In the late 1950s, Mr. Frank Oddo was working for his father in the family’s grocery store, where they struggled to find reliable cleaners in the evenings. That pain point drove Mr. Oddo to do something about it – which ultimately led to the birth of City Wide Maintenance in 1961.
City Wide began as a typical janitorial service company by employing all the workers and providing “just the basics.” However, as time went on, City Wide received requests to provide more services and in response, Mr. Oddo became a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Unfortunately, management was spending their time recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and counseling minimum wage employees instead of managing client relationships.
Mr. Oddo’s second son, Jeff, graduated from Kansas State University in 1988 with an engineering degree and construction background, opening the door for change. In 1996 Jeff took over as the active president, and over the years his position evolved to the CEO and owner role that he holds today. Jeff is credited with redirecting the company onto a path that would come to set City Wide apart in the building maintenance world through its breadth of service offerings, efficient and innovative approach to the provision of services, and outstanding customer service standards.
Company lore credits Mr. Cho, City Wide’s first bona fide independent contractor, with the adoption of the independent contractor model. The decision to use independent contractors transformed City Wide from a traditionally staffed operational company to a sales and management company, and it helped City Wide’s clients view the company as an extension of the client’s management team rather than another vendor. This shift paved the way for exponential growth.
Jeff changed the model from a traditional janitorial company to a sales and management company focused on the building maintenance industry. By managing the services requested by a facility, instead of performing these services ourselves, City Wide is able to focus on and represent the client, thus reducing the stress and time associated with managing multiple vendors and services.
Taking the advice of Tom Hill, Jeff launched a franchising expansion plan in 2001 to share its success with others beyond Kansas City. Due to City Wide’s growing success, and with a desire to help others, Jeff identified a way to replicate the model. After successfully franchising the business model, City Wide now has nearly 70 locations across the U.S. and Canada, with aspirations of 166 locations by 2028. Over the course of 60 years, City Wide has grown from cleaning one building of less than 500 square feet, to managing more than 400 million square feet of commercial space every day.
I feel very blessed to be part of this business. The thing that is amazing about this franchise model and system that I don’t think any of us foresaw was the scaleability. The scaleability makes all the difference. This is everything I liked about corporate America without all the micromanagement that I hated. You can listen to our Franchisee “Z” Call where I discuss this and more by clicking on this YouTube link: https://youtu.be/kLhEHORq-uIDavid OtisCity Wide Facility Solutions operating in Metro Atlanta
Having had the opportunity to be part of the City Wide Home Office, selling City Wide for eight years, I would share this view: My advice is simple on how you can be a success owning a City Wide Franchise. First, find a great partner with a work ethic you admire. Keep the message simple and be relentless at sales. Find the spot where you are uncomfortable and be there often. Choose to do the work in sales because it is difficult. This is where you will find both a passion for the business model and an addiction.Jennifer SlanskyCity Wide Facility Solutions operating in Portland, OR
Much like the saying, “dreams come true, not free,” City Wide offered me the opportunity to chase a dream to build a business for my family though hard work and perseverance. The fruits of that hard work have not only created a profitable and growing family legacy business but, more importantly, the platform for us to improve the quality of life of our employees’ families as well as to give back in a meaningful way to our middle Tennessee community. The ceiling is high for those who want to chase their dream.Tim AkersCity Wide Facility Solutions operating in Nashville, TN
Jeff and I saw firsthand through my work for City Wide Franchise Corporate how this business can provide real wealth opportunities for us; there is no greater endorsement than a former employee who decides to buy a franchise from the company! With City Wide, we get to make a difference in our community, not just for ourselves and our family, but for our clients and our team. The work is rewarding because we believe in what we are doing for our clients every day.Meredith Cimino EricksonCity Wide Facility Solutions operating in Omaha, NE
What appealed to us about City Wide was the opportunity to work together and build a family business. No corporate bosses, no long distance travel, and the freedom to be there for our children when we want. Personal effort is directly rewarded with results and as you grow you get to share that success with an ever-growing team of direct staff, independent contractors, and happy clients.Alan MathesonCity Wide Facility Solutions operating in Central Pennsylvania