While many existing businesses have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sean and Holly Middleton decided it was the right time to start one.
“Due to COVID, my job was eliminated last April,” said Holly Middleton. “I’m 49, and I was really left in limbo, thinking, ‘What do I do at my age?’”
“We started looking into business ownership and got in touch with a franchise consultant,” she said. After narrowing it down to four different options, including Fish Window Cleaning, Holly said, “I had to decide if window cleaning was what I wanted to do the rest of my professional life.” However, the business model and corporate support were appealing, and Holly decided to make a change from her previous work in accounting. Sean was already working from home as a consultant for an engineering firm and felt he would be in a good position to help out with the business while maintaining his current employment.
The couple are lifelong residents of Jacksonville but decided to open an office at 3233 Mathers Road in Springfield to serve as a hub for a territory stretching from Jacksonville to Decatur. Altogether, Fish Window Cleaning has 275 franchise locations in 45 different states. The Springfield business currently has four employees and is already interviewing for additional staff.
“It’s been a fun endeavor,” said Sean. “We were nervous about starting up a business during a pandemic, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well it’s growing. We’re always in the mode of hiring and we’ll probably be continuing to bring people on board. Restaurants are starting to open up their lobbies and places are trying to figure out how to get areas cleaned up and ready for customers.”