News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 29, 2013

Home-based business expands

Office Pride Commercial Cleaning has grown from 2 employees to 25

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Scott and Carmen Ramsey have grown a commercial cleaning business with three words — honesty, integrity and hard work.

It’s the hard work that has made their franchise business — Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services — grow from a home-based office to its first public office at 1715 Wabash Avenue, which opened April 15.

The company started with two people and now has 25 employees — five full-time and 20 part-time.

“We have been pretty undercover the past eight years, growing by the word of mouth. This was an opportunity to be more visible in this building,” Scott Ramsey said.

“It is a new adventure for us. We see ourselves in growth mode, and this office will be a part of that happening,” he said.

“Before we had to find a place to do interviews and employee training. We also had to store all the supplies that came in and out at our house,” Scott Ramsey said.

The Ramseys have hired an office manager for the new office and plan to add an operations manager and sales representative before the end of the year.

Scott Ramsey and Harold Wortman started the cleaning business, known as Clean Sweep Plus LLC, eight years ago with one commercial contract — cleaning a bank branch office. The two soon hired Carmen Ramsey as their first full-time employee. A year later, the trio became franchise owners with Office Pride.

In 2008, the Ramseys bought out Wortman. At the time, the company had 15 business contracts.

Today, the company has more than 40 commercial cleaning contracts for companies such as Midtown Dentistry, Emmis Communications, Lin Communications, Burlington Coat Factory, Gartland Foundry, Garmong and Hannum, Wagle & Cline.

The company provides commercial office cleaning, sweeping, trash removal, window cleaning and carpet extraction. In addition, the company can strip and wax floors and scrub and clean cement/tile floors and shine marble floor surfaces.

For the last three years, the business has won a franchise customer retention award, which means the company has retained 90 plus percent of its customers. The industry average is 60 percent. The company three years ago won the franchise standards of excellence award, for business standards and practices.

Todd Hopkins, founder and CEO of Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services, which has corporate headquarters in Franklin, said “Scott and Carmen Ramsey are one of the best franchises in the Office Pride brand system. Their commitment to customer satisfaction along with professional follow through has made them very successful. Customers in the greater Terre Haute area are in good hands,” Hopkins said in an email.

The Ramseys continue to grow their cleaning business while they work full-time in other jobs.

Scott works full-time at Ivy Tech Community College, a position he took 10 years ago after previously working for 19 years in a ministry for Youth for Christ. Carmen works as a office manager at another business, Mondays through Thursdays, and runs a small photography business.

“We all have to pay our dues. I was raised that you earn your keep and anything worth having is worth working for and if it is worth doing, you need to do it well,” Carmen Ramsey said. “We apply that now and are trying to lead by example for our kids.”

The couple has four children, from age 14 to 23.

“You learn to work smarter,” Scott added, describing himself as a “visionary,” seeing the potential for growth.

“We are an awesome team. [Carmen] runs the business and could be a CEO for pretty much any company out there. She has a great relationship with our customers and our employees, but on the other hand, she won’t blink an eye if she needs to fire someone. She will keep her focus on the business, and I believe that is what has gotten us to this point,” Scott said.

The business will stage an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 17 and 18. During the open house, Office Pride will provide to any visiting business representative a free quote for that business and offer half price on the first two months of a one-year contract.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.