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A Franchisee’s Journey: Getting to Know Aaron Grohs

Anago Commercial Cleaning Services Master Franchisee Aaron Grohs has a plan to grow his brand in one of the most business-friendly states in the U.S.

They say there’s no substitute for experience and Aaron Grohs of Anago of Austin is a prime example. Having led one of the most recognizable franchise brand names in the country, Grohs was the perfect candidate to take over the helm as the Master Franchise Owner of Anago of Austin. Entrepreneurship has its own gravitational pull and, as you hear Aaron’s story, you’ll understand why there’s no better feeling than becoming your own boss.

Grohs is a graduate of Marquette University in Wisconsin. Immediately upon finishing his degree, he set out to conquer the commercial printing industry. Beginning in sales, his journey led him right up the corporate ladder to an executive leadership position where he oversaw Sales and Marketing for Consolidated Graphics. From there, he received an offer to move to Salt Lake City as the president of AlphaGraphics—a major player in the franchise industry.

two people cleaning“Working at AlphaGraphics was an inside look at all of the ways franchising benefits owners,” says Aaron. “I came to understand all of the value propositions of the business model. First—you’re not out there on your own. You’ve got this network of other franchisees where you can all draw upon each other’s strengths and best practices. The validation that’s available to rely upon is an incredible resource and asset for succeeding as a franchisee.”

Eventually, it was time for Grohs to grab for the brass ring and put his own name over the proverbial front door. Fortunately, he linked up with Merri Cronk, FranNet’s representative for central Texas. Because of his previous experience running a popular franchise brand, he had more than a passing familiarity with brokers, but his experience with Merri still left him impressed. “She’s one of the best in the business,” says Grohs. “First and foremost, she is a great listener. After taking my assessment test to determine my best fit, Merri presented seven or eight concepts for me to consider. They were all great matches and she never came off as trying to sell me on one concept over another. She simply presented the facts and helped me navigate to a decision of my own.”

That decision ended up creating an opportunity for Grohs and his family. In February of 2019, he became the Master Franchise Owner of Anago of Austin. Anago Cleaning Systems is a leading commercial franchise cleaning business with locations across the U.S. and Canada. In this role, Grohs not only looks to build his own business but also that of recruiting additional Franchise Owners in the Austin metropolitan area. “I get to sell, but I also get to help my franchises build out their own businesses as well,” says Grohs. “Anago is a perfect example of why franchising is an advisable route to business ownership. They’ve been in business for three decades, building out their brand and their technology.”

For those who believe in being at the right place at the right time, Grohs decision a year ago to open a commercial cleaning franchise operation seems almost prescient. But as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spread across the country a few months back, there were some anxious moments. “When non-essential business was ordered to close, we had a pause in scheduled business,” says Grohs. “Our franchisees had to step back and work alongside their clients to navigate through the difficult times.”

However, Grohs rose to the occasion and demonstrated a remarkable instinct for playing the long game with his clientele. “Our business model is created to service clients on a recurring basis,” said Grohs. “When the need for services was no longer imminent, I simply went to each of our customers and let them know that our franchisees could temporarily pause cleaning services until their business reopened. —sort of like forgoing a payment and adding it to the end of a contract. It was quite a relief for the customers they serve.”

The strategy worked brilliantly. Once the state of Texas began reopening the business in a phased plan, Grohs’ business came roaring back. And this time, the appointments for his franchises’ cleaning services have increased across the board. Anago of Austin has passed the one-year anniversary of opening their doors and the future looks very bright.

“As of now, we’re tracking well ahead of all of our initial business projections,” says Grohs. “Looking back, it ended up being a good decision to trust my gut with the franchise I chose to represent. Our franchisees will continue to focus on providing great service and responsiveness to businesses throughout the Austin area. They are a partner in helping their customers provide a safe and healthy working environment for their employees and their customers.”

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