Stratus Building Solutions thrived as an innovative franchise company in the Commercial Cleaning Services industry, gaining top recognition from Entrepreneur Magazine in 2010 & 2011 for #1 Fastest Growing Franchise, three Top Ten Spots in the Franchise 500, and ranking in the Franchise Times Fast 55 amongst others. The original founders had brought their experience and expertise from companies within the industry, where they provided their own franchises’ a superior, successful business model. With exponential growth and a proven plan, Stratus Building Solutions was bound for the top, only to be cut short in 2012 by a lawsuit which slowed down their efforts.
The acquisition of Stratus Building Solutions was completed the beginning of February 2015. Three business partners who connected through ownership of their own Stratus Master Franchises, Afshin Cangarlu, CEO, Foad Rekabi, CTO and Channen Smith, COO purchased the company. All believed in the success that can be gained from the Stratus business model, and have profited greatly from it. Cangarlu and Rekabi together own numerous regions in the Los Angeles area, while Smith began in Denver and has grown to own six Masters across the nation.
“Our goal is to reintroduce Stratus and put it back on the map and restart growing the company,” Cangarlu said. “We want to give it a fresh start with new management and commitment for growth.”
That commitment was demonstrated to the existing Master Franchises at the National Conference held in February 2015. With introduction of a new Enterprise Resource System (ERP) to help the franchises manage their entire businesses from sales to operations, new plans for marketing and re-branding the company, and demonstrated dedication to provide the best support possible to its master offices, Stratus Building Solutions has reestablished its forward charge for growth.
The Stratus Model
Stratus’ business model is what makes it truly stand out as a franchise, Cangarlu states. There are two levels of franchise opportunities, the regional Master and the Unit Franchisee. The company’s Master Franchises control their own exclusive, licensed territories. The Masters operate as Franchisors and are responsible for providing sales, marketing, training and managing the individual Unit Franchisees who, rather than having territories, work on an accounts provided to them.
Another unique trait of Stratus is the multiple recurring revenue streams model. On the Master level, the structure of acquiring customer accounts that are assigned to their Unit Franchisees to provide cleaning services creates a supportive cycle of income for the Master office and their Unit Franchisees. The scalability of the model has also been touted by existing Masters as an economically efficient benefit.
“As you doubled your business, you did not need to double your expenses. Your marginal costs and fixed costs didn’t really increase at all as your grew.” --- Greg Fishman, Austin, TX Master
The Commercial Cleaning Industry is also distinctive in providing a continuous income even during an economic downturn, states Cangarlu. Labeled by many economists as a recession proof industry, in recent years this statement became tried and true for Stratus business owners:
“Businesses will always have to be cleaned. During the recent recession, we only saw a slight downturn in customer sales but only in our special services, not in the general janitorial service sales. During this time, franchisee ownership actually increased – people had lost their jobs and were looking for an affordable way to get into business for themselves.” --- John Coleman, Philadelphia Master
The commercial cleaning franchise industry will always have customers. Buildings, offices, clinics, schools and many more businesses need to continuously be cleaned and maintained. Building managers and owners must conform to new cleaning standards and regulations and an ever increasing number of these businesses outsource their commercial cleaning for a cost-effective way to assure their business stays clean and healthy. The commercial cleaning industry will continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of the economy for the next several years, reaching well over $150 billion in revenue.
Currently, Stratus has over 2,500 Unit Franchisees spread throughout the United States in over 25 major cities. The company is looking both for Master Franchises to cover specific available territories, such as in Atlanta, Miami and Seattle, as well as Unit Franchisees in all active territories.
Stratus Building Solutions offers a unique, low risk opportunity for individuals looking to go into business for themselves. Providing the most affordable franchise investment options in the industry, owner operated franchisees have the opportunity to begin their business with an initial investment as low as $2,000, with a customer account base included. Stratus has eliminated most of the typical risks faced in owning your own business.
Upon becoming a Unit Franchisee, the regional office will set up training, which consists of various different sessions, both classroom based and on-the-job. “At the end of the training, our franchisees become certified and that’s when we begin assigning them their own customer accounts to service,” Cangarlu explained.
“I recommended a unit franchise to my own parents. They purchased one which allowed them to retire very comfortably as they have employees doing the work for them.” --- Jared Thomas, Utah Master
What separates Stratus from its competitors, the CEO said, is the company’s focus on not only quality of service to its customers but on being environmentally friendly, too. With the industry’s only Green Seal Certified, non-toxic, biodegradable branded line of cleaning chemicals, Stratus Green Clean, not only is more attractive to a growing customer base, but also assure a safe work environment for Stratus Franchisees.
With a new ownership focused on the future comes a new beginning for Stratus Building Solutions, one concentrated on growth and opportunity without restraints.