Darren Williams of Anago Cleaning Systems | Be The Boss

Darren Williams of Anago Cleaning Systems


Jun 26, 2018

While working as a stockbroker in Atlanta's downtown area, Darren Williams had a "light bulb" moment when he learned that professional cleaning service companies were getting more than $30,000 per month to handle his building. This was amazing to Williams, and it's what gave him the idea to search for janitorial franchise opportunities.

Today, at just 40 years old, Williams is the regional director for Anago Cleaning Systems in the DC area in addition to being a master franchisee. He currently oversees 54 franchise business owners, and his clients include sports stadiums, large office buildings and even blowing alleys in the Washington area. His own franchise business was the official cleaning service at the Citi Open tennis series in 2012, and his impressive client list includes embassies, Amtrak and Jenny Craig.

Of course, going from Wall Street to Main Street wasn't easy for Williams. According to the master franchisee, his biggest challenge was funding. After being turned down for bank loans, Williams, his brother Michael and his friend Roscoe Hamilton pooled their resources together to get the DC master franchisee rights for the cleaning brand back in 2002. Sale proceeds from a different franchise unit, personal savings and assistance from Anago itself helped them to close the deal.

Williams decided on Anago over other cleaning franchise opportunities because of the strong relationships the brand has with its franchisees. He was able to work out a deal with David Povlitz, Anago Cleaning Systems's CEO and chairman, just one week after contacting the company.

In his master franchisee roles, the sales team under Williams finds cleaning contracts for the franchisees he recruits to the DC area. He also helps provide those franchisees with the tools they need to run their locations, including equipment and supplies, and offers collection and customer service training in addition to other support.

According to Williams, it took about two years for his business to become profitable, and he's since posted annual revenues in excess of $2 million. He became a master franchisee because of the greater income potential; he receives a franchise fee from his recruits and a 10 percent royalty of their yearly sales, in addition to fees for other services and equipment financing.

Started in 1989 in Florida, Anago Cleaning Systems has more than 2,000 locations countrywide, and around 89 percent of those are minority-owned. The initial investment for this brand ranges from $10,440 to $68,548.