Just a minute with Cori Huston – Entrepreneur and co-owner, Milwaukee Merry Maids

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:33 pm

Company address: 4818 S. 76th St., Suite 124, Greenfield, WI 53220
Company Web site: www.merrymaids.com
Industry: Home cleaning
Number of employees: 50
Education: Bachelor of arts degree in English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
"The most exciting decision my mother (co-owner Sue Covington) and I made this year was to purchase a commercial building and combine our Merry Maids franchise with my sister’s adjacent Merry Maids franchise. The building will be in a higher profile area on Forest Home Avenue and, with a larger team to handle the operations, I will have more time to focus on strategic marketing for the company."

What’s new at your company?
"We launched a Merry Maids Rewards program to offer creative financial rewards for our current customer base for their brand loyalty."

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
"In addition to remodeling our new building, we will be purchasing additional yellow Volkswagen Bugs for our salespeople. We have had such a favorable response to our ‘Cleaning Bugs’ that we are looking to invest in two more ‘Bugs.’"

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
"We are looking to realign the staff we have according to their strengths. We will be blending two distinct office staff with different corporate cultures into one team. The challenge will also be in articulating expectations as a united front and not as three distinct owners."

Do you have a business mantra?
"Never fear opportunity."

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
"Creating attractive reward programs is our newest focus. There is so much competition for our customer’s time and attention. Beyond just recognition, customers have higher expectations than ever before to be rewarded for their brand loyalty. Companies who recognize this and are willing to financially invest in their customers will retain them over time."

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
"My mother has taught me that the owner is responsible for setting the expectation for either company growth or the status quo. Our company continues to experience 25 percent growth, due in large part to her focus and determination to expand our business."

What was the best advice you ever received?
"Have a grateful attitude about life and want as much for other people as you want for yourself."

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
"One of our sales managers, Gracie, is also trained as an auxiliary cop. While driving to an estimate, she noticed a young man watching carefully as an elderly woman walked past. When the man grabbed the woman’s purse, Gracie chased him into an alley in her dress and heels until he was apprehended by two moving men alerted by all the noise. Gracie was given a community award by the city."

What do you like to do in your free time?
"For the past few years, I have volunteered with Sojourner Truth House, helping to create an awareness campaign for teen healthy relationships. Statistically, one in four teenage girls will be in an abusive relationship before she is through high school. I am passionate about raising awareness for the difference between healthy and unhealthy dating relationships."

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