s got me where I am today. Without any struggle or challenges, you’re not going to have any progress. Anything in life worth having, you have to work for.”
What about those considering joining on? What is his advice to those who may be a little apprehensive? “Don’t let fear stop you,” Seiler says. “The Stratus Building Solutions system works. It’s a proven system. It’s been tested across the country. You simply have to follow the model. We will support you and be with you every step of the way. If you’re willing to put in your work, we will help you have it. The world is full of people that talk about it. Challenge yourself to do something about it. Take that step. Give me a call for your informational session.”
Are you in search of a similar business ownership experience as Michael Seiler? Does the Stratus Building Solutions franchise opportunity sound like it could be for you? If so, call (504) 434-5410 or learn more at https://www.stratusclean.com/.