ServiceMaster by Ryan

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Katy Ryan began working for an Altoona ServiceMaster franchise in 2001. She started out working as a part-time cleaner for Merry Maids, the residential portion of the ServiceMaster brand. She also did part-time office work for the owner. She transitioned out of the cleaning portion of the business and moved into a full-time position in the office, holding the title of Director of Sales & Operations. During her time at ServiceMaster, she did everything from cleaning to scheduling, customer relations, ordering inventory, etc. In 2011, the owner approached her to gauge her interest in purchasing the business. She was very interested in purchasing the business, but was unsure of how to proceed. Although the business was doing well, Ryan felt several issues needed to be addressed. The owner operated another business along with ServiceMaster. The records were combined, purchases were shared, they used the same physical location, etc. Ryan felt that the businesses needed to be separated. After doing some web surfing, she came across the SBA website. She was then referred to the Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

On May 17, 2011, the Saint Francis University SBDC met with Ryan at the Blair County Outreach Office to discuss the possible purchase of the business. At this time, Katy had already started working on the business plan, but did not have any actual financial information on the company, since the records of both businesses were combined and the company only did one tax return. The owner was unwilling to have his accountant prepare a separate financial statement for ServiceMaster. Ryan’s bank told her that they would need separate financial information in order to consider a loan request. Unable to obtain the necessary financial information, the deal went by the wayside. In March 2012, Ryan again contacted the Center to see what could be done. The owner told her he was willing to finance the majority of the purchase price, but Ryan would need to come up with a down payment and a credit line. Again, lenders told her that they needed financial information specifically for ServiceMaster. Upon being relayed this information, the owner decided that he was willing to finance the entire purchase price, as well as provide the initial working capital necessary. He had worked with Ryan for 11 years and wanted her to have the opportunity to own the business. As part of the deal, Ryan would relocate in order to eliminate costs associated with the other business.

The SBDC assisted Ryan in preparing a business plan, three-year projected income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flow, and a detailed narrative explaining how she arrived at the projected figures.

On December 13, 2012, Ryan informed the SBDC that the purchase was finalized and that the owner is financing $400,000. The purchase was very important to the local economy, as the owner planned to discontinue the ServiceMaster franchise if Ryan did not purchase the business. Thanks to Ryan's purchase, 80 people were able to remain employed.

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