Former Naval Aviator Rick Barton encountered health issues that prevented him from continuing his career as a pilot, so he is trading in his wings for cleaning supplies, opening The Cleaning Authority franchise in Ridgeland, South Carolina. After seven years of active duty and five in the reserves, he is taking the meticulous and orderly military lifestyle he was once accustomed to and applying it to his new venture, spearheading growth of the cleaning franchise in South Carolina.
Barton was an active duty naval aviator for seven years before spending five years in the reserves. After completing his duty, he was a pilot with Delta for 18 years until 2005 when he decided to take a medical retirement. The unexpected halt in his career came from a series of ocular migraines, and an MRI showed a tiny pea-sized growth on his brain stem. Luckily, he was living in Boston at that time and began seeing the best doctor in the city, who helped get him a clean bill of health. Although he is now recovered, the injury prevents Barton from working in aviation anymore.
While evaluating different career paths to pursue, Barton chose The Cleaning Authority because of its standardized processes, corporate support and established best practices, which reflected what he was looking for in a business to operate..
Because of his military and flying background, he liked that everything is standardized with a franchise system. Barton had looked at other franchise opportunities and thought that he was going to go into home healthcare, but he eventually found The Cleaning Authority online, and discovered an existing franchise location that was up for sale.
The Cleaning Authority’s corporate team and the other franchisees gave him a lot of advice and helped give him background information and insight regarding the ins and outs of running a The Cleaning Authority location. All the franchisees had 100% positive feedback about the corporate support, which was also reassuring.
He was looking for an “open the box and follow the directions” kind of company, which he really felt The Cleaning Authority’s corporate team offered. It seemed like a good opportunity for him to use his military experience and he also took into consideration that his wife, Johanna, is a people person, and she has worked in sales and retail, which is helpful for growing the business.
Finding the right location was Barton's biggest issue. It took longer than expected, but he also felt like it was an important piece of the puzzle to make sure they had the right space.