Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email ktaylor@entrepreneur.com.

Tai Jeffries always knew she wanted to run her own business. When she found Maid Simple House Cleaning, she felt she had found a company where she could set a positive example for her five daughters. As a franchisee, Jeffries is dedicated to never accepting less than her male counterparts, and as a veteran with experience in the Army and Air Force, she knows a thing or two about workplaces that skew male. Here's what she's learned one year into the business.

Name: Tai Jeffries

Franchise owned: Maid Simple House Cleaning of Fort Wayne, Ind.

How long have you owned the franchise?

As of March 28, one year. 

Why franchising?

I always knew I wanted to run my own business. I didn’t want to work for anyone else and I was determined to set a positive example for my five daughters. I also wanted to invest in something with a solid and proven business model. One of the benefits of franchising is having a system in place that works. I am very good at following instructions and didn’t want to reinvent the wheel.

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What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I served in the Army and Air Force for nine years. After medically retiring from the military in September 2011 due to some unforeseen and unfortunate events, I relocated to Indiana with my husband (who is also a service disabled veteran) where I was a stay-at-home mom for one year.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

I did extensive research online and came across Maid Simple House Cleaning. After speaking with the franchisor and other Maid Simple House Cleaning franchisees, I knew this particular franchise was the perfect model for my family and me. The affordable startup cost, turnkey package, customer acquisition and advertising program, and on site training made it irresistible. 

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

$29,500 including the $10,000 franchise fee.

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?

Prior to choosing a franchise model I did a lot of research online. Now that I’m a Maid Simple House Cleaning owner I get most of my advice from my support team.

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What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

Finding great and reliable employees that share my vision. I have high standards and expect everyone’s best. I had to weed out the employees who weren’t serious about cleaning and providing great customer service.

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?

Do your research and make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. I appreciated speaking to other Maid Simple House Cleaning franchisees because it gave me the confidence that I possessed what it took to be successful in this business. Also, make sure that whatever type of franchise you choose, it is something you are passionate about. Although I don’t necessarily love to clean, I am 110 percent passionate about providing excellent service to my clients. For other women considering franchising, I encourage them to be assertive and to not settle for anything less than their male counterparts.

What’s next for you and your business?

My goal is to continue to build a solid base of regular clients and to grow my business into one of the superior cleaning services in the Fort Wayne area.

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