Meet Former Tech and Chem-Dry Franchise Owner Daniel Ashland
Working for Chem-Dry gave this entrepreneur the insight he needed when it was time to pursue his own dreams of small business ownership
Daniel Ashland wasn’t the first 19-year-old to find himself in a dead-end job at a pizza joint. He had his eyes open for opportunity, however, so when he met a Chem-Dry cleaning franchise owner, he decided to jump into a totally new line of work.
“When I got married we moved to Riverside [California], and a friend worked for Chem-Dry and mentioned they were hiring,” Daniel recalls. “I met the owner at a business function and he said to come by, so I went in one day wearing my pizza uniform because I’d just gotten off work. They hired me, and that’s how it all began.”
From employee to owner
After a few years, the opportunity to buy the franchise came up and Daniel jumped at it. He’d been interested in operating his own business, he says, but didn’t want to go into an entirely new line of work when he already knew the value of a Chem-Dry cleaning franchise.
“I knew I wanted a Chem-Dry operation of my own, but I didn’t want to start in a new territory from the ground up,” he says. “I wanted a small one, though, so I could grow the business. Eventually the owners for the two franchises I was working for decided to sell, and so it worked out perfectly.”
That was October 2015, and now Ashland owns and operates ACE Chem-Dry and Chem-Dry of Huntington Beach. He has taken each franchise from two or three jobs a day and expanded both in terms of daily work and overall offerings, and couldn’t be more pleased with how his business has developed.
No two days alike = challenges & opportunities
“We’ve been growing ever since, and doing so in a way that’s manageable,” he says. “I’m pretty good at sales, and so when I was working as a tech I could add to my hourly rate by earning a commission. Now I do all of that, plus get the experience of all the other aspects of running a business.”
He also has grown the franchise’s equipment base in order to add services. When he took over the business there was a single van with one portable cleaning unit, which he was able to rapidly expand within a year to also include a CTS 330 and a 400 Flex. He now operates two vans with three different pieces of cleaning equipment that allow him and his team to tackle jobs of varying size and scope.
“You can upgrade your equipment very quickly with Chem-Dry, and that makes a big difference in terms of getting even more business,” Daniel says. “It’s worked out really well for me,” Daniel says. “There are many other franchises in the area and it can be competitive, but we’re getting into new places every day. I like the fact that I’m not stuck behind a desk somewhere and get to create my own paycheck. However hard I work is reflected in that.”
Chem-Dry is the world’s largest carpet and upholstery cleaning franchise with nearly 3,500 franchises in 51 countries, serving 10,000 homes and businesses a day. Chem-Dry has been Entrepreneur magazine’s top-rated carpet cleaning franchise for 28 straight years. The Chem-Dry Hot Carbonating Extraction process delivers a faster-drying, deeper and more environmentally friendly clean that appeals to both home and business owners. In addition to carpet and area rugs, Chem-Dry provides tile and stone, granite countertop, leather and upholstery cleaning.