Leevon and Kristy Mahoney own Modern PURAIR® Grey-Bruce, ON. Modern PURAIR Grey-Bruce was the first of many Modern PURAIR franchises to open in Ontario. Their team has been producing exceptional customer service and remarkable year-over-year revenue growth. This year, they added another PURAIR Sprinter to their fleet and were awarded a second franchise territory. We connected with Leevon and Kristy to ask some questions about their business, what they’ve learned along the way, and what their goals are for the future.
What has been the biggest “aha moment” that you’ve had in your first two years as business owners?
Over the first two years, we have a had a few ‘aha moments’, but the most powerful one was when we realized that we can’t control everything – but we can control ourselves. So making sure we focus on only what is within our control was critical to growing our business. You will stay stuck where you are if you focus your efforts on trying to change the things that aren’t in your control, but if you release those desires for change to the universe, you will get back what you want and more!
What makes your territory unique?
There are a couple of things that make our territory unique. The first is probably the sheer land space! It is massive, which can present some challenges, but with challenges come opportunities, so we embrace it and are working towards making sure our routes are efficient as possible! Because of the geographic size of the territory, we have so many opportunities for large scale commercial projects. In our territory, we have over 100 public schools, 100’s of municipal buildings, large & small businesses with the added bonus of still having the small town feel and the power of word of mouth!
How have you worked with the other Modern PURAIR franchise owners over the years?
Over the past couple of years, we have communicated with many franchise partner peers. We have built great working relationships with many of them and some have even developed into lasting friendships! We have been able to bounce ideas off each other, troubleshoot equipment/cleaning issues together (because two heads are better than one!) and best of all celebrate our wins!
If you could start over again, what would you do differently next time?
If we were to start all over again, we would have started the process of hiring our first indoor air quality technician sooner than we did.
What have you found to be the most difficult part of business ownership? How have you overcome that?
Balance. We are still currently under construction on this one!
What awards has your business won so far?
In our first year of business, we won the 5-Star Customer Service Award. This award is given to the franchise with the highest Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is a customer satisfaction survey. We then followed that up with the Donald R. Martin Growth Award for Franchises under $500,000 in revenue in our second year. This is awarded to the franchise with the highest year-over-year revenue growth in this revenue category. This year we were also awarded the Focus Award by our business coach. The Focus Award is awarded to a franchise for showing measurable results and significant change in the way they do business with a sustained, consistent effort.
Which award are you working to achieve next?
We are now gunning for the Donald R. Martin Growth Award for Franchises over $500,000 in revenue.
What are you most excited about in your business looking forward?
The ability to continue to grow and provide for not only our family, but the families of our employees. Being able to provide opportunities for growth for our employees and provide support to others in our communities!
What skills do you think are most important for success as a franchise owner?
Focus, determination, organized, sales driven and a drive to provide an exceptional customer service experience for every customer.
What is your favourite part of owning your own business?
Being able to see the benefits of our hard work!
What has been your most memorable project so far? Tell us about it.
Our most memorable project to date is the North Grey Owen Sound Public Library. At the time, it was our largest project and due to the set up and the age of the building, it was a challenge! There were multiple systems throughout the building, one of which was challenging not just physically, but mentally as well! We went in with a plan, but we quickly discovered that our plan would need to be changed, and then changed again and then changed once more before we found a solution that would work! The oldest part of the building – Carnegie Hall – is almost 100 years old and had easily 50 ft ceilings, where all of the vents were located. The only way to access the section of the building was via elevator and as you can imagine, most lifts don’t fit into a passenger elevator! Challenge #1 – find a solution to actually get us up to the vents! After plan A, B and C didn’t work, we ended up with a lift that could be disassembled into individual pieces and carried into the elevator one by one. Challenge #2 – Carnegie Hall is filled with stacks of books (it’s a library, duh!) that can’t be moved and guess what, they were located right underneath the vents! Solution – we bought scaffolding that would fit tight up against the stacks on the problematic side and used that the access the vents. Challenge #3 – the ceiling of Carnegie Hall is just as old as the building and the painted mouldings around the vents didn’t allow them to be removed! Thankfully, the spaces were large enough that we could fit the rods in between and clean without removing! Challenge #4 – we had the HVAC drawings, but the HVAC company that installed the duct work went rogue and we quickly discovered that the path on the drawing did not match the path in the 100 year old decorative ceiling! After taking a step back, we figured out what they had done and were able to clean the system out effectively! At the end of this job, while it presented us with so many challenges, we learned so much from it and as a result of how persistent we were with finding a solution, we have a customer for life! Since completion of that job in July 2020, we were able to provide them with a complete, electronic air filtration and germicidal air cleaning system and and have a very strong ally in our work to build a relationship with the City of Owen Sound to clean more of their buildings!