From Start-Up Franchise to Franchise of the Year

When Merlyn and Roger Sison purchased their Vanguard Cleaning Systems® franchise in 2007, they were working full-time and bought the Vanguard® business as a smaller venture with the intent to grow it over time. In the beginning they focused on developing their own commercial cleaning skills, business processes, and on providing excellent customer service to their clients.

“Owning your own business involves commitment and pride,” says Merlyn. In 2010 they decided they were ready to grow the business and contacted John Seliga, the Vanguard Master Franchisee in Calgary, to talk about how best to expand their operation.

“Our goal is to support the individual franchise owners across Alberta and British Columbia,” says John Seliga. “It was clear that Merlyn and Roger were committed to a durable, long-term approach in building their business.”

A short time after meeting with John, the Sisons were offered a unique opportunity: cleaning a long-vacant high school building and preparing it to re-open to students who would be returning in less than two weeks. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Merlyn and Roger immediately developed a project plan, pulled together a team of more than 10 people working two shifts, and completed the clean-up in time for the scheduled opening of the school. Everything looked so great that the client decided to award the contract for the regular cleaning service to Vanguard franchisees Merlyn and Roger Sison.

Joe Frank, superintendent at the schools, had this to say about Merlyn and Roger: “I’ve been involved with schools for 43 years, and the experience now is totally different from any of my past experiences. Roger, Merlyn and their team show a lot of pride and care in what they do.  They are always very courteous, prompt and responsive to any concerns. I couldn’t get more personalized attention.”

The Sisons, along with their team, provided such outstanding service at the school that five months later, the client offered an opportunity at a second school building a short distance away. Once again they pulled together their team  and successfully got the account up and running quickly, efficiently and smoothly.

As the size of their Vanguard cleaning franchise business has grown, Merlyn and Roger have shifted their own emphasis, and now they spend most of their efforts supervising their team members rather than doing so much of the cleaning themselves. They each stop by the schools twice per day to check in with their team members.

“We’ve worked hard to build a staff of happy, loyal employees who are very dedicated to the work and customers.”

Because of how pleased they have been with their Vanguard Cleaning Systems franchise, the Sisons have referred many people they know, and they estimate that perhaps ten of their referrals have ended up purchasing a Vanguard Cleaning Systems franchise. These business owners are doing well and are happy with their decision to buy. With all these accomplishments, it’s no surprise that Vanguard Cleaning Systems recognized both the ongoing commitment to providing excellent service and the business successes of the Sisons by awarding them its Franchise of the Year Award in January 2013.

Asked what the key to their success is, Roger offered this: “It’s not necessarily easy – you should have the commitment to invest the needed time, and you should take pride in your business and the quality of the services you provide.” Merlyn adds: “If you do it, do it well. Strive to meet all the client’s standards, and then go beyond those standards.”