He’s been loyal to CrestClean for two decades with his sterling service creating a new chapter in the company’s success story.
Grant Holland is the first business owner to reach the 20-year milestone, an achievement he celebrated with his Christchurch colleagues at a recent team meeting of CrestClean personnel.
It was back in 2000 when Grant was working in retail as a salesperson at Hallensteins that he began looking for something with more flexible hours.
He and his wife checked out various opportunities, including a mini golf business and a fish and chip shop. But it was the low start-up costs and the scope to grow the business that was a major drawcard to join CrestClean, recalls the father of four.
“CrestClean appealed to me because it’s reasonably affordable to get into and there’s no overheads, like having a retail place where you might have rent,” he says.
When he bought his cleaning business there were only four other CrestClean franchisees in Christchurch. Unlike today, where franchisees are required to attend an extensive induction and undertake ongoing training and upskilling, it was very much learning on the job.
‘CrestClean appealed to me because it’s reasonably affordable to get into and there’s no overheads, like having a retail place where you might have rent’
“We spent a couple of evenings with another franchisee and after that we were pretty much on our own,” Grant recalls.
Looking back over the past two decades, he remembers how he initially started out in business with just a single cleaning contract. But it wasn’t long before things took off as his reputation for doing a great job generated new work.
“We started cleaning Riccarton School and we established a good name for the quality of our work. We picked up two other schools by word of mouth and so it soon began to get a lot busier,” Grant says.
The flexibility and income from owning a CrestClean franchise are what keeps him happy with the decision he made so many years ago.
Over the years Grant grew his business significantly and at one time had up to seven staff assisting him. However, more recently he’s scaled things back and enjoys more free time.
Asked about any memorable moments, and a particular night at Mt Pleasant School immediately springs to mind.
“When I arrived the alarms were all going so I immediately had a look around and I found a fish on the floor and it was still alive,” he says. “It was just so weird to see it flapping around.
Somehow it had come out of the fish tank in one of the classrooms.
“I found a net and returned it to the fish tank. It was quite bizarre. We couldn’t figure out what had happened but it turned out the culprit was a cat that was locked inside the school.
“The caretaker found it the next day, which explained why the alarms had been going off all the time!”
As for the future, Grant won’t entertain any talk of retirement just yet and says he’ll reassess things in five years when he turns 65.
“I’m really proud to be the first person to reach 20 years with CrestClean. Cleaning is a job that keeps you active and it’s not hard physical work. I just can’t believe how the time has gone by so fast!”
CrestClean’s Managing Director Grant McLauchlan remembers 2000, the year Grant Holland became a franchisee, as the time the company began to expand its operations.
“That was the year we realised that after four years of pilot operations we had defined the successful business model that we could scale into the business we are today.
“The systems and training initiatives we had at the time, while in their infancy, were the foundation of the industry-leading programmes we have in place today that underpins our success.
“Grant has been a popular franchisee within the CrestClean team and with his happy customers.
“It’s great to hear that having the flexibility of owning his own business has enabled him to scale his business to work within his lifestyle. It’s a delight to celebrate and acknowledge Grant’s 20 years of successful business.”
Reaching the 20-year mark as a franchisee is commendable, says Simon Lord,
publisher of the popular magazine Franchise New Zealand.
“Congratulations to Grant on reaching such a milestone. Twenty years is a long time and it’s testament to his drive and commitment that he has seen his business thrive throughout all the ups and downs that New Zealand has faced over the past two decades.
‘Congratulations to Grant on reaching such a milestone. Twenty years is a long time and it’s testament to his drive and commitment that he has seen his business thrive throughout all the ups and downs that New Zealand has faced over the past two decades’
“It’s also testament to the good decision he made all those years ago when he chose to go with CrestClean – a locally-developed brand that has turned out to be one of the country’s star franchises.”
Simon says the company has proved it’s a force to be reckoned with. “Commercial cleaning is a competitive industry and there are some major international names in it but CrestClean has proved that a firm from Dunedin can take on and beat the world’s biggest.
“It’s people like Grant Holland to have made that possible by taking the opportunity and running with it – for 20 years!”