Tom Carlstead is no stranger to business ownership, and he is now adding to his entrepreneurial repertoire by becoming a franchisee with The Cleaning Authority.
Growing up in Flossmoor, Ill., Tom obtained his Bachelor’s degree in business with an accounting focus from the University of Denver. Following graduation, Tom went on to work for an accounting firm as a junior auditor, specializing in hospital and hotel accounting.
Despite enjoying the corporate grind, Tom was itching for a change and decided to take a job with his family’s business, Inn Development and Management. The hotel management company oversaw multiple hotels around the United States and built Chicago’s first Holiday Inn. After 25 years with the family business, Tom was well versed in company management so he chose to step away to embark on yet another professional adventure.
Shortly after, Tom and his wife began looking into franchising concepts. After paying their due diligence, they established exemplary careers over the next eight years with another residential cleaning franchise. Tom briefly left the franchising world to pursue a career in the property business. While searching online, Tom’s wife saw an advertisement for The Cleaning Authority and was immediately intrigued by the brand.
"I was working in property management and my wife saw an advertisement for The Cleaning Authority. Since I had eight years of experience owning and operating a cleaning franchise, she proposed the idea of joining The Cleaning Authority as our next venture," said Carlstead.
Drawing from his past experiences in residential cleaning franchising, Tom appreciated The Cleaning Authority’s business model as well as their progress reporting system. He knew that he had come across an ideal concept.
"We really liked the approach the company takes and the software system that they have built," said Carlstead. "The software gives a lot of information to the franchisee and we liked that we were going to contribute to the growth of a brand. Not to mention, the location we took ownership over was an existing business, which was ideal because we didn’t want to start from scratch."
In 2015, Tom became the owner of The Cleaning Authority location that services a region spanning from Evanston to Lake Bluff.