How I Got Started: Monique Scott-Spaulding of Jani-King

Monique Scott-Spaulding
(Photography by Marie Constantin) Monique Scott-Spaulding

Monique Scott-Spaulding spent two full years researching before she decided what kind of business she wanted to run. Her venture, which she launched in 1998 while still in her 20s, needed to check all of the boxes. Could she scale it up quickly? How long would it be before she saw returns?

Spaulding, who was named one of Business Report’s 2017 Influential Women in Business, had previously worked to start a staffing company for her former employer, but this was new. The benefit of owning a franchise is the support a new business owner gets from the corporation, she says, but it is still scary.

“It was literally not an option to fail,” Spaulding says, because at the time, she was the guardian of her younger sister. “When you’re making that leap and changing that paradigm in your mind, the mindset is to every single day work to achieve a goal, to create success.”

Spaulding landed on Texas-based commercial cleaning company Jani-King, and reached out to the corporation about opening a franchise. After that, she says, things started to happen fast.

“The first contract was actually awarded by Jani-King and it was awarded while I was in training,” Spaulding says, adding that they saw her potential. “It was exhilarating because the timeline was less than a week after I started the franchise.”

The second contract came one month later. Spaulding’s franchise now specializes in educational, health care and industrial facilities. She manages administrative tasks, sales and training for more than 85 current employees.

Although her original plan was to sell the franchise eventually, Spaulding has yet to do so. She enjoys the relationships she created with clients, employees and the community.

Her biggest advice for anyone starting their own business is to do as much research as they can and to invest in their employees by giving them the tools they need to accomplish their jobs. Even if it costs more at first, she notes, the returns will be higher.

Says Scott-Spaulding: “Your staff represents you, so you want to cultivate a culture of people that know their value and understand the value of your customer and the value of delivering consistent valuable service.”

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