North Carolina Chem-Dry Franchise Owner Creates Family Business
The Chem-Dry franchise model has become multi-generational as owners bring their children on board to help operate, and eventually run, the business
When Rick Solan purchased a Chem-Dry cleaning franchise license in 1998, he was looking for a solid business that he could run and grow on his own terms. Now, almost 20 years later, he’s achieved that — and built a family enterprise besides.
Rick, who worked in casinos before launching his career as a Chem-Dry franchise owner, has continued to expand out from his Charlotte, North Carolina, base. He now operates a rug-cleaning facility in nearby Concord, and he provides Chem-Dry cleaning franchise services in several counties in the rapidly growing Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. (Like many other Chem-Dry cleaning franchise owners, he has capitalized on the available territories in the growing Chem-Dry network.)
Creating a Chem-Dry succession plan
The growing Prestige Chem-Dry quickly became a family affair, with his wife, Carolyn, and sons coming on board. That was a goal Rick had all along — he wanted to create a business that would provide for his family going forward, long after he’d stepped away to pursue other interests.
“I am on the board of directors for an animal sanctuary in Georgia, and eventually we are hoping to move down there,” he says. “But for now, we’re running the business together, and that’s going really well.”
He notes that because a Chem-Dry cleaning franchise owner and his team can take advantage of new products and services, such as granite renewal and leather cleaning, it’s a business that can continue to expand and evolve as his sons take over the operation.
Paying a business education forward
Having his children on board also gives Rick a chance to help build the next generation of Chem-Dry cleaning franchise owners, and that’s important to him because of all the help he received early on.
“We talked to a lot of people, and many of them let us ride around in their vans as long as we wanted,” Rick recalls. “That let us get really comfortable with how everything worked and helped us get started right. I’ve done that with a few new franchise owners over the years, because I really do want to pay it forward. It’s nice that with Chem-Dry, owners can get along with and help each other. A lot of people really helped us, and so I want to make sure that our business continues to be one that does the same for new owners.”
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 Carbonated 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 countertops, leather and upholstery cleaning.
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